Chapter 5: Youth Protection Program
5.1 Purpose and Applicability
It is the policy of The University of Texas at El Paso (University) to provide oversight and training for Youth Programs which are held on the University campus or operated by the University and which have recreational, athletic, religious, or educational activities for their participants. This includes all Youth Programs covered by Texas Education Code, Chapter 51, Section 51.976, as well as any youth-related day camp, activity, or event sponsored by the University.
In order to ensure the safety and well-being of children, individuals with responsibilities that involve interaction with children, including University faculty, staff, students, volunteers, and representatives, as well as third-party vendors and their employees, representatives or volunteers that contract for use of the University facilities, must carefully review and abide by the University’s policy regarding youth protection.
The purpose of this policy is to provide guidance and to promote the safety of Youth Participants on University premises or participating in those programs sponsored or supported by the University. This policy also supports compliance with federal and state law.
This policy applies to University employees, affiliates, volunteers, contractors, and visitors who are Designated Individuals as defined by this policy. The policy applies to all Youth Programs held on University property, as well as those Youth Programs sponsored by the University.
This policy is not applicable to the following activities:
- A school visit to the University if the third-party school hosting the visit, is responsible for funding the visit and for the supervision of all Youth Participants
- An activity including recruited athlete visits
- An activity in which the only participants are registered students of the University or are 18 years old or older
- An activity that merely involves entering into a lease or license of space in a University-owned or operated facility to a third party
- Research approved by the Institutional Review Board (IRB)
5.2.1 Delegation of Authority
The University delegates authority to the Office of Youth Program Development and Support and the Youth Support Services Manager to oversee Youth Programs held at, sponsored by, organized by, or supported by the University, as well as to assist with planning, organizing, and coordinating Youth Programs. University divisions and departments must work with the Office of Youth Program Development and Support to ensure that all Youth Programs are set up and run in accordance with the University’s business procedures and risk management practices.
Each Youth Program must comply with the following terms and conditions, as well as any other applicable requirements of federal, state, or local law or regulation.
5.2.2 Presence of Youth on campus
The University reserves the right to condition, restrict, or deny access to University facilities by Youth Participants at its discretion. All Youth Participants, including those participating in a Youth Program, will be subject to all University regulations while on campus, and may be asked to leave the campus if they do not comply.
Failure to follow the requirements established in this policy may lead to sanctions including but not limited to probation or suspension of the program; dismissal or termination of University employment; and/or removal or barring from University property.
5.3 Responsibilities and Requirements
5.3.1 Youth Program Notification Requirement. All University-affiliated programs engaging Youth Participants under the age of 18, except as excluded by Section 5.1.2, must notify the Office of Youth Program Development and Support by completing an online Notification Form prior to commencing program operations. Programs that fail to notify the Office of Youth Program Development and Support may be denied permission to continue operations at the University.
The requirement to notify applies to any Youth Program conducted on or off the University campus or its other properties, regardless of the time of year the activity is taking place, if the activity:
- is sponsored, overseen, supervised, operated, or managed by the University; or
- is funded in whole or in part from any University cost center
Forms can be submitted at any time prior to the activity but, ideally, should be submitted no later than three (3) months prior to the start of the program. The Youth Program Notification Form can be found on the Office of Youth Program Development and Support website.
Any amendments or changes to the program registration should be submitted as soon as is practical after the need for amendment becomes known.
5.3.2 Supervision Ratios. Each Youth Program must have the following minimum adult supervision ratio requirements consistent with the American Camp Association staff ratio standards:
|Age of Youth Participants||Number of Adult Staff||Overnight Youth Participants||Day Only Youth Participants|
5 years or younger
5.3.3 Responsibilities of Designated Individuals. Designated Individuals’ responsibilities include, but are not limited to:
- Ensuring the safety of each Youth Participant
- Following the instructions of the Youth Event Coordinator and executing or implementing the program's supervision and instruction plan
- Creating a memorable experience by:
- Providing instruction that is appropriate for each Youth Participant’s age and ability
- Providing encouragement that enables each Youth Participant to increase the confidence needed to acquire new skills
- Monitoring the behavior of Youth Participants to ensure they adhere to the program’s code of conduct/rules
- Enforcing the rules and immediately communicating any issues that occur to the Youth Event Coordinator
- Serving as a role model for Youth Participants
5.3.4 Requirements of Designated Individuals. Any University employee, student, parent/legal guardian, independent contractor, or other volunteer who will serve as a Designated Individual in any Youth Program must first meet the following requirements:
22.214.171.124 Criminal Background Check. Youth Event Coordinators must ensure all Designated Individuals who will work with Youth Participants during the program undergo a criminal background check conducted each year of the program. The check must be successfully cleared five (5) days prior to the start of the program. To determine the appropriate type of background check, refer to: https://www.utep.edu/vpba/hoop/section-5/ch-12.html.
126.96.36.199 Youth Event Coordinator Mandatory Training. Youth Event Coordinators must attend one Youth Event Coordinator Training session each year to receive and review comprehensive information needed for planning and operating any Youth Program.
