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Youth Camps and Programs - Interim

Version 1 (Current Version)
All Versions:
  • Version 1
PolicyREG01.15.05
TitleYouth Camps and Programs
CategoryGovernance and Administration
Sub-categoryGovernance - General
AuthorityChancellor
History

Interim approved by Executive Council on April 11, 2016

Please note: In order to give covered programs sufficient time to familiarize themselves with this regulation, this regulation will serve as a guideline from the date of its adoption until December 31, 2016. On and after January 1, 2017, this regulation shall be mandatory.

Contact

Youth Programs and Campus Office: 252-328-2092; Youth Programs and Campus Office website at www.ecu.edu/ypco

Related Policies
Additional References

ECU Youth Programs and Camps Task Force Report; ECU Youth Programs Standard Operating Procedures


1. Purpose

This regulation has been approved by the Chancellor of East Carolina University to support a high-quality, safe environment for youth that participate in programs affiliated with the University. The regulation takes a proactive approach to protecting youth and the employees, faculty, staff, and volunteers of the University.

2. Introduction

East Carolina University’s Youth Programs and Camps Office (YPCO) was established to centralize the approval process for all youth-serving programs and camps covered by this regulation and to assist those programs in complying with this regulation. All programs and camps must be approved by YPCO on an annual basis. The ECU Youth Programs Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) apply to all programs and camps covered by this regulation. These standards will be maintained, reviewed annually, and updated as appropriate by the YPCO, in consultation with the Youth Programs and Camps Advisory Board.

3. Scope

Unless excluded below, this regulation applies to all programs and camps associated with East Carolina University that serve one or more youth participants, whether operated on or off campus, where one or more of the youth participants are left in the care or supervision of East Carolina University employees or volunteers (hereinafter referred to “covered programs” or “program”). The regulation applies year round and is not limited to covered programs that are operating during the summer months. The Provost and the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, or their Designees, have joint responsibility for oversight of the youth programs covered by this regulation. Please note: In order to give covered programs sufficient time to familiarize themselves with this regulation, this regulation will serve as a guideline from the date of its adoption until December 31, 2016. On and after January 1, 2017, this regulation shall be mandatory.

4. Limitations and Exclusions

This regulation does not apply during those times or situations where youth are being supervised and cared for by a parent, guardian, K-12 teacher, or other responsible adult who is not associated with a covered program.

4.1 Exclusions:
In addition, this regulation does not apply to the following:

4.1.1 Undergraduate and graduate academic programs in which youth are enrolled for academic credit or who have been accepted for enrollment.

4.1.2 Youth when they are patients of any University-affiliated health care provider, or when they are receiving treatment from any medical or mental health practice, clinic, counselor, or other health care-related entity or professional

4.1.3 Events on campus open to the general public, which youth attend, but the University is not exercising care or supervision of the youth.

4.1.4 Enrolled ECU students when hosting high school students, including prospective athletes, participating in pre-enrollment activities, where a University division, department or other unit (e.g., Athletics) is overseeing the activity.

4.1.5 Youth involved in Institutional Review Board (IRB) approved research

4.1.6 Youth working for the University as employees or interns

4.1.7 Employees or volunteers who may have incidental contact with youth but do not work directly with youth within a covered program.

4.1.8 Programs and camps associated with the Department of Athletics. The Department of Athletics has developed a set of guidelines and operating procedures for Athletics camps and clinics. These guidelines will be on file in the YPCO. The YPCO will provide advice and support to Athletics on an as-needed basis.

5. Definitions

5.1. Authorized Staff: Individuals, faculty, staff, volunteers, graduate and undergraduate students, interns, employees of temporary employment agencies, and independent contractors/consultants, paid or unpaid, who interact with, supervise, care for, chaperone, or otherwise oversee youths in connection with a covered program.

5.2. Participant or Youth: any individual who has not yet attained the age of 18; when used herein refers to both the singular and the plural, i.e., youth or youths.

5.3. Program Director: The head, director or leader of a covered program.

5.4. Program Contact: The person designated by the program director, and identified to YPCO, to serve as the point of contact with YPCO. The program director may designate him/herself as the program contact. In the alternative, the program director may designate another person who is knowledgeable about, and engaged in operation of, the covered program. If no program contact is identified to YPCO, then, for purposes of this regulation, the program director shall be deemed to be the program contact.

