Because minors are a particularly vulnerable population, Guilford College will protect the safety of individuals who are less than 18 years of age from abuse and neglect by a parent, guardian, caregiver, employees, volunteers and/or employees of programs sponsored by or affiliated with the College, through specifically-established processes, procedures and stringent requirements.
Purpose/Reason for Policy:
To balance the requirement that the College take extra precautions to safeguard and protect minor children from potential abuse while on the Guilford campus with the desire to create a welcoming and safe environment for all individuals visiting the campus, participating in College sponsored programs, or participating in third-party programs and activities on campus.
This policy applies to all College representatives (faculty, staff, independent contractors, volunteers and students) interacting with minors on campus and in College-sponsored or -affiliated events, programs, and activities off campus. It also applies to unaffiliated individuals who interact with minors on campus.
All programs intended for minors [athletic camps, academic camps, other programs and activities] fall within the scope of this policy, whether they are limited to one-time activities, ongoing programs, or involve the housing of minors in residence halls.
- Minor: Any person under the age of 18 who is not enrolled or accepted for enrollment at the College.
- Abuse or Neglect of Minors: The infliction of physical or mental injury, sexual abuse or exploitation, or negligent treatment or maltreatment of a person under age 18.
- Sexual Abuse: Engaging in or attempting to engage in a sexual act or sexual contact with a minor, causing or attempting to cause a minor to engage in sexually explicit conduct, or exposing the minor to sexually explicit conduct.
- Neglect: The failure to make reasonable efforts to prevent the exposure to risk or infliction of harm or abuse upon a person under age 18.
- Authorized Adult: An individual age 18 and older, paid or unpaid, who interacts with, supervises, chaperones, or otherwise oversees minors in program activities or in College facilities. The term “authorized adult” does not include individuals who provide volunteer services that are limited in nature (such as a lecture or presentation), or who have no direct individual contact with, or oversight of, minors.
- College-sponsored programs and activities: Programs or activities that Guilford operates or sponsors or in which Guilford students, employees, vendors, volunteers or subcontractors engaged through their College roles. This includes but is not limited to camps, sports clinics, classes, events, workshops, athletic competitions, and fundraisers.
- Non-College-sponsored programs or activities: Programs or activities that are under the direction or control of an external organization using Guilford College facilities through an official arrangement or agreement with the College.
- Program leader: The person primarily responsible for the management, oversight, and implementation of a College-run or -affiliated program for minors.
- Program staff: Individuals working under the supervision of a program leader.
- Host student: An enrolled Guilford College students who hosts a prospective student overnight. Host students are not considered authorized adults and are not required to complete a criminal background check, but they are required to complete specific Guilford College training before hosting prospective students overnight on campus.
The following standards have been developed by the College to assure the protection of minors participating in programs and activities that are occurring on campus and/or under the control or direction of the College, regardless of location.
College-Sponsored Programs and Activities
Program Approval: Every College-sponsored program must be reviewed and approved by the appropriate President’s Cabinet member as soon as possible prior to the first scheduled date of participation by minors.
Background checks: To ensure that children and teens are supported by authorized adults in a safe and secure environment, all programs must conduct a criminal background check (including a Sex Offender Registry check) on all new employees and volunteers who work with, interact, instruct or otherwise directly supervise minors. Current employees who assume new duties that cause them to work with, interact, instruct, or directly supervise minors (when they previously did not) are also subject to background checks. At a minimum, programs must conduct criminal background checks on returning employees and/or volunteers who work with minors at least every two years.
All background checks shall be conducted by the Department of Human Resources or a contractor/third party acting under its direction, in accordance with the College’s Background Check policy. Background checks must be completed and evaluated by the Director of Human Resources and the program leader prior to the volunteer or employee beginning work with minors. That evaluation will consider the nature of the crime, its relation to the potential job, and the time that has passed since the offense occurred in making any employment decision.
Code of Conduct: Program staff are expected to serve as positive role models for children and teens and act in a caring, honest, respectful and responsible manner that is consistent with the mission and values of the College. Program staff are required to comply with all applicable laws and College policy and are expected to perform their duties with the highest degree of integrity, honesty, and good judgment.
Program leaders and others working with minors must monitor the minors' behavior to prevent interruptions to College business or instruction.
