Protection of Children Policy

Policy Statement

The University of Evansville is committed to the safety and well-being of its community including protecting Children who participate in a program, event, or activity on University controlled property, or off campus, but affiliated with the University. The University expects all members of the University community to adhere to and act in accordance with this Policy.

Reason for Policy

This Policy establishes guidelines and procedures to promote the protection of Children participating in a program, event or activity on University controlled property, or off campus, but affiliated with the University. This Policy also includes protocols for reporting known or suspected abuse or neglect of a Child.

Who is governed by this Policy?

All students, employees, alumni, independent contractors, vendors, volunteers, visitors and guests of the University, as well as other adults involved with a program, event, or activity involving Children on University controlled property, or off campus, but affiliated with the University.

Policy

University Community Members interact with Children in a variety of ways, including as prospective and enrolled students, employees, interns, visitors and participants in Programs, activities, or research. These interactions may occur at any of the University’s operations in the United States, including the Stone Family Center for Health Sciences or during any University sponsored or co-sponsored Program on or off campus. University Community Members who engage in these interactions with Children must be diligent in protecting their safety and must report any known or suspected abuse or neglect in accordance with this Policy.

Faculty and staff working with non-University individuals and organizations that use University facilities for Programs involving Children are responsible for making those individuals and organizations aware of this Policy. Non-University affiliated Programs that use University facilities for Programs involving Children are required to comply with this Policy.

Definitions

  • Child or Children: any individual under the age of 18 who is not a registered student at the University of Evansville. Any high school student enrolled in a bridge course with the University is not considered a child for purposes of this Policy.
  • Sexual Abuse is conduct by an individual to engage in or attempt to engage in a sexual act or sexual contact with that Child, cause or attempt to cause that child to engage in sexually explicit conduct, or expose that Child to sexually explicit conduct.
  • Physical Abuse is non-accidental physical harm or injury. Examples of physical abuse include shaking, burning, hitting, smacking, choking, kicking, smothering and/or cutting. Spanking and paddling by a parent or legal guardian, if considered within reason and does not leave an injury, does not constitute physical abuse.
  • Emotional abuse is a pattern of behavior that impairs a Child’s psychological or intellectual functioning or emotional development. Examples of emotional abuse include demeaning language, name calling and/or threatening violence.
  • Child Abuse or Neglect is any act or failure to act that results in Physical Abuse, Emotional Abuse, Sexual Abuse or sexual exploitation, or an act or failure to act that presents an imminent risk of serious harm to a Child.
  • Neglect is the failure of a parent, caregiver, or other person who has responsibility for a Child to provide for the basic physical, medical, educational, or emotional needs of the Child.
  • Criminal Background Screen will at a minimum check for drug distribution, felony drug possession, sexual offenses, criminal violence, abuse or endangerment, murder, and kidnapping.
  • Child Protection Training is an in-person or online training that at a minimum addresses the following: signs and symptoms of Child Abuse and Neglect, indications of abusive behaviors by perpetrators, and reporting responsibilities of parties who suspect Child Abuse or Neglect has occurred.
  • Authorized Adult is an individual age 18 and older who has passed a Criminal Background Screen and completed Child Protection Training and any other requirements required by the University.
  • Program is any program, camp, event, or activity that involves Children and either: 1) occurs on University controlled property, or 2) is affiliated with the University and off campus.
  • Program Administrator is a Program’s designated individual who must submit and maintain required documentation and ensure that the Program is adequately staffed by Authorized Adults. The Program Administrator is the point of contact between the University and the Program.
  • University Community Members are all students, employees, alumni, independent contractors, vendors, volunteers, visitors and guests of the University as well as other adults involved with a Program.

Authorized Adults

Authorized Adults are individuals over the age of 18 who have passed a Criminal Background Screen and completed Child Protection Training and any other requirements required by the University to interact with Children. Authorized Adults include: 1) faculty, staff, students, and volunteers representing the University while working with Children, and 2) individuals with non-University affiliated Programs utilizing University facilities to host a Program for Children. Individuals who are not Authorized Adults may not have contact with Children in any capacity at the University.

Criminal Background Screen

All Authorized Adults are required to submit to a Criminal Background Screen. History of any of the offenses listed in the Criminal Background Screen definition will disqualify the individual from being an Authorized Adult for the University. If the Criminal Background Screen includes offenses not listed in the definition (other than traffic violations), then the Program Administrator must contact Director of Administrative Services and Risk Management to discuss whether the individual will be disqualified. If at any time after a Criminal Background Screening has been completed, the Authorized Adult is charged or convicted of any crime (except a traffic violation), they must immediately share that information with the Program Administrator, who will then notify the University of the charge or conviction. Failure to make the University aware of charges or convictions may result in disciplinary action, including the immediate revocation of Authorized Adult status. If an Authorized Adult has submitted to a Criminal Background Screen for University purposes (i.e. employment, clinicals, internships, etc.) a new Criminal Background Screen is not required, provided the previous Criminal Background Screen meets the definition as defined in this Policy. University-affiliated Programs must utilize the following on-campus processes for Criminal Background Screening:

  • University students will use the Office of Administrative Services and Risk Management process for Criminal Background Screens.
  • University employees will utilize the Office of Human Resources process for Criminal Background Screens.