188.8.131.52 Youth Protection Training. It is the University's policy to provide training to personnel who work with Youth Participants in order to educate them about significant risks posed to children. The University aims to keep children safe by engaging staff and volunteers in strategies for recognizing, preventing, and reporting abuse and neglect.
The University provides the training mandated by Texas Education Code § 51.976 and the University of Texas System. This training includes information and examination concerning warning signs of sexual abuse and child molestation. To receive information about training, please contact the University’s Office of Institutional Compliance at (915) 747-6478.
It is the responsibility of the Youth Event Coordinator to ensure all Designated Individuals complete the Youth Protection Training five (5) days prior to the start day of the Youth Program. Designated Individuals must complete the Youth Protection Training and Examination every year and achieve a score of 100% on the examination. A Designated Individual will be allowed to re-answer the questions if necessary to achieve a passing score. Upon successful completion of the course, the Designated Individual will receive a certificate of completion, which should be provided to the Youth Event Coordinator.
The training is provided by the University at no cost to the Designated Individual. Youth Programs that host twenty (20) or more Youth Participants who are on campus for all or part of at least four (4) days are required to submit an annual Sexual Abuse and Child Molestation training and examination report to the Department of State Health Service Campus Program for Minors ( PHSCPS@dshs.state.tx.us) within five (5) days of the start of the Youth Program.
All University faculty, staff, and students are additionally required to complete the Employment Discrimination and Sexual Misconduct Prevention Training compliance module.
184.108.40.206 Use of Volunteers. Youth Event Coordinators must ensure that all volunteers, regardless of age, adhere to the Volunteer Policy located in the Handbook of Operating Procedures at https://www.utep.edu/hoop/section-5/ch-25.html.
220.127.116.11 No Unsupervised Access. Any individual not considered a Designated Individual (as defined by Section 5.5 of this policy) must not have unsupervised access to Youth Participants.
18.104.22.168 Prohibited Conduct of Designated Individuals. Designated Individuals must not engage in any behavior that could cause harm or be misinterpreted as possibly causing harm to Youth Participants. Prohibited conduct for Designated Individuals includes, but is not limited to:
- One-on-one contact with Youth Participants outside the presence of another Designated Individual
- Meeting with Youth Participants outside of established times for Youth Program activities
- Touching Youth Participants in a manner that a reasonable person could interpret as inappropriate
- Engaging in any abusive conduct of any kind toward, or in the presence of a Youth Participant, including but not limited to verbal abuse, striking, hitting, punching, poking, spanking or restraining
- Showering, bathing, or undressing with or in the presence of Youth Participants
- Using, possessing, or being under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs while working a Youth Program
- Being alone in a vehicle with a Youth Participant at any time
- Having direct electronic contact with Youth Participants without another Designated Individual included in the communication
- Making sexual materials in any form available to Youth Participants participating in Youth Programs, or assisting them in any way in gaining access to such materials.
22.214.171.124 Suspected Abuse or Neglect Reporting Requirements. In deciding whether or not to report an incident or situation of suspected abuse or neglect, it is not required to prove that abuse or neglect has occurred. Any uncertainty in deciding to report suspected abuse or neglect should be resolved in favor of making a good-faith report. Do not directly question or solicit information from the child or from the person suspected of improper behavior. The role of the investigation lies with city, county, and state officials.
The following reporting sequence must be followed:
- In the case of an emergency, immediately call 911.
- For non-emergencies, immediately report suspected abuse or neglect to:
- University Title IX Coordinator at (915) 747-8358 or email@example.com
- The Youth Event Coordinator of the camp
- The Youth Event Coordinator must immediately notify the following:
- The Youth Support Services Manager must complete an online report to the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services at (800) 252-5400 or at txabusehotline.org/Login/Default.aspx . The Youth Support Services Manager must share a copy of the report with the following:
Any person who makes a good-faith report or assists in the investigation of alleged or known abuse or neglect, or who testifies or otherwise participates in a judicial proceeding arising from a report, petition, or investigation of alleged child abuse or neglect, is immune from civil or criminal liability (Texas Family Code, § 261.106). However, a person who reports their own abuse or neglect of a child, or who acts in bad faith or with malicious purpose in reporting alleged child abuse or neglect, is not immune from civil or criminal liability.
126.96.36.199 Required Forms for Youth Participants. Listed below are forms that should be completed and kept on file for each Youth Program:
- Release and Indemnification Agreement for Minors
- Release and Indemnification Agreement for Adults
- Release and Indemnification Agreement for Volunteers
- Photographic/Video Consent and Release, if applicable
- Authorization for Emergency Medical Treatment - This form MUST be kept on file when parents/guardians, teachers, coaches WILL NOT be present at all times and retain custodial responsibility of the Youth Participants during the Youth Program. A copy should be collected by the Youth Event Coordinator and alphabetized by last name, and should be kept readily accessible by the staff for situations that may arise.
