Policy Statement

To provide guidelines for appropriate protection and supervision of minors participating in University-sponsored programs, in programs operated by outside entities held in University facilities, and/or programs housed in University facilities. This policy does not apply to general public events where authorized parents/guardians are invited and expected to provide appropriate protection and supervision of minors.

All Marywood University employees, Authorized Adults and/or Required Reporters are subject to the terms of this policy.

I. Definitions

This policy is subject to the following definitions:

Authorized Adult – An individual, age 18 and older, paid or unpaid, who is authorized to interact with, supervise, chaperone, or otherwise oversee minors in program activities, or recreational and/or residential facilities.  Authorized Adults are considered to be Required Reporters as defined by Pennsylvania law.

ChildLine – An organizational unit of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Department of Public Welfare which operates a statewide toll-free system for receiving reports of suspected child abuse refers such reports for investigation and maintains the reports in the appropriate file.

Direct Contact – Position which exercises direct supervision, guidance, or control of minors.

Minor – A person under the age of eighteen (18) who is not enrolled in a credit-bearing program at the University.

One-On-One Contact –Interaction between any Authorized Adult and a minor without at least one other Authorized Adult, Authorized parent or Legal Guardian present.

Programs – Programs and activities offered by any academic or administrative unit of the University, or by non-University groups using University facilities. 

Required Reporters – Persons who, in the course of their employment, occupation or practice of their profession come into contact with children and have reasonable cause to suspect, on the basis of their medical, professional or other training and experience, that a child coming before them in their professional or official capacity is a victim of child abuse.

Sponsoring Unit – The academic or administrative unit of the University that offers a program or gives approval for use of University facilities.

University Facilities – Facilities owned by, or under the control of, the University.

II. Duty to Report Child Assault, Abuse and Neglect

If any person, Authorized Adult or a Required Reporter, (collectively “Reporter”) has reasonable cause to suspect that a minor has been subject to assault, abuse or neglect, (“Child Abuse”) that person shall immediately notify Campus Safety by calling 570.348.6242.

Campus Safety shall be responsible for, and have the obligation to immediately make, a Report of the suspected child abuse to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s ChildLine (800-932-0313). 

Campus Safety may not make an independent determination of whether to report a suspected incident of child assault, abuse or neglect. 

Campus Safety shall notify the person who reported the abuse to them immediately when the report is made to the ChildLine. 

If Campus Safety is unavailable, or if Campus Safety or his/her designee does not call ChildLine to make such report, then that person shall immediately call ChildLine (800- 932-0313) to make such a report.  Reports shall be accepted by ChildLine or the county agency regardless of whether the person identifies himself. 

Notwithstanding this policy, nothing prohibits an Authorized Adult, a Marywood University employee, a Required Reporter or any other individual from making a report directly to ChildLine (800-932-0313).   

In addition to other reports they make, Required Reporters shall report suspected child abuse to ChildLine.

Within 48 hours of reporting to ChildLine, Campus Safety shall make a written report on forms provided by the Department of Public Welfare to the County Agency in the County where the suspected child abuse occurred. 

Campus Safety shall be responsible for notifying within 48 hours Marywood University Senior Director of Safety, Security and Compliance (570-340-6075) and the respective Program Director of the suspected child abuse, assault or neglect unless Campus Safety believes that the Program Director is involved with the alleged abuse.

All persons subject to the terms of this policy must make all reasonable efforts to immediately remove minors from dangerous or potentially dangerous situations, irrespective of any other limitation or requirement.

The University does not retaliate against any individual who has a reasonable cause to suspect that a minor has been subject to assault, abuse or neglect and who reported such an incident.

III. Policy for Programs Involving Minors Operated by any Unit of Marywood University

Sponsoring units operating a Program involving minors (not including minors matriculated as undergraduate students) shall operate the Program in accordance with the following guidelines:

  1. Measures to prevent abuse of minors:

    1. Require background investigations of Authorized Adults and Required Reporters who have interaction with minors. The Program Director must ensure these investigations are completed prior to the start of the Program.

