Fayetteville Policies and Procedures  217.1

Protection of Minors on Campus

The University of Arkansas is strongly committed to maintaining a safe and secure environment for children. This policy briefly summarizes important steps to protect children on campus or participating in programs that may be connected with the University, and to comply with applicable legal requirements and institutional policies.

  1. Reporting Suspected Child Maltreatment
    If any University employee or volunteer reasonably suspects or observes child maltreatment, he or she should immediately do the following, (and must immediately do the following if a mandated reporter):
    1. Report, as required by State law, the suspected maltreatment to the state’s Child Abuse Hotline, at 1-800-482-5964.  The hotline is toll-free and is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  Mandated reporters may use a report form available online and faxed to 1-501-618-8952 for non-emergency situations.
    2. Report the suspected maltreatment to the University of Arkansas Police Department at 911 or 575-2222. This must occur immediately after the Hotline report  is made. After receiving a report of suspected maltreatment, UAPD shall promptly coordinate an appropriate response with state officials and local law enforcement, as appropriate. In addition, UAPD shall notify the appropriate vice chancellor for any program, location or employee involved in the allegations.

    Again, immediate action is essential to protect children present on the University of Arkansas campus or participating in programs that may be connected with the University and is required by law for mandated reporters. Arkansas law prohibits any person from prohibiting or requiring prior permission for any mandated reporter to make a report of suspected maltreatment. A person, acting in good faith, who makes a report of suspected maltreatment, is immune to suit and to civil or criminal liability for making the report. Likewise, University policy prohibits retaliation against any person who makes a good-faith report of child  maltreatment.

    Information on who is a mandated reporter and defining child maltreatment is in the attached Appendix A. Failure to report child maltreatment by a mandated reporter may have civil or criminal consequences.

    Questions regarding mandatory reporting obligations may be directed to the General Counsel’s Office at 479-575-5401.

  2. Background Checks
    The University of Arkansas System and this campus have adopted and begun implementing policies requiring certain types of background checks based on job duties. It is important for all units with programs or personnel involving care or supervision of minors to review and ascertain whether they have identified all positions (including part-time and student worker positions) that must be subjected to criminal background checks (including sex offender checks) as part of the hiring process.

    Questions regarding background checks may be directed to the Office of Human Resources at 479-575-5351.

  3. Camps and Other Programs, Activities or Locations Involving Minors 
    Numerous University units either operate, host programs, or permit third parties to use University facilities involving minors, such as camps. All campus units should carefully review all programs that they operate or host which includes participation by minors, or locations that they control which are frequented by minors, to determine whether additional training or protocols may be needed to help prevent child abuse.

    For example:
    • Units that operate their own camps or similar on-campus programs should consider whether further training on preventing child sexual abuse or additional policies governing staffing patterns and interactions between minors and adults is needed. For example, units should prohibit or strictly limit staff from being alone with children, especially in a place that is isolated or not easily visible to others.
    • Units that operate facilities or locations frequented by children, and where inappropriate interactions could occur, should consider whether additional policies or measures are needed. 
    • Campus units that host camps operated by non-University entities should require that contracts with such entities properly address such elements as criminal background checks, staffing patterns, training, and insurance/liability.

  4. Procedure and Steps for Employees working with Minors
    The following steps are required for individuals who provide care or supervision of minors as part of their University of Arkansas job responsibilities:
    1. Background check of employee (per campus policy 402.1); this must occur pre-hire or before existing employee begins new duties involving minors.
    2. Give employee copy of the university policy on protection of minors (217.1); Employee signs a form that they have read and understand the policy.
    3. Require employee to complete a working with minors live or on-line training program. Either program is acceptable.
    4. HR person in hiring unit collects the certificate or otherwise documents completion of on-line course.

Reformatted for Web May 15, 2014
December 19, 2013