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Current Status: Active PolicyStat ID: 4987607

Policy on Protection of Minors

Introduction

Purpose

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (“UNC‑CH” or “University”) strives to create a welcoming and safe environment for all individuals visiting University property or participating in University programs. This Policy on the Protection of Minors (“Policy”) reinforces this expectation by establishing standards, requirements, and procedures that specifically focus on protecting the safety of individuals who are under the age of 18 from abuse and neglect by a parent, guardian, caretaker, or Covered Program Staff member.

This Policy shall be published on the University’s policy web site. The substance of this Policy shall also be communicated annually by the Chancellor or his/her designee to all members of the University Community.

Scope of Applicability

University Community Members (faculty, staff, volunteers, interns and students) as well as outside third parties (including contractors) who are authorized to use University facilities or property must comply with this policy.

As used in this Policy the term “Minors” applies to persons under the age of 18 who are not enrolled or matriculated students of the University. All portions of this Policy apply to the protection of Minors participating in programs sponsored by the University or held on University property, with the exception of students who are enrolled or matriculated at UNC-CH (“Enrolled Students”). Enrolled students who are minors are covered by University policies applicable to students and applicable State laws involving the protection of minors and are not subject to the remaining requirements of this Policy.

The “Reporting Suspected Child Abuse/Neglect Procedure” associated with this Policy applies to the protection of all minors (including Enrolled Students) while those minors are present on University property or while participating in Covered Programs. University programs for UNC-CH Enrolled Student minors will not require registration with the Protection of Minors on Campus Office as a Covered Program.

All contracts for the services of independent contractors (including solo and Third Party contractors) who will have Direct Contact with Minors as part of a Covered Program must include a provision that requires compliance with all of the provisions of this Policy.

Policy

Policy Statement

Duty to Report

Both as a matter of University policy and North Carolina state law, any member of the University Community who reasonably suspects that a minor has experienced Child Abuse or Neglect by a parent, guardian, caretaker, or Covered Program Staff member has an absolute obligation to report that suspicion to the appropriate county Department of Social Services (“DSS”). Such individuals are known as “Mandated Reporters.” The Orange County (North Carolina) DSS is the appropriate contact for incidents occurring on the University’s campus in Chapel Hill, regardless of the residence of the minor involved. In the case of an Enrolled Student, if there is uncertainty as to whether the student is a minor, the Mandated Reporter should contact the Dean of Students to confirm the student’s age, except in an emergency, in which case the Mandated Reporter should contact 911.

If the Covered Program Staff member involved in the suspected Child Abuse or Neglect is a UNC-CH employee or student, UNC’s Equal Opportunity and Compliance (EOC) Office and/or Employee & Management Relations Unit of the Office of Human Resources may have to be notified by the person who reports the incident.

The Mandated Reporters must also notify the Protection of Minors Coordinator when making any of the reports described above.

Protection of Reporting Parties

North Carolina law provides certain legal protections for anyone who makes a report in good faith or who participates in an investigation by DSS. Furthermore, University policy prohibits retaliation against anyone who makes a good faith report of Child Abuse or Neglect with regard to the terms and conditions of University employment or educational activities.

Supplemental Forms and Procedures

The University shall publish on its publicly accessible website, and update as appropriate, the following information and materials to facilitate this Policy; this information will be made available in printed form to any Covered Program on request:

  1. Procedures by which the University shall administer the Policy on the Protection of Minors.
  2. Appropriate forms for use in requesting approval for a Covered Program.
  3. Other information and materials to assist University Departments and Covered Programs in complying with the provisions of this Policy.

Definitions

Child Abuse or Neglect: The North Carolina Division of Social Services (DSS) provides that child abuse is “the intentional maltreatment of a child and that can be physical, sexual, or emotional in nature.” DSS provides that neglect is “the failure to give children the necessary care they need."

Covered Program: A program or activity in which Minors participate that is sponsored by a University Department, a student organization, or a Third Party entity sponsored by a University Department.

Covered Program Staff: All individuals 18 years of age or older who work with, instruct, or otherwise come into Direct Contact with Minors in a Covered Program, even if these individuals are volunteers. Covered Program Staff include all University Community Members who will serve as Covered Program Staff and who will have Direct Contact with Minors and to all individuals employed by, contracted by, or volunteering for a Third Party who have Direct Contact with Minors. Covered Program Staff also include individuals who support Covered Programs and who have Direct Contact with Minors.