    2. New hires will be required to complete the University background process at the time of hire.

    3. The background investigation process referred to herein requires that individuals must complete the PA State Criminal History Record and PA Department of Public Welfare Child Abuse Report. If an individual has not been a Pennsylvania resident for at least two years, then the individual must complete an FBI criminal history report clearance. All reports must be dated within 6 months of the initial date of assignment.

      This requirement applies to current employees who have not previously had a background check completed. All individuals whether paid or in a volunteer capacity must comply with this requirement.

    4. All Authorized Adults and Required Reporters must also disclose, in writing and within 72 hours, any arrests and/or convictions that have occurred since the date of a background check and/or clearance. Failure to so disclose may result in an Authorized Adult and/or Required Reporter not participating in a program on the University campus and, for University employees may result in disciplinary action, up to and including, termination of employment.

    5. The cost for completion of PA State Criminal History, PA Department of Public Welfare Child Abuse Report, and/or FBI criminal history report clearances for non-employees will be the responsibility of the individual.

    6. If such a background investigation indicates a record of sexually-based offenses or crimes against minors, that individual may not participate in the Program.

    7. If other offenses are revealed by such a background investigation, the Program Head must contact the Senior Director of Safety, Security and Compliance, the Assistant Vice President for Human Resources, and the appropriate Vice President or his/her designee, who collectively will determine whether participation in that Program by that individual can occur.

    8. Background investigations must be valid and repeated every 3 years.

    9. Establish a procedure for the notification of the minor’s authorized parent/legal guardian in case of an emergency, including medical or behavioral problems, natural disasters or other significant Program disruptions. Authorized Adults with the Program, as well as participants and their authorized parents/legal guardians, must be advised of this procedure in writing prior to the participation of the minors in the Program.

    10. Provide a list of all Program Participants and a directory of Program Staff to Campus Safety. (The University will provide this contact information to the sponsors). This list shall include each participant’s name, local room assignment (if applicable), gender, age (if a minor), and phone number(s) of authorized parent or legal guardian, as well as emergency contact information.

    11. Provide information to authorized parent or legal guardian detailing the manner in which the minor participant can be contacted during the Program.

    12. Obtain all media and liability releases as part of the program registration process. All data gathered shall be confidential, is subject to records retention guidelines, and shall not be disclosed, except as provided by law.

    13. Require that Authorized Adults participating in Programs and activities covered by the policy not engage in the following conduct unless required by exigent circumstances:

      1. Have one-on-one contact with minors: when feasible, there should be two or more Authorized Adults present during activities when minors are present.

      2. Enter a minor's room, bathroom facility, or similar area when that minor is staying overnight in University housing without another Authorized Adult in attendance, except under emergency circumstances.

      3. Share accommodations with minors with the exception of minors' authorized parents or guardians sharing accommodations with their own children.

      4. Engage in abusive conduct of any kind toward, or in the presence of, a minor.

      5. Strike, hit, administer corporal punishment to, or touch in an inappropriate or illegal manner, any minor.

      6. Pick up minors from, or drop off minors, at their homes, other than the driver's child(ren), except as specifically authorized in writing by the minor's authorized parent or legal guardian.

      7. Provide alcohol or illegal drugs to any minor. Authorized Adults also shall not provide prescription drugs or any medication to a minor.

      8. Make sexual materials in any form available to minors participating in programs or activities covered by this Policy or assist them in any way in gaining access to such materials.

    14. All Authorized Adults participating in a program covered by this Policy should attend University-sponsored annual training on the conduct requirements of this Policy, on protecting participants from abusive emotional and physical treatment, and on appropriate or required reporting of incidents of improper conduct to the proper authorities. See www.marywood.ethicspoint.com
      for links to sponsored online training.

    15. If an allegation of inappropriate conduct has been made against an Authorized Adult participating in a program s/he shall discontinue any further participation in that program unless or until such allegation has been satisfactorily resolved by the Program Director or designee. Marywood employees are additionally subject to discipline, up to and including termination of employment.

