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Policy for the Protection of Minor Children Participating in University Programs

Chapter 3130
Issued February 24, 2021

.010 Introduction
.020 Scope/Applicability of Policy
.030 Definitions
.040 Standards Applicable to University-Sponsored programs with Minor Children as Program Participants
.050 Standards Applicable to Third-party Programs Involving Minor Children
.060 Safety related to Minor Children in Laboratories, Shops and other Applied Learning Spaces
.070 Employment or Volunteer Engagement of Minor Children
.080 Reporting Obligations (Including Suspected Child Abuse or neglect)
.090 University Response
.100 Resources
.110 Questions
.120 Contacts
.130 Related Policy and Statutory References

.010 Summary and Purpose

Kansas State University endeavors to provide a safe environment for the campus community. The university values the opportunity to provide educational, recreational and other programming for minor children. This policy establishes a framework and certain requirements for university employees and third parties participating in university programs who may interact with individuals under 18 years of age, with the goal of providing a safe environment for all.

.020 Scope/Applicability of Policy

This policy applies to university programs that provide educational, recreational and other opportunities for minor children, and third-party programs occurring on university property. This policy does not apply to: (1) students who are enrolled at the university who are minor children; (2) students participating in programs through which they are dually enrolled in university classes for credit while also enrolled in middle or high school; (3) events open to the general public and not specifically targeted to minor children program participants (e.g., athletic games, concerts, plays, etc.); (4) university research involving minor children as human subjects, which is governed by PPM 7010 and subject to standards implemented by the Kansas State University Research Compliance Office; (5) university employees and volunteers of a university child care facility and activities occurring as part of the programs in those facilities (these programs, facilities and staff are required to adhere to state and national accreditation standards); and (6) university employees and volunteers who are licensed health care providers or otherwise acting at the direction of a licensed healthcare provider in the context of providing health services, who also must adhere to their professional standards.

This policy does not supersede stricter standards set by administrative units, academic departments or programs that have supervision of and/or interaction requirements when working with minor children. This policy also does not supersede PPM 3010 and PPM 3015. There may be circumstances where multiple university policies apply, and it is the responsibility of the program director and program staff to report conduct pursuant to all applicable university policies.

.030 Definitions

  1. Adult: Any person eighteen years-old (18) or older.

  2. Minor Child/Children: Any person under the age of eighteen (18).

  3. Third party: Persons or entities, who/which are not acting on behalf of Kansas State University (non-university organization or entities).

  4. Third-party Program: A program or activity involving minor children operated by a third party on university owned or controlled property.

  5. University-Sponsored Program: Any program or activity, on or off campus, that is university authorized and substantially organized and/or supervised by a university employee within the context of employee's university employment, including but not limited to those programs or activities hosted by university office, department, departmental student organization and other university units. As relevant to this policy, some examples include but are not limited to a university camp, laboratory experience, internship, club, workshop, visits, lesson, team or practice.

  6. Child Abuse: Child abuse is defined in accordance with Kansas Statutes, KSA 38-2202, and includes, but is not limited to, physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse and neglect.

  7. Program Participant: A person participating in a university-sponsored program who is a minor child. There may be other persons participating in a university-sponsored program who are not minor children, but for purposes of the requirements of this policy, the program participants are those that are minor children.

  8. Program Director: Any individual who manages or coordinates a university-sponsored program that includes minor children in his/her role on behalf of the university.

  9. Program Staff: Any individual, paid or unpaid, who is expected to interact with, supervise, chaperone or otherwise oversee program participants or other minor children in his/her role on behalf of the university during a university-sponsored program. Such individuals may be university employees, volunteers or trainees/interns. Program staff must be 18 years of age or older and at least two years older than all program participants.

  10. Sensitive Facilities: University facilities that require special clearance or background checks for access; that permit unsupervised access to records that are confidential; or that have special protections under state or federal law.