Training: Program leaders must ensure that employees, students, vendors, sub-contractors and volunteers complete required pre-requisites and applicable training. At a minimum, training should include:
- Basic warning signs of abuse or neglect of minors.
- Guidelines for protecting minors from emotional and physical abuse and neglect.
- Requirements and procedures for reporting incidents of suspected abuse or neglect or improper conduct.
Guilford College requires Program leaders to complete an online course entitled, “Protect Children” that covers these required elements.
Supervision: All minor volunteers who are working with minors must be supervised at all times by a Guilford College employee.
Programs that are not sponsored by the College must comply with College facility usage requirements for children and teen programming and must, at minimum:
- Provide evidence to the College of $1 million of general liability insurance coverage that lists “Guilford College” as an additional insured party.
- Certify that they have conducted criminal background checks including a sex offender registry check within the previous 12 months on all volunteers and program or event staff and that these background checks did not reveal any prior criminal convictions (other than things like minor traffic violations) that would prevent them from safely supervising minors that would prevent them from safely working with minors. Questions should be referred to the director of Human Resources.
- Provide appropriate adult supervision by an authorized adult for the children or teens under their care. All programs involving minors must be supervised by at least two or more authorized adults or by their parent(s) or legal guardian(s) at all times.
College Sponsored Programs and Activities:
Program Approval: Prior to the first scheduled date of participation by minors, College-sponsored programs must be reviewed and approved by the appropriate President’s Cabinet member. The program leader should provide the following information:
- The approximate number of minor children associated with the program and their ages.
- Will the College be providing transportation to minor children?
- Will the program include an overnight stay?
- The number of authorized adult chaperones that will supervise the minor children.
Prospective students: High school seniors who schedule an overnight campus visit are required to sign an overnight contract (the parent must also sign if the prospective student is under 18 years of age). Students hosting a prospective student overnight are required to attend training given by Residential Life and the Admission Office staff and sign a contract before hosting prospective students on campus overnight.
Programs that are not sponsored by the College must complete the Guilford College Facility Rental Application and must comply with the following:
- At a minimum, the required criminal background check and Sexual Offender Registry check must consist of a search conducted by a qualified background check service provider, and include a review of criminal court records of all counties of residence based on the authorized adult’s past seven years of residential addresses.
- All programs involving minors must be supervised by at least two or more authorized adults or by their parent(s) or legal guardian(s) at all times. Recommended standards for overnight programs:
One authorized adult for every 6 children ages 4 and 5.
One authorized adult for every 8 children ages 6 to 8.
One authorized adult for every 10 children ages 9 to 14.
One authorized adult for every 12 children ages 15 to 17
Roles and Responsibilities:
- Any member of the Guilford College Community: Both as a matter of College policy and North Carolina State law, anyone who reasonably suspects that a minor has been abused or neglected by a parent, guardian, caregiver, volunteer or employee has an absolute obligation to report that suspicion to the Director of Public Safety. In a situation in which a minor is at immediate risk of harm or the victim of a criminal act, please contact the Department of Public Safety or dial 9-1-1.
- Director of Public Safety: Receive and respond to any reports of abuse or neglect of a minor; make a report to the County Department of Social Services (“DSS”) and to other College departments as appropriate.
- Any campus constituent seeking to conduct research with minors: Obtain approval through established Institutional Review Board procedures before conducting research involving minors associated with the campus. Contact the Director of Institutional Research and Effectiveness at 336-316-2499 for additional information.
- Athletics: Assure that all athletic campus and rentals of athletics facilities comply with this policy.
- Conferences & Events office: Assure that all requests for rental of College facilities comply with this policy.
Depending upon the severity of the circumstances, violation of this policy may result in:
- Permission to bring minor[s] to campus in the future may be rescinded
- Removal from campus
- Other corrective action in accordance with established procedures for staff and faculty
- A report to the appropriate federal, state or local authorities
Other Related Policies, Regulations, Statutes and Documents:
- Background Checks
- North Carolina Division of Social Services - Child Protective Services
- Summer Camps [Athletics Handbook]
- Rental of College Facilities
- Facility Rental Application
Approval Authority: The Guilford College President
Responsible Office: Erin Brownlee Dell, Chief of Staff, Alumni House, 336-316-2275, firstname.lastname@example.org
Revision History: New Policy approved by Cabinet 12-18-2019