5.5. ECU Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) for Youth Programs and Camps: Standards that all covered programs and Authorized Staff must abide by.

6. Regulation Requirements

The following requirements govern participation in covered programs.

6.1. All covered programs must be registered with the YPCO prior to the commencement of any activities with participants.

6.2. Background checks must be completed on all Authorized Staff over the age of 18 before working in covered programs, and thereafter at the frequency specified below.

6.3. Covered programs must ensure that Authorized Staff working in covered programs complete annual training as specified in the ECU Youth Programs SOP, including child abuse awareness, prevention, and reporting.

6.4. Authorized Staff working in a covered program who witness child abuse or neglect, or have information that would lead a reasonable person to believe a youth faces a substantial threat of abuse or neglect, must immediately report to the ECU Police for investigation, and to their supervisor.

6.5. Covered programs must collect, at a minimum, parental contact information, emergency contact information, relevant medical history, consent for emergency medical treatment, and a liability waiver for each youth participant in a covered program. The covered program or its associated University department shall maintain all such documents for no fewer than seven (7) years after receipt.

6.6. Covered programs must ensure appropriate supervision of youths participating in their program.

6.7. Authorized Staff must adhere to the standards of behavior set forth in this regulation and the ECU Youth Programs SOP.

6.8. If an exemption from specific regulation requirements is desired, a written request must be submitted using the exemption process in the ECU Youth Programs and Camps SOP.

6.9. Covered programs and Authorized Staff must cooperate with official investigations should they occur.

6.10. Covered programs must keep their records consistent with this regulation and the university records retention schedule.

7. Violation and Accountability

Covered Programs, and Authorized Staff that are University employees or students, that violate this regulation will be held accountable for their actions pursuant to applicable university policies, regulations and rules, and applicable law. The Program Director and/or the Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs/Designee; after consultation with the Provost/Designee may immediately suspend Authorized Staff for the protection of youth, other Authorized Staff, or any other person or property.

7.1. Accountability Process

7.1.1. All Authorized Staff are subject to loss of Authorized Staff status at the will of the Program Director and/or the Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs/Designee; after consultation with the Provost/Designee.

7.1.2. The Associate Vice Chancellor/Designee may, in writing, warn or reprimand a covered program for violation of this regulation.

7.1.3. Especially serious, repeated or multiple violations of this regulation by a covered program may constitute cause for the Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs/Designee to recommend, in writing, to the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs that a covered program be sanctioned, including, but not limited to, limiting the program’s access to the University or University resources, probation, or suspension from any and all association with the University.

7.1.4. If he/she is recommending sanctions, the Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs/Designee shall state, in written form, the reasons for such recommendation(s) and copy the Program Contact.

7.1.5. Before acting on such a recommendation, the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs/Designee shall provide the covered program the opportunity to, in writing, respond to the proposed sanction(s).

7.1.6. Such responses must be provided to the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs/Designee no later than 15 calendar days after the Program Contact receives notice of the recommendation.

7.1.7. The Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs/Designee shall consult the Provost/Designee to reach mutual agreement on what action or sanction, if any, is in the best interests of the University and the youth participating in the covered program.

7.1.8. After such consultation, the joint decision of the Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs/Designee and the Provost/Designee is final and may not be appealed.

8. Procedures

8.1. Registration

8.1.1. Covered programs must register with the Youth Camps and Programs Office utilizing the YCPO electronic registration system. Note: programs and camps that come within the definition of “covered program” in section 3 above are subject to this regulation, even if they fail to register with YCPO.

8.1.1.1. Registration is requested at least 60 days before the commencement of any covered program and is required before the start of any covered program.

8.1.1.2. Covered programs hosted by third-party contractors must be registered by the university entity facilitating the contract.

8.2. Background Checks

8.2.1. All adult Authorized Staff who are also ECU employees shall not be eligible to participate in a covered program unless they have undergone a satisfactory background check within three (3) calendar years of the start of the covered program. A new employee background check, if completed by ECU within three (3) calendar years of the start of the program, is sufficient for this purpose.

8.2.2. All adult Authorized Staff who are not ECU employees, shall not be eligible to participate in a covered program unless they have undergone a satisfactory background check within one (1) calendar year of the start of camp and every three (3) years thereafter.

