Policy on Protection of Minors

Title

Policy on Protection of Minors

Introduction

Purpose

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (“UNC‑CH” or “University”) strives to create a welcoming and safe environment for all individuals visiting University property or participating in University programs. This Policy on the Protection of Minors (“Policy”) reinforces this expectation by establishing standards, requirements, and procedures that specifically focus on protecting the safety of individuals who are under the age of 18 from Child Abuse, Neglect or Violent Offense by a parent, guardian, caretaker, peer, non-custodial adult or Covered Program Staff member.

Scope of Applicability

University Community Members as well as outside Third Parties (including contractors) who are authorized to use University facilities or property must comply with this Policy. The term "Policy" also includes University Standard on Protection of Minors and University Procedures for Protection of Minors.

As used in this Policy the term “Minors” applies to persons under the age of 18 who are not enrolled or matriculated students of the University. All portions of this Policy apply to the protection of Minors participating in Covered Programs, with the exception of students who are enrolled at UNC-CH (“Enrolled Students”). UNC-CH Enrolled Students who are under the age of 18 are covered by University policies applicable to students and applicable State laws involving the protection of individuals under the age of 18 and are not subject to the remaining requirements of this Policy.

The “Reporting Suspected Child Abuse or Neglect Procedure” associated with this Policy applies to the protection of anyone under the age of 18 (including Enrolled Students) while those individuals are present on University property or while participating in Covered Programs. University programs for Enrolled Students students under the age of 18 will not require registration with the UNC-CH Protection of Minors Office as a Covered Program.

All contracts for the services of independent contractors (including solo and Third Party contractors) who will have Direct Contact or Virtual Contact with Minors as part of a Covered Program must include a provision that requires compliance with all of the provisions of this Policy.

Policy

Policy Statement

Duty to Report

Both as a matter of University policy and North Carolina state law, any member of the University Community who reasonably suspects that a Minor has experienced Child Abuse, Neglect or Violent Offense (Per G.S. 14-318.6) by a parent, guardian, caretaker, peer, non-custodial adult or Covered Program Staff member has an absolute obligation to report that suspicion to:

  1. the UNC-CH Police Department; and
  2. the UNC-CH Protection of Minors Coordinator.

Such individuals are known as “Mandated Reporters.”

All suspected incidents of Child Abuse, Neglect or Violent Offense must be reported immediately to the UNC-CH Police Department, regardless of the residence of the Minor involved or the suspected perpetrator.

In the case of an Enrolled Student, if there is uncertainty as to whether the student is a under the age of 18, the Mandated Reporter must contact the Dean of Students to confirm the student’s age, except in an emergency, in which case the Mandated Reporter must contact 9-1-1.

In addition, any adult who (a) is a member of a national governing body or a facility under the jurisdiction of a "national governing body" or at any event sanctioned by a national governing body, and (b) is authorized by such members to interact with youth athletes is required to immediately report suspicions of abuse to the appropriate law enforcement agencies and the US Center for Safe Sport. Therefore, all employees and volunteers working with youth could be considered mandatory reporters under the federal act.

Additional Requirements If the Covered Program Staff Member Involved in Suspected Child Abuse, Neglect, or Violent Offense is a UNC-CH Employee, Student, or Student Employee

Mandated Reporters have additional reporting responsibilities beyond what is outlined in the "Duty to Report" section above if the Covered Program Staff Member involved in Suspected Child Abuse, Neglect or Violent Offense is a UNC-CH Employee, a UNC-CH Student Employee, or a UNC-CH Student that is not a University employee:

UNC-CH Employee

If the Covered Program Staff member involved in the suspected Child Abuse, Neglect or Violent Offense is a UNC-CH employee, the Mandated Reporter must also report the incident to the:

  • UNC-CH Equal Opportunity and Compliance (EOC) Office; and/or Employee & Management Relations (EMR) Unit of the UNC-CH Office of Human Resources ("OHR"). See Procedure for Protection of Minors for more detailed information on which office to report to in certain instances.

