Q: What is the purpose of the new Board of Regents policy for Programs Serving Minors?
A: The Board of Regents passed the new policy regarding Programs Serving Minors to further our efforts to promote the safety and welfare of those who participate in these programs.
Q: What is the effective date of the new Board of Regents policy for Programs Serving Minors?
A: The policy is effective for programs operating on or after May 1, 2017.
Q: What type of program is covered under this policy?
A: This policy includes but is not limited to academic camps, athletic camps, mentoring programs, after-school programs, workshops, licensed child-care facilities, conferences and similar activities which involve the custody and care of non-student minors which are conducted, hosted or sponsored by any USG institution.
Q: Does this apply to 3rd party organizations that use the facilities of a USG institution?
A: Yes, BOR Policy 6.9 Programs Serving Minors applies to outside organizations and groups that may use institutional facilities for programs serving non-student minors.
Q: Is a facility use agreement/license agreement required for 3rd party organizations that use institutional facilities?
A: Yes, institutions licensing, leasing, or allowing the use of institutional facilities by non-USG entities for programs serving non-student minors must include language in a binding written agreement requiring the non-USG entity to comply with institutional policies on background checks, training and minimum insurance requirements. In accordance with Board of Regents Policy 22.214.171.124, the form used for such agreements must be USG-approved.
Q: Does the new BOR policy apply to all minors?
A: BOR Policy 6.9 applies to programs designed to serve minors who are not enrolled as students. Institutions are still expected to have procedures in place to ensure best practices are followed for programs for enrolled students to include new student orientation. In this regard, each institution will maintain the flexibility to tailor its procedures to best suit the needs of their campus.
Q: Do school field trips, private events, and events open to the general public fall under the new policy?
A: No, non-residential field trips to a campus which are supervised by a minor's school or organization and do not involve overnight lodging are not covered by the new policy. It is expected that institutions will further define which contacts with non-student minors are not covered and that certain activities such as the following may reasonably be excluded
- Services provided by the institution’s health clinic;
- Events or performances on campus that are open to the general public and which minors attend at the sole discretion of their parents or guardians;
- Private or personal events that occur on campus to include weddings, birthday parties, etc.
Q: Who is subject to the background and training requirements of the new policy?
A: All employees, students and volunteers who work in programs serving non-student minors who are reasonably anticipated to have direct contact or interaction with minor program participants
Q: How often must background checks be performed on employees, students and volunteers working in programs serving non-student minors?
A: All VSU Employees and volunteers are required to complete a background check every four (4) years. All current VSU employees are required to report convictions to the Human Resources Department within 24 hours of conviction in accordance with the Human Resources Administrative Practice Manual – General Requirements.
Q: If K12 Teachers or Coaches are hired to work in my youth program, are they required to complete a VSU Background check?
A: Yes, All employees and volunteers are required to complete a background check through Valdosta State University's Human Resources Department and the background check must be renewed every four (4) years.
Q: What is the records retention schedule for documents related to youth programs?
A: Child and Youth Participant Records must be kept for 3 years after the participant reaches the age of 18. These are records that document the participation of children and youth in programs sponsored by the institution. This series of records may include: applications, enrollment records, progress reports and assessments, immunization records, parental consent forms, activity records, and lists of attendees. The retention schedule for all USG records can be accessed from the below link:
USG Records Retention Schedule
Please note that not all records associated with a youth program must be kept until the participant reaches the age of 18 + 3. Other records should be kept in accordance with the retention schedule for that document, i.e. individual volunteer files must be kept for 3 years after separation, daily logs must be kept 1 or 3 years depending upon the type of log, insurance records must be kept 7 years, leases must be kept for 7 years after the expiration of the agreement, etc.
Q: Who should I contact if I have questions about this policy or the procedures required by this policy?
Monday - Thursday
10:00 AM - 2:00 PM