8.2.3. All background checks shall have all the following components: (a) Statewide felony and misdemeanor check in all states where the person has resided during the last seven years; (b) Social Security Number trace; and (c) National Sex Offender Registry Check.

8.2.4. The Program Director is responsible for ensuring that criminal background checks for adult Authorized Staff are conducted in accordance with this regulation.

8.2.5. While the Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs/Designee has discretion to determine whether a background check report disqualifies an adult Authorized Staff member, the following types of convictions will normally render an individual ineligible to work or volunteer in a Covered Program:

8.2.5.1. Drug distribution activity or felony drug possession;

8.2.5.2. Sexual offenses, including stalking;

8.2.5.3. Crimes of violence involving physical injury to another person;

8.2.5.4. Child abuse, molestation, child pornography or other crimes involving child endangerment, including neglect and abandonment;

8.2.5.5. Murder;

8.2.5.6. Kidnapping; and

8.2.5.7. Any other crime involving moral turpitude.

8.3. Supervision
Covered Programs are required to provide and supervise trained counselors (also considered to be Authorized Staff) who must be at least 18 years of age, in accordance with the following:

8.3.1. The ratio of counselors to program participants must reflect the gender distribution of the participants, and should meet the following:

Standards for resident (overnight) camps and programs are:

      • One staff member for every five participants ages 4 and 5
      • One staff member for every six participants ages 6 to 8
      • One staff member for every eight participants ages 9 to 14
      • One staff member for every 10 participants ages 15 to 17

Standards for non-residential covered programs are:

      • One staff member for every six participants ages 4 and 5
      • One staff member for every eight participants ages 6 to 8
      • One staff member for every ten participants ages 9 to 14
      • One staff member for every twelve participants ages 15 to 17

8.3.2. One on one contact with youths is prohibited, except in music programs involving private instruction, clinical programs, or similar programs in which the parent or guardian of the youth has been informed of the one-on-one instruction, been given the option to be present and has given written consent to the one-on-one contact.

8.3.2.1. Except where clinical requirements preclude it, one-on-one interactions with youths should take place in a room or other space that is in full view from outside the room even when the door is closed.

8.3.2.2. This prohibition does not extend to situations in which an adult Authorized Staff member is transporting youths in University owned, rented, or leased vehicles from one program activity to another, provided that the driver is transporting not fewer than two passengers, unless the youth participant is a driver’s own child.

8.3.2.3. For all other activities, there must be at least two Authorized Staff members, at least one of whom is an adult, present for all activities in which youths are present.

8.3.2.4. The prohibition against one-on-one contact extends to all interactions and communications, including those by telephone, mail, email, texting, or any other means or medium. Any communication by an Authorized Staff member with a youth shall include a second Authorized Staff Members who is an adult or the parent or guardian of the youth as a party to the communication.

8.3.3. Sponsoring entities shall establish a procedure for checking youths in and out of the covered program. Youth participants shall not be allowed to leave the program site except in the company of their parent(s), legal guardian(s), or someone authorized in writing by the same.

8.3.4. When overnight supervision is required:

8.3.4.1. No Authorized Staff member may enter a youth’s room, bathroom facility, or similar area unless accompanied by an adult Authorized Staff member.

8.3.4.2. Separate accommodations for adults and youths are required other than the youths’ parents or Guardians.

8.4. Training

8.4.1. Training for the counselors must include, at a minimum, information about responsibilities and expectations; policies, procedures, and enforcement; appropriate crisis/emergency responses; safety and security precautions; confidentiality issues involving youths; mandated reporting; and University responsibility/liability. Counselors must know how to request local emergency services and how to report suspected child abuse.

8.4.2. Responsibilities of the counselors must include, at a minimum, informing youth about safety and security procedures, University rules, rules established by the program, and behavioral expectations. Counselors are responsible for following and enforcing all rules and must be able to provide information included herein to youths and be able to respond to emergencies.

8.4.3. In addition to active supervision of program activities, Program Directors and all Authorized Staff members shall make early clear verbal expression of minimum standards of conduct and expectations to:

Parents/guardians

Volunteers/assistants

Collaborative agencies

Staff

Students/participants

8.5. Statement of Nondiscrimination

8.5.1. East Carolina University prohibits unlawful discrimination based on the following protected classes: race/ethnicity, color, genetic information, national origin, religion, sex (including pregnancy and pregnancy related conditions), sexual orientation, gender identity, age, disability, political affiliation, and veteran status.

