The University of Alabama, Division of Finance and Operations

Youth Protection Policy for External Entities/Third-party Programs

Unit:  Compliance, Ethics, and Regulatory Affairs
Contact: Dr. Marcy Huey
Title:  Executive Director for Institutional Compliance
Effective Date: 9/1/2017
Revision Date: 01/21/2022


 
 

Purpose

The University of Alabama (“the University” or “UA”) is committed to providing a safe and welcoming experience for minors. Faculty, staff, students, student employees, graduate assistants, contractors, and volunteers are therefore expected to hold themselves to the highest standards of conduct when interacting with minors.
This policy establishes requirements for those external entities (third parties) who offer or conduct any activities or programs that include minors (“Youth Programs”) on the University of Alabama campus or on behalf of the University. The purpose of this policy is to promote the safety and welfare of minors who participate in Youth Programs, including such activities as camps, conferences, research and outreach activities, among others. This policy applies to all personnel working in Youth Programs with an external entity on the University of Alabama campus or on behalf of the University. In addition to the requirements of this policy, all personnel must adhere to applicable law and other applicable University policies.
 

Policy

For purposes of this policy, a “minor” is either:
  1. Any person under 18 years of age.
  2. Any person under the age of 19 years who is in need of protective services and does not qualify for adult protective services under Chapter 9 of Title 38 in Alabama law.
Except for the exclusions listed in this policy, all third-party Youth Programs, including any third-party virtual programs making use of University systems or involving University personnel in their role as a University employee, are within the scope of this policy. This includes, but is not limited to, activities or programs that include minors that operate on campus or in University facilities, including, but not limited to, overnight programs, instructional programs, day camps, academic activities, and sports camps. 
This policy does not apply to:
  • Events or programs offered by an external entity in which the minor is accompanied by a parent, guardian, teacher, or coach at all times. (This exception does not apply to virtual programs.)
  • Medical care given to minors in an in-patient or out-patient setting in the University Medical Center or other University patient-care setting.
  • Normal operations of licensed childcare facilities or programs. These facilities or programs are expected to comply with all applicable laws and regulations and are outside the scope of this policy. However, separate camps, programs, or activities sponsored by these facilities could be subject to this policy.
All areas/programs are still subject to all other relevant UA policies and procedures, including the UA Child Abuse Reporting Policy and Procedures

Any external entity planning a program or activity on the UA campus that involves minors or may involve minors in any capacity must submit a Contract Request Form to the Office of Compliance, Ethics, and Regulatory Affairs (CERA) (205-348-2334; youthprotection@ua.edu) for review and assessment of the specific program requirements, as outlined in the Guide for Third-Party Activities or Programs with Minor Participants (Guide). Aside from the limited exceptions noted herein, all third-party Youth Programs will be subject to this policy and to the more detailed instructions outlined in the Guide. All program staff must abide by the requirements outlined in this policy and in the Guide when working in Youth Programs and are expected to comply with all relevant policies and directives to the satisfaction of the University. Detailed information and document templates are available in the Third-Party Program Toolkit. Any behavior or contact between program staff and program participants that violate approved program activities, established law, UA’s Child Abuse Reporting Policy and Procedures, or other relevant UA policies is prohibited.
  1. Parents or guardians should not leave minors unsupervised on University property unless the minor is engaged in a properly constituted Youth Program, as provided herein and outlined in the Guide. 
  2. External entities are required to submit a Contract Request Form to CERA for evaluation to determine if a program can be allowed at UA. The request will be reviewed based on approved UA or departmental criteria, details of the request, and space availability for the proposed dates of the program. Approval or denial of the Contract Request Form is in CERA's sole and absolute discretion. Programs that are denied can submit a one-time appeal request via the Youth Program Request for Appeal if denial is due to criteria other than space availability. Additional detailed information on the Contract Request process as well as the Appeal Request process is available in the Guide. Applicants may not enter into any contracts related to the proposed program prior to receiving approval from CERA. 
  3. When determining space availability, priority will be given to UA programs. Third-party programs will be considered only as space is available and only if the program does not interfere with or cause a disruption of services to UA programs, impact turn over time, or add unnecessary costs for preparation.
  4. Generally 3rd party groups are allowed overnight accommodations in June, but will be considered on a case by case basis based upon availability in July. 
  5. All third-party Youth Programs must have an approved contract with The University of Alabama. This contract must be executed by all parties prior to advertising the program or accepting participants. 
  6. Third-party activities or programs must provide evidence of insurance coverage in accordance with the requirements outlined in the Insurance for Third-Party Programs, unless the requirements are waived by the Office of Risk Management.
  7. A member of University personnel or a UA department must sponsor third-party Youth Programs in order for the program to be held on the UA campus. The Program Sponsor maintains responsibility for the program throughout the registration process, during the program activities, and until the program has concluded. The sponsor should maintain an up-to-date listing of those programs for which they are responsible. Such lists should include each program’s dates, times, locations, and the contact information for the third-party program director. A detailed discussion of the expectations and responsibilities of a Program Sponsor is available in the Guide
  8. All Youth Programs must submit a registration form and all requested documentation to CERA (205-348-2334; youthprotection@ua.edu) pursuant to the detailed process outlined in the Guide. Program registration must be submitted and approved before beginning to advertise or accept participant registrations, and no less than 8 weeks in advance of the program start date. Detailed information on required documentation is available in the Guide and on the Youth Protection webpage. Failure to comply with this policy or the requirements of the Guide may result in the activity or program being denied approval.
  9. All external Youth Programs are responsible for meeting the background screening requirements outlined in the Guide. Each program is responsible for submitting a notarized certification statement (the Background Check Certification Statement) attesting to compliance with this requirement. Detailed information on required screening and elimination criteria for background checks is available in the Guide
  10. Those working in Youth Programs who witness child abuse or neglect, or those who have information that would lead a reasonable person to believe a minor has recently encountered or has in the past encountered abuse, neglect, or a substantial threat of such abuse or neglect, must follow reporting procedures established in the UA Child Abuse Reporting Policy and Procedures. Any person who makes a good faith report of child abuse or neglect shall not be subjected to retaliation. Further, any person or entity that makes a good faith report of child abuse or neglect is immune under Alabama law from any liability—civil or criminal—that might otherwise be incurred or imposed.
  11. Any non-criminal incidents either between adult and minor or between minors should be reported to CERA. These incidents can include bullying, sexual relationships between minors, self-harm, and harassment or discrimination.
  12. Individuals working in activities or programs for and including minors must successfully complete required training before working in such activities or programs.
  13. Youth Programs may be subject to both announced and unannounced site visits coordinated by CERA (205-348-2334; youthprotection@ua.edu). Any suspected violation of approved program guidelines or University policy will be subject to investigation by the appropriate University officials. Youth Programs must cooperate with investigations when they occur.
  14. Compliance with this policy, the Guide, and any other relevant UA policy is required as a condition of operating programs or activities involving minors at UA. Failure to comply with UA requirements can result in the loss of current or future program privileges at The University of Alabama, as well as other potential sanctions.
  15. Individuals working with minors should not be alone with minors. If an activity requires any type of one-to-one interaction (tutoring, private lessons, interviews, etc.) these interactions must take place in a location that is open, observable, and interruptible. Programs that anticipate these types of interactions must provide a description of the activity and plans for mitigating risk.
  16. No Youth Programs sponsored by, advertising, or recruiting for another college or university will be permitted on the UA campus without special approval. Approval can be requested utilizing the Contract Request Form.
The application and requirements of this policy may be amended as they apply to a particular event if necessary, in order to further the University’s mission, as may be determined on a case by case basis in consultation with appropriate University leadership.