For non-University affiliated Programs, the University will not allow any adult to have direct contact with Child who has:

  • Not completed a Criminal Background Screen, or
  • Not passed a Criminal Background Screen as defined in this Policy.

To satisfy the Criminal Background Screen requirement, a non-University affiliated Authorized Adult may provide a recent (two years or less) Criminal Background Screen to the Program Administrator. If the individual cannot provide this, they will be required to submit to a Criminal Background Screen through the non-University affiliated Program. Fees incurred for the Criminal Background Screen are the responsibility of the individual or non-University affiliated Program. Programs that refuse to complete Criminal Background Screens for all adults involved in the Program will not be allowed to utilize University facilities. Upon request, the Program Administrator will provide the University with documentation regarding the results of Criminal Background Screens pursuant to the written consent of the Authorized Adult. The University may prohibit anyone who has not provided a Criminal Background Screen from involvement with the Program.

Child Protection Training

Authorized Adults who are University students, employees, or volunteers are also required to complete Child Protection Training through the University. Non-University affiliated Programs utilizing University facilities to host Programs for Children are required to provide Child Protection Training to their Authorized Adults. Authorized Adults who have received training will be required to certify, in writing, that they have completed the training, one copy of which must be maintained by the Program Administrator and another copy by the Office of Administrative Services and Risk Management. After the initial training, the Authorized Adult must be re-trained every two years. The Program Administrator of a non-University affiliated Program must provide the University with access to the Child Protection Training they offer upon request. If the Program Administrator of a non-University affiliated Program does not have access to suitable Child Protection Training, the University will provide a training module to the Program Administrator.

Standards for Authorized Adults

Authorized Adults are required to comply with the following standards when working with Children:

  • Only interact with Children in approved Program settings. Unless an Authorized Adult is the parent or guardian of a Child, or the Authorized Adult is acting in a professional capacity such as health care provider or mental health provider which mandate confidentiality, the Authorized Adult should never
    be in a one-on-one situation with a Child.
  • Report any suspicions of Child Abuse and/or Neglect. See Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting section
    of the Policy.
  • May not be under the influence of alcohol or drugs while working with Children.
  • May not provide Children with alcohol or drugs.
  • May not have inappropriate sexual conversations with Children.
  • May not contact Children for any reason not related to the Program.
  • May not text, email, or utilize social media to contact Children, unless it is explicitly related to an educational or Program purpose.
  • May not invite a Child into the Authorized Adult’s home.
  • May not transport a Child unless it is an explicit responsibility related to the Program and only if written consent is given by a parent or guardian.
  • May not leave Children in the care of someone who is not an Authorized Adult.
  • May not shower, undress, or bathe in the presence of Children.
  • May not share a bed with a Child.

Failure to abide by above standards may result in termination of the Program, revocation of Authorized Adult status, legal action, termination from employment and/or expulsion from the University, or other sanctions as determined by the University.

Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting

Indiana statute (IC 31-33-5) requires that any adult who suspects that Child Abuse or Neglect has taken place is required to report the Child Abuse or Neglect to the proper authorities. Failure to report Child Abuse or Neglect is classified as a Class B misdemeanor and can result in a $1,000 fine and up to 6 months in jail. Anyone over the age of 18 who has reason to believe, or has a reasonable suspicion, that a child has been Abused or Neglected is required by law to make a report. Reasonable suspicion means that an individual of similar training would reach the same conclusion regarding whether there is the possibility of Abuse or Neglect. Those who are unsure should always err on the side of reporting. The reporting individual is not required to investigate the report.

If an Authorized Adult suspects that Child Abuse or Neglect has occurred, he or she must take the following steps:

  1. If the Child is in imminent danger, the Authorized Adult must immediately alert local law enforcement authorities by dialing 911 or 812-436-1896 (Evansville Police Department).
    1. If there is no imminent danger, the Authorized Adult must immediately call the Indiana Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-800-5556. While reports may be made anonymously, the University encourages Authorized Adults to provide contact information for follow-up purposes. The Authorized Adult should provide the hotline with as much information as possible, including:
      • Child’s Name
      • Child’s parent/guardian name
      • Child’s contact information
      • Details of abuse or neglect incident
  2. Alert the Program Administrator. The Program Administrator will report the incident to the Assistant Director of Institutional Equity and Title IX Coordinator. If the suspected abuser is an Authorized Adult, the Program Administrator will immediately revoke the suspected abuser’s access to Children.
  3. Document the report. The report will remain on file with the Program Administrator.

If an investigation into Child Abuse or Neglect allegations is pursued by the Department of Children Services or Law Enforcement, the Authorized Adult is expected to comply with the agency’s requests for information.