Direct Contact: Care, guidance, control, or supervision of minors in group or one-to-one settings or potential for one-to-one interaction with minors.

Mandated Reporter: Both as a matter of University policy and North Carolina State law, any member of the University Community who reasonably suspects that a Minor, including a UNC-CH Enrolled Student Minor, has been abused or neglected by a parent, guardian, caregiver, or Covered Program Staff has an absolute obligation to report that suspicion to the appropriate County Department of Social Services (“DSS”), regardless of where the offense occurred.

Minor: Defined term meaning any person under the age of 18, who is not an enrolled or matriculated student of the University. Certain portions of this Policy refer to minors as a general class of persons under the age of 18.

Third Party: An organization or individual from outside of the University that uses University facilities to conduct a Covered Program pursuant to an approved contract or other use agreement with a sponsoring University Department and with the prior approval of the Protection of Minors on Campus Coordinator. For example, athletic camps or academic camps.

University Community or University Community Members: University faculty, staff, unpaid volunteers, interns, students, temporary employees, visiting scholars, and any other University affiliates.

Related Requirements

External Regulations

Covered Programs shall have their own plans and procedures and training mechanisms that address the applicable “Pre-Camp Training Topics” identified by the American Camp Association.

“Pre-Camp Training Topics” identified by the American Camp Association, https://www.acacamps.org/resource-library/accreditation-standards/pre-camp-training-topics

Covered Programs whose Minors will be working in University laboratories must follow procedures set by Environment, Health and Safety (“EHS”).

EHS website: https://ehs.cloudapps.unc.edu/LabRadWorker/

Consequences

Violations of this Policy

University Employee: Violations may result in disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment.

Unpaid Volunteers, Interns and Visiting Scholars: Violations may result in end of assignment.

University Students: Violations may result in the referral to the Honor System or Dean of Students.

Third Party Covered Program Staff: Violations may result in disciplinary action that requires immediate removal from Direct Contact with Minors, and /or University property or facility.

Covered Programs: If it is determined that the Covered Program has not complied with any provision of the University’s Policy on the Protection of Minors, the Covered Program may be subject to immediate discontinuation of operation and/or use of University property. At the discretion of the University Coordinator for the Protection of Minors on Campus, the Covered Program may also be banned from future use of University facilities.

University Policies, Standards, and Procedures

  1. University Standard on Protection of Minors
  2. University Procedures for Protection of Minors
  3. University Policy on Protection for Reporting Improper Government Activities
  4. Covered Program Registration and Compliance Form

Contact Information

Policy Contact

  1. UNC Coordinator for the Protection of Minors:
    1. Telephone: 919-843-8995
    2. Email: protectionofminors@unc.edu
    3. Website: https://protectionofminors.unc.edu/

Other Contacts

  1. Child Protective Services Division in the Orange County Department of Social Services:
    1. Telephone: Monday-Friday, 8 am-5 pm, excluding holidays, call 919‑245‑2818 or 919‑968‑2000.
    2. Telephone: After hours and on weekends and holidays, call 911 and ask for the on‑call social worker.
    3. Website: http://www.orangecountync.gov/departments/social_services/index.php
  2. UNC Police:
    1. Telephone: 919-962-8100 or 919-962-6565. Those needing to use TTY/TDD feature can also dial 911.
    2. Website: https://police.unc.edu/
  3. UNC’s Equal Opportunity and Compliance (“EOC”) Office:
    1. Telephone: 919‑966‑3576
    2. Email: eoc@unc.edu
    3. Website: https://eoc.unc.edu/
  4. UNC’s Employee & Management Relations Unit of the Office of Human Resources:
    1. Telephone: 919‑843‑3444
    2. Email: emr@unc.edu
    3. Website: https://hr.unc.edu/employees/emr/
All revision dates: 5/24/2018, 3/5/2016
Attachments:

Approval Signatures

Step Description Approver Date
Publication Matthew Teal: University Program Specialist 5/24/2018
Starr Sanders: University Program Specialist 5/24/2018
Step Description Approver Date
Publication Matthew Teal: University Program Specialist 5/24/2018
Starr Sanders: University Program Specialist 5/24/2018
Older Version Approval Signatures