  2. Measures to Maintain Adequate Supervision of Minors:

    1. Whenever feasible, all activities involving minors (with the exception of academic classroom activities) should be supervised by at least two or more Authorized Adults or by the minor’s authorized parent(s) or legal guardian(s) at all times.  Some of the factors to consider in determining "adequate supervision" are the number and age of participants; the activity(ies) involved; type of housing, if applicable; and the age and experience of the supervisors.

    2. If applicable, programs must adopt and implement rules and regulations for proper supervision of minors in University housing. The following should be included:

      1. Guidelines on adequate number of staff for supervision of minors in particular activities.

      2. Written permission signed by the authorized parent/guardian for the minor to reside in University housing, including contact information for authorized parents and a duly executed emergency medical authorization to be given to the Group Supervisor.

      3. Guests of participants, if allowed, (other than an authorized parent/legal guardian and other program participants) are restricted to visitation in the building lobby, and only during approved hours specified by the program.

      4. The program must comply with all security measures and procedures specified by Marywood University Housing and Residence Life and Marywood Campus Safety.

      5. Pre-enrollment visit programs for High School students housed overnight in residence halls must be registered with the Marywood University Office of Residence Life.

  3. Measures to Address Medical and Emergency Situations Involving Minors:

    1. Authorization of, and Access to, Emergency Medical Services

      1. A medical treatment authorization form, release of medical information (HIPAA), emergency treatment and general medical liability waiver form should be completed by the authorized parent or guardian of each minor participant.

      2. Programs must arrange to access emergency medical services at all locations.  Medical care appropriate for the nature of the events, expected attendance and other variables should be taken into consideration. Consultation may be obtained from Campus Safety, Risk Management or Health Services.

      3. This section does not apply to programs which involve only academic classroom activities.

    2. Distribution or Administration of Medications

      1. Marywood University employees may not administer or distribute medication to any minor participant.

      2. Appropriate refrigeration will be provided for medication if requested.

      3. In the event that any medicine cannot be self-administered, the participant or their authorized parent(s) or legal guardian must arrange for administration with an independent health care professional in advance of the participant’s arrival.

    3. Programs must also follow appropriate safety measures approved by the Safety, Security and Compliance and Research and Sponsored Programs offices.

    4. Establish a procedure for notification of authorized parent/legal guardian in an emergency as set forth in III A. 9.

  4. Rules and Regulations:

    1. Develop and make available to participants the rules and disciplinary measures applicable to the program. Program participants and staff must abide by all University rules and regulations and may be removed from the program for non-compliance with rules and regulations. The following must be included in program rules:

      1. Possession or use of alcohol and other drugs, fireworks, guns and other weapons is prohibited.

      2. Staff and participants must park vehicles in accordance with University parking regulations.

      3. Rules and procedures governing when and under what circumstances participants may leave University property during the program.

      4. Violence, including sexual abuse or harassment, is prohibited.

      5. Hazing of any kind is prohibited.  Bullying, including verbal, physical, and cyber bullying is prohibited.

      6. Theft of property regardless of owner will not be tolerated.

      7. Use of tobacco products is permitted only in designated areas.

      8. Misuse or damage of University property is prohibited. Charges will be assessed against those participants who are responsible for damage to or misusing University property.

      9. Inappropriate use of cameras, imaging, and digital devices is prohibited, including use of such devices in showers, restrooms, or other areas where privacy is expected by participants.

IV. Policy for Programs Involving Minors Operated by Outside Parties on Marywood University Property

Any program involving minors operated by outside parties on Marywood University property shall be operated consistent with the guidelines of this Policy. All contracts for the use of University facilities by outside parties for programs involving minors shall reference this requirement and provide a link to this Policy.

Authorized personnel/signatories for non-University groups using University facilities must provide to the Sponsoring Unit satisfactory evidence of compliance with all of the requirements of this Policy at least thirty (30) days prior to the scheduled use of University facilities, and they must sign and approve the agreement for use of University facilities, if applicable.

12/05/12 - Approved by the President of the University