The FAQ guidance below is intended to accompany the Safety of Minors Policy and related requirements for OSU programs and personnel.

In addition to this FAQ, please refer to the Safety of Minors Policy Flowchart.

 

General Policy Guidance

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Mandatory Reporting of Child Abuse*

*FAQs for mandatory reporting can be found here

Who is required by this policy to report child abuse or neglect?

 
 
 
 

 

 

1. What is the Safety of Minors Policy and why was it adopted?

University Policy 07-040 (Safety of Minors) became official OSU policy on 10/23/2019. The purpose of this policy is to promote the safety of all minors who participate in programs and activities both on and off campus and to establish requirements for youth programs affiliated with or supported by the university.

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2. Does the Safety of Minors Policy apply to me?

The policy applies to university employees and volunteers who interact with minors in their capacity as representatives of the university. For a graphical representation, please refer to the Safety of Minors Policy Flowchart.

In addition, the policy includes contract provisions for university employees or units that work with non-university entities, individuals or third parties operating youth programs on university property.

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3. What is a 'youth program?'

A youth program is any event or activity that involves minors (under age 18) who are unaccompanied by their parent or guardian.

This includes university-operated programs, which may take place on or off campus and are offered by a university unit or OSU representative, or university-hosted programs, which take place on university property but are operated by a third party contractor, vendor, student-run organization or other non-university entity.

Examples of youth programs include:

  • On-campus activities with minors, including overnight camps, childcare, instructional programs, day camps, academic camps, recreation camps/clinics and athletic camps;
  • Off-campus activities with minors that engage university representatives in an official capacity, such as outreach, 4-H events and community service activities;
  • Internships and volunteer opportunities involving minors that operate outside of a structured youth program or activity (e.g., job shadow or intern in a lab).

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4. Are there any exceptions to the Safety of Minors Policy?

The following types of activities are not considered 'youth programs' under the policy but remain subject to the provision restricting One-on-One Interactions, and other laws, university policies and standards, and procedures, including but not limited to mandatory child abuse reporting:

  • Events open to the public that are not specifically intended for a youth audience, but which minors may attend, and during which parents or guardians are expected to be responsible for the direct supervision of the minors at all times.
  • Employment of minors who are working for the university, when the minors are not also participants in a youth program.
  • Activities and programs in which minors are serving exclusively as subjects in research that has been approved by the Human Research Protection Program and Institutional Review Board (IRB), and when the minors are not also participants in a youth program.
  • Undergraduate or graduate academic degree programs, classes or activities where all individuals under the age of 18 are enrolled for academic credit or have been accepted for enrollment.

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5. Who is required by this policy to report child abuse and neglect?

All university employees, regardless of their affiliation with or involvement in youth programs, must follow mandatory reporting procedures if they have reasonable cause to suspect child abuse or neglect.

Separate from any legal duty, non-employees and volunteers acting as youth program personnel or support personnel are required by this policy to report reasonably suspected child abuse discovered while performing duties related to the program.

Additional FAQs for mandatory reporting can be found here.

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6. Which activities need to be registered, and who is responsible for registration?

Any youth program that engages a university representative in an official capacity, or which utililizes OSU property, resources or brand, must be registered by the college or departmental unit that is operating or hosting the activity.

The sponsoring unit must identify a person-in-charge, who is responsible for registration and ensuring compliance and overall administration of a youth program, including programs operated by non-university entities.

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7. What is the registration process?

The registration process is outlined here.

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8. How often do events or activities need to be registered?

Registration for ongoing programs should be completed annually.

Registration for one-time or seasonal programs should be completed at least 30 days prior to the proposed start date of the program.

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9. What training is required for faculty/staff/volunteers involved in OSU youth programs?

An overview of minimum training requirements can be found here.

All youth program personnel must complete university-approved training annually, in one of two ways:

  • The Office of Youth Safety & Compliancee provides online training content that meets university standards for all employees and volunteers whose work involves minors.
  • If a college or unit chooses to utilize its own training resources, the content must cover the following topics:
     
    • Recognizing signs of physical, emotional, and sexual abuse
    • Reporting suspected child abuse and neglect
    • How to help prevent child abuse
    • All requirements of the Safety of Minors Policy

 

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10. How can someone access the youth protection online training content? 

The following courses are currently available in Bridge, which requires ONID login to access:

Mandatory Reporting of Child Abuse - Critical training available to all OSU employees.

Shine a Light: Protecting Children on Campus From Sexual Abuse (10 min) - This short video covers the warning signs of sexual abuse by adults, specific locations to keep an eye on, and concrete steps for reporting incidents or suspicions.

Identifying and Reporting Sexual Misconduct (30 min) - Covers topics such as predators, codes of conduct, and reporting.

Hiring Staff Who Work With Minors (30 min) - Intended for hiring supervisors and/or individuals responsible for screening and selecting youth program staff and volunteers. Covers topics such as hiring practices and background checks, investigations, and discipline.

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11. Who is required to complete a criminal history check?

Criminal history checks are required for certain individuals working in programs and activities involving minors, including university employees and volunteers who meet the following criteria:

  • Those whose position description mentions working with minors.
  • Those whose position description does not mention working with minors, but who will be serving as authorized adults for a youth program.
  • Those who will be participating overnight in an overnight program with minors.
  • Those with other types of security-sensitive access, as determined by the Criminal History Check Crosswalk. This includes, but is not limited to: anyone who performs functions or duties that require interaction with minors in a private or unsupervised setting, personnel who will have access to youth personal information through registration, and personnel collecting registration fees.

Additional FAQs related to criminal history checks can be found here.

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12. How often is a criminal history check required?

Criminal history checks must be completed for all authorized adults before they are allowed direct access to minors in a youth program, and must be renewed every 2 years.

Additional FAQs related to criminal history checks can be found here.

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13. What are the requirements for non-university operators or third party entities offering youth programs on campus?

Sponsoring units working with non-university organizations and entities running youth programs on university property must operate under an approved OSU contract or use agreement.

Such agreements must include, at minimum, language to address compliance with incident reporting, insurance requirements, and criminal history check protocol that meets or exceeds the university’s minimum requirements.

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14. What is the university's policy on One-on-One Interactions?

One-on-one interactions between a minor and an employee or authorized adult (who is not the minor’s parent or guardian) must occur within an observable or interruptible distance from another adult and should only take place in open, well-illuminated areas.

This provision applies to OSU employees regardless of their involvement in youth programs.

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