Please do not combine or alter any approved University form. The approved forms can be found on the VPBA Forms Library website at https://www.utep.edu/vpba/forms-library/.
188.8.131.52 Emergency Action Plan. Youth Event Coordinators must be prepared in case of an emergency and discuss the emergency action plan with all Designated Individuals.
Youth Event Coordinators should ensure that all Designated Individuals are:
- aware of all identified means of exiting the building(s).
- knowledgeable of the area(s) for all Youth Participants and staff to gather in an emergency that requires evacuation. This area should be far enough away from building so as not to interfere with emergency response operations.
- prepared to escort the Youth Participants out of the building and to a safe area designated by the camp emergency plan where they will remain with their assigned group and take attendance immediately.
Emergency Action Plans will include assigned staff conducting a roll call to ensure all participants and staff are accounted for at the designated area.
If all Youth Participants and staff are accounted for, the Youth Event Coordinator or Designated Individuals will maintain order and follow the instructions of emergency personnel.
If a Youth Participant or Designated Individual is missing when attendance is taken, emergency personnel must be immediately notified and their instructions followed.
184.108.40.206 Medical Emergency Plan. Youth Event Coordinators must be prepared in case of a medical emergency and discuss the medical emergency action plan with all Designated Individuals. It is highly recommended that each Youth Program have a first aid kit on site and have identified staff who are trained in the following:
- First Aid
- Youth Mental Health First Aid
When parents/guardians, teachers, coaches WILL NOT be present at all times and retain custodial responsibility of the Youth Participants during the Youth Program, the Youth Event Coordinator must also obtain the following forms from each youth participant’s parent/ legal guardian:
- authorization to permit transportation of Youth Participants as deemed necessary in an emergency;
- disclosure of any allergies, other medical/mental conditions, or physical limitations of a youth participant that may impact his or her participation in the Youth Program.
Medical information is confidential and only for use by camp staff. It is imperative that parents/ guardians are notified of all medical-related situations.
In the event of an emergency involving an injury or acute illness, the Youth Event Coordinator must follow the risk reduction measures listed below:
- Call 911 to summon emergency personnel
- Notify the parent/legal guardian or the emergency contact
- Have a Designated Individual accompany the Youth Participant to the hospital and remain until the parent/legal guardian arrives
- Ensure that the appropriate Designated Individual prepares a written report no later than 24 hours following the medical emergency to submit to the Youth Event Coordinator for filing
5.3.5 Insurance. All Youth Programs must carry accident and liability insurance with coverage at least equivalent to the Camp Insurance Program offered by the U.T. System Office of Risk Management. Any purchase of insurance must also comply with the requirements of Regents' Rule 80601.
Reasonable accommodations will be provided in response to religious or disability related requests unless it is determined that doing so would cause undue hardship to the University.
Designated Individual(s): A person involved in assisting with a Youth Program for Youth Participants, who has contact with a Youth Participant and has been identified by the institution as a Designated Individual. Examples of Designated Individuals can include: faculty, staff, student workers, volunteers, or contracted employees who assist in Youth Programs.
Youth Participant: A minor (under age 18) who is attending a Youth Program. This definition does not include University students who are under the age of 18.
Youth Program(s): A camp, program, internship, mentorship, event, or activity held on U.T. System owned or controlled premises, or sponsored or supported by a U.T. System institution that offers recreational, athletic, religious, or educational activities to Youth Participants. Youth Programs also include any “Campus program for minors” as defined by Section 51.976 of the Texas Education Code. “Youth Program” as defined herein specifically includes external third party Youth Programs that contract with U.T. System institutions for the use of institutional facilities. For the purpose of this Policy, this definition does not include programs for U.T. System enrolled students or employees, or programs where the custody, control, and care of a minor (under the age of 18) is not the responsibility of the institution but instead held by non-U.T. System teachers, official chaperones, parents, or legal guardians (e.g., campus tours of prospective students’ families, visits by local school district classes).
Youth Event Coordinator(s): The University, college, school, unit, or department employee who develops, operates and/or supervises a Youth Program, regardless of profit.
5.6 Contact Information
Office of Youth Program Development and Support
Phone: (915) 747-5142
5.7 Forms and Tools
5.8 Related Information
Jeanne Clery Act
Texas Education Code, Chapter 51, Section 51.976 (relates to training and Examination Program for Employees of Campus Programs for Minors on Warning Signs of Sexual Abuse and Child Molestation)
Texas Education Code, Chapter 22, Sections 22.0831 – 22.0837 (relates to Criminal History Records for School District Employees and Volunteers)
Texas Education Code, Chapter 38, Section 38.0041 (relates to policies addressing sexual abuse and other maltreatment of Children)
Texas Administrative Code, Title 25, Part 1, Chapter 265, Subchapter N , Rule § 265.403 (related to DSHS Campus Programs for Minors)
Criminal Background Checks
HOP Section V: Human Resources, Chapter 12.2.7