Definitions

  • Activities or programs that include minors: Any (1) event, operation, or endeavor operated, conducted, or organized by any unit or organization supported by or affiliated with the University or occurring on University property, (2) that includes minors, and (3) during which parents, guardians, teachers, or coaches are not expected to be responsible for the care, custody, or control of the minors at all times. These include third-party activities or programs (defined below).
  • Minor: For the purposes of this Policy, a “minor” is either: 
    • Any person under 18 years of age.
    • Any person under the age of 19 years who is in need of protective services and does not qualify for adult protective services under Chapter 9 of Title 38 in Alabama law.
  • Program Director: A program director is the individual on-site who is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the activity or program and who oversees program staff.
  • Program Participant: A program participant is a minor attending a program or activity affiliated with the University or third-party program.
  • Program Sponsor: A member of University personnel or a UA department must sponsor third-party Youth Programs in order for the program to be held on UA campus. The Program Sponsor maintains responsibility for the program throughout the registration process, during the program activities, and until the program has ended. To avoid any conflict of interest, no individual or department should sponsor a third-party program for the sole or primary purpose of financial benefit. The third-party program’s objectives should reflect the academic or recreational goals of the Program Sponsor’s department or program. Contact CERA for assistance making appropriate sponsor arrangements.
  • Program Staff: Program staff consists of both paid and unpaid individuals who have direct contact with activity or program participants. This may be faculty, staff, students, student employees, graduate assistants, contractors, or volunteers. Program staff are responsible for planning, teaching, coordinating, and carrying out activities and the supervision of participants in the activities or programs.
  • Third-party or External Entity activities and programs: Third-party activities or programs are Youth Programs that are offered by an individual or entity that is not directly affiliated with The University of Alabama, are not sponsored by the University, and that have a participant group made up, in whole or in part, of minors. These programs complete all or part of their educational and business purpose on UA property and the third-party individual or entity assumes primary responsibility for the supervision of the minors. These programs may or may not collect fees from participants.
  • The Guide: The University of Alabama Guide for Third-Party Activities or Programs with Minor Participants.
  • UA Program Contact: This individual serves as the liaison between UA and the third-party personnel. The UA program contact must be a full- time UA employee and is responsible for the third-party activities or programs.
  • Volunteer: Any individual working in an unpaid capacity in an activity or program for or including minors. 

Scope

This policy applies to all third-party program directors, program staff and volunteers, as well as all UA personnel (faculty, staff, students, student employees, graduate assistants, and volunteers), and any supporting contractors working in third-party activities or programs that include minors.
 
 

Office of the Vice President of Finance and Operations

Approved by Cheryl Mowdy, Assistant Vice President for Finance and Operations, 01/21/2022