Any member of the University’s community who provides knowingly false information or who refuses to cooperate in an investigation related to this Policy will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including expulsion, suspension, termination, removal from campus, cancellation of the Program, or other means necessary to address the behavior.

Additionally, Authorized Adults who report in good faith—when there is reasonable belief that Child Abuse or Neglect has occurred and the report is made without malice or personal benefit—are protected from retaliation from the accused party. Knowingly filing a false report is considered a crime in the state of Indiana and may result in prosecution including fines and incarceration.

Program Administrator Requirements and Responsibilities

The Program Administrator must register their Program with the University by submitting the following to the University’s Office of Administrative Services and Risk Management no less than 30 days before the Program is to take place:

  1. The purpose of the Program,
  2. The estimated number of Children who will participate in the Program,
  3. The location of the Program and the campus facilities that will be used,
  4. A list of Authorized Adults who will be working with the Children in the Program
  5. Certificate of Insurance with the University named as an additional insured; and
  6. Any additional items requested by the University.

Parents or Guardians of Children participating in a University affiliated or co-sponsored Program will be required to complete, sign, and submit a liability waiver and emergency contact form to the Program Administrator before participation in the Program will be permitted. The form must include a list of allergies, medications, and any relevant medical issues/information regarding the Child. Copies of the completed waivers and emergency contact forms must be maintained by the Program Administrator during the Program and in compliance with privacy guidelines, when appropriate. If the Program involves travel, a copy of the form must be kept with the Authorized Adults who are traveling with the Program.

After completion of the Program the Program Administrator must provide the participant waivers to the Office of Administrative Services & Risk Management. Children will not be allowed to participate in a University sponsored Program if both the waiver and emergency contact form are not provided to the Program Administrator.

Program Administrators are required to maintain safe and appropriate Authorized Adult to Children ratios as set forth in the table below:

Appropriate Ratios of Authorized Adult to Children

Ratios table
Ages Ratio for Overnight Program Ratio for Day Program
6-8 1:6 1:8
9-13 1:8 1:10
14-18 1:10 1:12

Due to the nature of some Programs, the University reserves the right to require the presence of more authorized adults. Failure to maintain compliance with the Ratios may result in immediate termination of the Program and/or revoke the Program’s right to utilize University facilities.

The Program Administrator is responsible for ensuring Children abide by campus and/or Program policies. All discipline should be addressed by the Program Administrator. The Program Administrator must implement best practices when determining an appropriate discipline strategy. Under no circumstances is corporal punishment permitted. Dismissal of Children from the Program and forfeiture of Program fees is permitted. The Program Administrator will keep documentation of disciplinary action taken during the Program.

If a Program or Program Administrator fails to abide by the guidelines set out in this Policy, the University reserves the right to immediately terminate the Program and/or revoke the Program’s right to utilize University facilities.

Reporting of Other Incidents

In the event emergency services are called to campus for a Child or a Child is injured in a way that requires medical attention, the Program Administrator must report the incident and circumstances to the Director of Administrative Services and Risk Management. Examples of incidents that require a report include, but are not limited to a child breaking a bone, a child overdosing on over-the-counter, prescribed, or illicit drugs; or a child having a severe allergic reaction. The Director of Administrative Services and Risk Management will notify other University departments, as appropriate. Failure to report incidents may result in immediate termination of the Program and/or revocation of the Program’s right to utilize University facilities.

Program Procedures

The Program must have the following in place to ensure the safety of Children:

  • Drop off and pick up sign-in/sign-out procedures, including a signature required for dropping off and picking up Children under 13.
  • Children with a valid driver’s license may drive their personal vehicles to on-campus Programs. Children may not transport anyone else on behalf of the Program. Parking space may be limited; and Programs should plan accordingly.
  • Emergency procedures for disasters/catastrophes.
  • Inclement weather plans.
  • Restroom, meal time, and break time procedures.
  • Procedure for parent/guardian to contact a Child in the event of an emergency.
  • Personal Media Release signed by parents in order to use Children’s pictures/names for Program purposes including social media.

Special Circumstances

If a Program Administrator would like to address potential alternatives that maintain the safety of Children due to the feasibility of meeting requirements of this Policy, the Program Administrator must submit a Protection of Children Policy Special Circumstances Request Form to the Director of Administrative Services and Risk Management and the Assistant Director of Institutional Equity and Title IX Coordinator at least 30 days prior to the start of the Program. The Director of Administrative Services and Risk Management and the Assistant Director of Institutional Equity and Title IX Coordinator will conduct a thorough review of the request to determine if an alternative solution is appropriate. Any deviations from this policy must be approved by Director of Administrative Services and Risk Management and the Assistant Director of Institutional Equity and Title IX Coordinator.

Failure to comply with this Policy may result in the immediate termination of the Program, revocation of the Program’s right to utilize University facilities, expulsion of students from the Program and/or termination of employees.

Document History

Policy Origination Date: October 1, 2021
Policy Revision Date: September 1, 2022

Office Phone
812-488-2943

Office Email
titleix@evansville.edu

Office Location
Room 263, Ridgway University Center