.040 Standards Applicable to University-Sponsored Programs with Minor Children as Program Participants

  1. Program Standards:
    Program directors shall take into consideration the age, ability, experiences and capabilities of intended program participants when developing programs. The following steps must be completed prior to a university-sponsored program beginning:
    1. Registration Form Requirements. Program directors shall use the template here to register all program participants. Please direct any questions regarding the registration form to the Assistant Vice President for Risk and Compliance.
      1. Program directors shall obtain parent/guardian consent on the registration forms. If using online registration, you must use a program that enables the parent or guardian to include their actual signature, as opposed to typing their name or checking a box.
      2. Please require an advance deadline for submission of forms in order to allow for any accommodations processes to take place, as needed.
    2. Background Checks. Program directors and staff are required to comply with PPM 4015 Criminal Background Checks. The followingcategories of program staff are required to have a satisfactory background check prior to the start of the university-sponsored program. Those included categories are (1) program directors and supervisory program staff of the program; (2) those who stay overnight with minor children as part of their job responsibilities or role in a university-sponsored program in a university-sponsored program; and (3) those who regularly spend time alone with minor children as part of their job responsibilities or role in a university-sponsored program.
    3. Program Staff Training. Program staff shall successfully complete annual training, on topics as set out by the Assistant Vice President for Risk and Compliance, or designee, prior to participating as a member of the program staff for a university-sponsored program.
    4. Record Retention after a Program. Program directors are responsible for collecting and retaining documentation about the program, program staff, and program participants as required by the university's records retention schedule outlined in PPM 3090. These documents may include: programmatic records, training records, registration and parental consent forms, and lists of attendees.
    5. Incident Response and Reporting. Program directors shall train program staff on departmental and individual requirements to report accidents, injuries or other incidents that poses a threat to the safety or well-being, including the method and means to do so. Program directors and staff shall report any such incident through the Minors on Campus (Youth Protection) Reporting form. For emergency situations, program directors and staff shall report to the campus or local police. Program staff may have multiple reporting obligations. See section .080 for additional information related to Reporting of Child Abuse and Neglect.
    6. Facilities Use. Program participants shall not have access to, or be present in, sensitive facilities at the university. See section .070 for additional information related to minor children in Laboratories, Shops, Applied Learning Spaces, and Childcare Facilities.
    7. Supervision and Ratios. Supervision and ratios must be included in program policies and handbooks. Program directors shall ensure adequate supervision of minor children at all times during a university-sponsored program. Program directors shall follow the American Camp Association staff supervision ratios as set forth below.

      Required Staff Supervision Ratios

      Participant Age

      Number
      of Staff

      Day-Only Participants

      Overnight Participants

      </= 5 years

      1

      6

      5

      6-8 years

      1

      8

      6

      9-14 years

      1

      10

      8

      15-17 years

      1

      12

      10


      * When considering the above ratios, program staff do not include individuals whose primary responsibility is administrative, food service, or maintenance. Also, if there are program participants who are not minor children, but the university-sponsored program includes minor children, then these ratios shall be in effect for all program participants.
  2. Best Practices for the Protection of Minor Children:
    Program directors should review best practices and decide what to implement for their particular university-sponsored program, such as:
    1. Arrivals/Departure, Pick-up and Drop-off Procedures: The program director should decide how to communicate to parents and guardians of program participants the procedures for pick-ups and drop-offs, which should be based on the needs of the particular program. Review a plan example. For program participants under 12 years old, parents and guardians are encourages to remain present for the program, and the program director should require a sign-in and sign-out.
    2. Emergency Response and Communication Plan: Program directors should decide how to implement an emergency response and communication plan for the university-sponsored program, which should be based on the needs of the particular program. The plan should be communicated to supervisory program staff, and the relevant parts also shall be communicated to parents or guardians of program participants. Review a plan example. 
    3. Behavioral Standards: Program staff should receive notice of behavioral expectations for program staff that are required due to the presence of minor children and are in addition to conduct standards otherwise applicable to university employees, which may be delivered via the above-referenced training, or otherwise. Program staff shall conduct themselves in a professional manner at all times during the program.

.050 Standards Applicable to Third-party Programs Involving Minor Children on University Property

Third-party programs that involve minor children must adhere to industry standards for care and protection of minor children, and must have a written agreement with the university, with terms approved by the Office of General Counsel and the Assistant Vice President for Risk and Compliance, or designee. A contract review checklist with required terms is required. The university employee approving the third-party program should contact the Assistant Vice President for Risk and Compliance about any changes to the form and/or questions about the areas to fill in.

If a third-party program is offering a program that is co-sponsored by the university, the entire program shall be in full compliance with this policy as a university-sponsored program, and there shall be a written contract between the university and the third party to define respective obligations. A template form is available here. The university employee approving the third-party program should contact the Assistant Vice President for Risk and Compliance about any changes to the form and/or questions about the areas to fill in.

For the sake of clarity, independent student organizations shall comply with this policy as a third party.

