Rutgers has recently adopted a Protection of Minors Policy, according to an email sent out by Antonio Calcado, executive vice president for Strategic Planning and Operations and chief operating officer at the University.
He said minors are regularly on campus as either prospective students, members of University-sponsored programs or camps, volunteers in laboratories or participants in other types of outreach and enrichment activities.
"Rutgers University welcomes minors on campus for a variety of reasons that range from child-care and behavioral health services to a host of other academic and athletic programs during the summer and the academic year," he said.
In the policy are details of requirements of administrators, faculty, staff, students, volunteers and others working with minors. These requirements are meant to ensure that these minors are protected and given optimal care, and that the University fulfills its obligations as mandated by law. Youth-serving activities that are University-owned or occur on campus also must comply with these policies.
There are four provisions of the policy that program directors must comply with: program registration, training, background checks and reporting. Each program must be registered every year through the new Protection of Minors Database at the University. Regarding training, all staff, students, volunteers and service providers must complete a 30-minute online training course every year if they are to work with minors. Every three years, there will also be criminal background checks and annual sex offender registry checks for these workers.
If any abuse or neglect of a minor is suspected, it is required to be reported.
Calcado said in the email that these requirements must be met at least three weeks before the planned program is set to begin so that it can be coordinated in the protection of minors database.
"Please be sure to designate only one person per program to coordinate compliance with the policy requirements to prevent duplication of registrations and to avoid dual fees associated with initiating multiple background checks for the same person," he added.
There are certain events that do not need to comply with these new policies though, except for the provision of reporting, such as events on campus that are open to the public, or private events where minors attend with parental or guardian supervision.
"Each member of our community has a responsibility to support the protection of minors. Understanding your role and adhering to the policy requirements mentioned above is paramount toward providing the best possible experiences for children at Rutgers University," he said.