UNC-CH Student Employee

If the Covered Program Staff member involved in the suspected Child Abuse, Neglect or Violent Offense is a UNC-CH student employee, the Mandated Reporter must also report the incident to:

  • the UNC-CH Dean of Students Office; and
  • the UNC-CH EOC Office and/or the EMR Unit of the UNC-CH OHR. See Procedure for Protection of Minors for more detailed information on which office to report to in certain instances.

UNC-CH Student that is not a University Employee

If the Covered Program Staff member involved in the suspected Child Abuse, Neglect, or Violent Offense is also a UNC-CH student but is not a University employee, the Mandated Reporter must also report the incident to the:

  • UNC-CH Dean of Students Office.

The Mandated Reporters must also notify the UNC-CH Protection of Minors Coordinator regarding any other incidents involving a Minor. Other such incidents include, but are not limited to: maltreatment, medical, accident, mental health, bullying, or incidents in which the minor is a perpetrator.

Protection of Reporting Parties

North Carolina law provides certain legal protections for anyone who makes a report in good faith or who participates in an investigation by DSS. Furthermore, University policy prohibits retaliation with regard to the terms and conditions of University employment or educational activities against anyone who makes a good faith report of Child Abuse or Neglect .

Supplemental Forms and Procedures

The University must publish on its publicly accessible website, and update as appropriate, the following information and materials to facilitate this Policy; this information will be made available in printed form to any Covered Program on request:

  • Procedure for Protection of Minors.
  • Appropriate forms for use in requesting approval for a Covered Program.
  • Other information and materials to assist University Departments and Covered Programs in complying with the provisions of this Policy.

Covered Programs whose Minors will be working in University laboratories must follow the UNC-CH Environment, Health and Safety's (“EHS”) High School Students and Minors in Laboratories Policy.

Publication Requirements

This Policy must be published on the University’s policy web site. The substance of this Policy must also be communicated annually by the Chancellor or the Chancellor's designee to all members of the University Community.

Definitions

Child Abuse or Neglect: The North Carolina Division of Social Services (DSS) provides that child abuse is “the intentional maltreatment of a child and that can be physical, sexual or emotional in nature.” DSS provides that neglect is “the failure to give children the necessary care they need."

Covered Program: An in-person or virtual program or activity, a student organization, or a Third Party in which Minors participate that is sponsored by a University Department or Unit.

Covered Program Staff: All individuals 18 years of age or older who work with, instruct, or otherwise come into Direct Contact with Minors in a Covered Program, even if these individuals are volunteers. Covered Program Staff include all University Community Members who will serve as Covered Program Staff and who will have Direct Contact with Minors and to all individuals employed by, contracted by, or volunteering for a Third Party who have Direct Contact with Minors. Covered Program Staff also include individuals who support Covered Programs and who have Direct Contact with Minors.

Direct Contact: Care, guidance, control, or supervision of Minors in group or one-to-one settings or potential for one-to-one interaction with Minors.

Enrolled Student: Any individual enrolled at UNC-CH, regardless of age.

Extensive Criminal History: For the purposes of this Policy only. Defined term meaning a pattern of convictions over a period of time. For example, a prior criminal history that includes five (5) or more convictions within a three (3) year time span, or ten (10) or more convictions within a ten (10) year time span.

Mandated Reporter: Both as a matter of University policy and North Carolina State law, any member of the University Community who reasonably suspects that a Minor, including a UNC-CH Enrolled Student Minor, has been abused or neglected by a parent, guardian, caregiver, or Covered Program Staff has an absolute obligation to report that suspicion to the appropriate County Department of Social Services (“DSS”) and the UNC-CH Protection of Minors Coordinator, regardless of where the offense occurred.

Minor: Defined term meaning any person under the age of 18, who is not an enrolled or matriculated student of the University. Certain portions of this Policy refer to "minors" as a general class of persons under the age of 18.

Third Party: An organization or individual from outside of the University that uses University facilities or technology to conduct a Covered Program pursuant to an approved contract or other use agreement with a sponsoring University Department and with the prior approval of the UNC-CH Protection of Minors Coordinator. For example, athletic camps or academic camps.

University Community or University Community Members: University faculty, staff, unpaid volunteers, interns, students, temporary employees, visiting scholars, and any other University affiliates.