8.6. Reporting

8.6.1. If you see something say something

8.6.1.1. Every member of the university community, including Authorized Staff, have an obligation to report immediately abuse or suspected abuse or any other inappropriate interactions with youths to the ECU police department or to the law enforcement agency having jurisdiction where the abuse is suspected to have occurred, and to the program director.

8.6.1.2. This includes information about suspected abuse, neglect, or inadequate care provided by a parent, guardian, or custodian/caretaker.

8.6.1.3. Information about suspected unlawful discrimination and harassment, including any form of sexual and gender-based harassment, sexual abuse or sexual violence should be reported to the University’s Title IX Coordinator. The Title IX Coordinator may be reached in the Office for Equity and Diversity, Old Cafeteria Building Suite G-406, phone (252) 328-6804, or email oed@ecu.edu.

8.6.2. Every member of the University Community, including Authorized Staff, have a further obligation under North Carolina law to make a report to the director of the department of social services in the county where the youth resides or is found.

8.6.2.1. Contact the ECU police department at 252-328-5000.

8.6.3. No member of the University community, including Authorized Staff making a good faith report of suspected abuse or neglect, will be retaliated against in the terms and conditions of employment or educational programs or activities, as applicable.

8.7. Investigations

8.7.1. Investigations of allegations of child abuse or neglect, unlawful discrimination and harassment, sexual and gender-based harassment, sexual abuse or sexual violence will be conducted in accordance with the investigatory protocols of children service agencies, local law enforcement agencies, and the University.

8.8. Third Party Contractors

8.8.1. Third-party contractors engaging in covered programs or activities are required to meet the requirements of this regulation as a term of their contract, including background checks and training.

8.8.2. The covered program executing the contract involving a third-party contractor is responsible for registering third-party covered programs, and ensuring the applicable portions of this regulation are met. Such contracts, before signing, shall be approved by either the department of Materials Management or the Office of University Counsel.

8.9. University Resources

8.9.1. Program Directors are expected to ensure that proper controls are in place to account for and protect the resources of the University in the operation of all programs. Resources include money, equipment, space, supplies, data, and any other items used or accessed in the operation of a covered program. For example, fees that are charged and collected in the operation of a covered program are considered University resources.

8.9.2. Program Directors and their designees must incorporate basic internal controls into their standard practices. The basic expected controls include but are not necessarily limited to security of data, segregation of duties over handling of payments made by participants, issuing receipts for payments, reconciling payments received and deposits made, and retention of sufficient documentation to support all expenses incurred.

8.9.3. The YPCO will advise Program Directors and their designees regarding the resources that are available to assist in developing appropriate processes and controls over financial and other resources.

9.0. Youth Programs and Camps Advisory Board (YPCAB)
Key campus areas involved in the support of covered programs will be represented on the Board. Members will offer broad perspective from their various functional areas and advise the Provost, Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs, and YPCO on matters related to the conduct of covered programs. The YPCO will schedule and convene the YPAB, and maintain the record of actions.

9.1. Primary YPCAB member responsibilities include:

9.1.1. Meeting at least semi-annually (or more frequently if needed) to review covered programs conducted during the previous six months and those scheduled to occur in the future six months;

9.1.2. Reviewing emerging or ongoing compliance concerns with covered programs;

9.1.3. Proposing or reviewing changes to the Youth Programs and Camps Regulation, related reference documents, and educational materials;

9.1.4. Serving as supplemental expertise for the YPCO

9.2. YPAB membership should include, but not be limited to representatives from:

9.2.1. Division of Student Affairs – Youth Programs and Camps Office (Office of Record)

9.2.2. University Counsel

9.2.3. Campus Living and Dining

9.2.4. Campus Recreation and Wellness

9.2.5. Financial Services

9.2.6. Internal Audit – Advisory/Optional

9.2.7. Enterprise Risk Management

9.2.8. Risk Management and Insurance

9.2.9. Health Sciences Campus/BSOM/ECUP

9.2.10 Academic Affairs

9.2.11. College of Education

9.2.12. Disability Support Services

9.2.13. Human Resources

9.2.14. Athletics Department

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