.060 Safety related to Minor Children in Laboratories, Shops, and other Applied Learning Spaces

Minor children are not permitted in sensitive facilities, research laboratories, shops and other applied learning spaces. Minor children also may not work with, or be present where there is risk of exposure to, infectious agents, controlled substances, agricultural and laboratory animals, hazardous and/or toxic chemicals, radiological materials, or lasers.

Any exceptions to Section .060 of the policy must receive advanced approval of the Associate Vice President for Research Compliance and the Director of Environmental Health and Safety, or designees, respectively. Either or both administrators may impose requirements when approving an exception, such as requiring training related the IACUC, IBC, IRB, restricted party screening, export controls compliance training, and/or safety training, such as hazard communications or chemical safety, and/or approval by IBC and/or IACUC. In addition, upon such approval by the above-listed administrators, parents of minor children must agree to a written consent, waiver and release of liability related to the access to sensitive facilities and/or laboratories. That consent can be included as part of the registration form for a university-sponsored program. A template form is available here. 

.070 Employment or Volunteer Engagement of Minor Children

It may be appropriate in certain circumstances to hire as employees or otherwise engage individuals who are under 18 years of age. Any internship, employment or volunteer arrangement, must adhere to applicable state and federal employment laws. For further information on specific issues concerning the employment or engagement of minor children, please see PPM 4220 about child labor standards. Please also see Section .060 above, about limits on participation by minor children in higher-risk activities.

.080 Reporting Obligations (Including Suspected Child Abuse or Neglect)

  1. Emergencies
    In case of an emergency, one should immediately call the Kansas State University Police Department at (785) 532-6412, or the local police at 911.

  2. Reports of Known or Suspected Abuse or Neglect of Minor Children in University Programs
    1. All employees are required to report to the campus police and/or other appropriate law enforcement agencies any incidents of child sexual abuse, meaning those crimes defined in S.A. 21-5501, et seq. that relate to minors as victims that employees witness on the university's campus or at a university-sponsored program. See PPM 3015.080.
    2. Supervisors (within their area of supervision) and administrators (collectively referred to as Responsible Employees) must make reports of possible violations of PPM 3010 — which prohibits, among other conduct, sex discrimination and harassment — to the Office of Institutional Equity at https://www.k-state.edu/report/discrimination/ as soon as practicable upon notification. See PPM 3010.
  3. All other Reports of Incidents Involving Minor Children on Campus or through University-Sponsored Programs or Third-Party Programs
    1. Any person who witnesses or learns about another concerning incident involving minor child(ren) on campus or through university-sponsored programs or third-party programs should report through the Minor Children on Campus (Youth Protection) Reporting form found on the K-State Report It webpage as soon as possible.
  4. Additional Obligations for Mandated Reporters
    Generally, state-required mandatory reporting applies to defined persons who have reason to suspect the abuse or neglect of a child.

    In Kansas, mandated reporters include those listed in K.S.A. 38-2223.

    According to the Kansas Department for Children and Families, “reason to suspect” means anytime anyone believes or has a hint or a clue, a child is, or has been, a victim of abuse or neglect. A report based on “reason to suspect” also means the law does not require proof that abuse or neglect has actually occurred or that the reporter witnessed the incident in question. Additional information may be found in the "Guide to Reporting Child Abuse and Neglect".

    Even those who are not mandated reporters may report known or reasonably suspected child abuse to the Kansas Report Protection Center at 800-922-5330. 

.090 University Response

When a report about a minor child is received through the Report It webpage, it will be routed to the Kansas State University Police Department, the Assistant Vice President for Risk and Compliance, or designee, and other applicable university office(s) for appropriate action. If there is a “reason to suspect” (see .080 above) abuse or neglect, a police officer will submit a report to the Kansas Protection Report Center.

.100 Resources

Additional information about minor children on campus and reporting may be found on the university's Report It website

.110 Questions

Information for students and employees regarding this policy may be directed to the Assistant Vice President for Risk and Compliance, or designee.

.120 Contacts

Clery Compliance and Youth Protection Coordinator 

.130 Related Policy and Statutory References

PPM 3010 Prohibiting Discrimination, Harassment, and Sexual Harassment
PPM 3015 Threat Management
PPM 3070 University Contracts
PPM 3770 University Weapons Policy
PPM 6420/6430/6450 Vehicle Usage
PPM 3053.060 Alcohol, persons under 21
PPM 8540 Student Organization Policy
KSA 38-2223 – Mandatory reporting of child abuse