Violent Offense: Offense that inflicts injury on a juvenile by non-accidental means.

Virtual Contact: A mode of contact that includes the use of technology-audio and/or video to communicate or conduct a Covered Program with minors who are not physically present.

Related Requirements

External Regulations

  1. Covered Programs must have their own plans and procedures and training mechanisms that address the applicable “Pre-Camp Training Topics” identified by the American Camp Association.
  2. S.534, or "The Protecting Young Victims from Sexual Abuse and Safe Sport Authorization Act of 2017."
    1. The law expands existing mandated reporting laws to all youth sport organizations that participate in international and interstate sporting events. Any adult who is authorized to interact with youth athletes will be required to report suspicions of abuse to the appropriate law enforcement agencies within 24 hours. Therefore, all employees and volunteers working with youth could be considered mandatory reporters under the federal act.
  3. There is an additional requirement to report suspicions to the US Center for Safe Sport if your organization is governed by a “National Governing Body” or “Paralympic Sports Organization”.
  4. N.C. General Statutes § 7B-301: Duty to report abuse, neglect, dependency, or death due to maltreatment
  5. N.C. General Statutes § 14-318.6: Failure to report crimes against juveniles; penalty
  6. N.C. General Statutes - Chapter 126, Article 14: Protection for Reporting Improper Government Activities
  7. N.C. House Bill 774/Session Law 2018-79

Consequences

Violations of this Policy, Standard or Procedure

University Employee: Violations may result in disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment.

Unpaid Volunteers, Interns and Visiting Scholars: Violations may result in end of assignment.

University Students: Violations may result in the referral to the Honor System or Dean of Students.

Third Party Covered Program Staff: Violations may result in disciplinary action that requires immediate removal from Direct Contact with Minors, and/or University property or facility.

Covered Programs: If it is determined that the Covered Program has not complied with any provision of the University’s Policy, Standard, or Procedure on the Protection of Minors, the Covered Program may be subject to immediate discontinuation of operation and/or use of University property. At the discretion of the UNC-CH Protection of Minors Coordinator, the Covered Program may also be banned from future use of University facilities.

University Policies, Standards, and Procedures

Contact Information

Policy Contact

Other Contacts

  • North Carolina Child Protective Services
  • Child Protective Services Division in the Orange County Department of Social Services:
    • Telephone: Monday-Friday, 8 am-5 pm, excluding holidays, call 919‑245‑2818.
    • Telephone: After hours and on weekends and holidays, contact Orange County Emergency Services at 919-732-5063 and ask to speak with the on-call CPS Social Worker.
    • In-person: You may also make a report in person during normal business hours (Monday-Friday, 8 am-5 pm) at any Orange County DSS location.
    • Orange County Child Protective Services website
  • UNC-CH Police:
    • Telephone: 919-962-8100 or 919-962-3951. Those needing to use TTY/TDD feature can also dial 9-1-1.
    • UNC-CH Police website
  • UNC-CH Equal Opportunity and Compliance (“EOC”) Office:
  • UNC-CH Employee & Management Relations Unit of the Office of Human Resources:
100% helpful - 1 review

Details

Article ID: 131864
Created
Thu 4/8/21 9:18 PM
Modified
Fri 8/19/22 2:42 PM
Effective Date
If the date on which this document became/becomes enforceable differs from the Origination or Last Revision, this attribute reflects the date on which it is/was enforcable.
05/01/2021 12:00 AM
Issuing Officer
Name of the document Issuing Officer. This is the individual whose organizational authority covers the policy scope and who is primarily responsible for the policy.
Issuing Officer Title
Title of the person who is primarily responsible for issuing this policy.
Protection of Minors Coordinator
Last Review
Date on which the most recent document review was completed.
04/07/2022 12:00 AM
Last Revised
Date on which the most recent changes to this document were approved.
04/23/2021 12:00 AM
Next Review
Date on which the next document review is due.
03/01/2023 12:00 AM
Origination
Date on which the original version of this document was first made official.
04/14/2015 12:00 AM
Responsible Unit
School, Department, or other organizational unit issuing this document.
Protection of Minors Office