PROTECTION OF MINORS

Policy
I. Purpose
II. Scope
III. Definitions
IV. Minors on Campus
V. Guidelines and Responsibilities
VI. Reporting Potential Crimes Involving Minors
VII. Registration
VIII. Enforcement
IX. Random Audits, Policy Implementation and Modification
Appendix A
Appendix B
Appendix C
Clearances
Forms/Resources
Training

RMU.EDU > UNIVERSITY-WIDE POLICIES > PROTECTION OF MINORS POLICY > APPENDIX A
Appendix A

General Guidelines for Working with Minors 

Those associated with programs or activities involving minors should observe the following "dos" and "don'ts" in order to provide a safe and positive experience for program participants, encourage parental confidence, and avoid mistaken allegations.3

DO:
  • Maintain the highest standards of personal behavior at all times when interacting with minors 
  • Whenever possible, try to have another adult present when working with minors in an unsupervised setting. Conduct necessary one-on-one interactions with minors in a public environment where interactions can be observed 
  • Listen to and interact with minors and provide appropriate praise and positive reinforcement 
  • Treat all minors in a group consistently and fairly, and with respect and dignity 
  • Be friendly with minors within the context of the formal program or activity while maintaining appropriate personal-space boundaries 
  • Maintain discipline and discourage inappropriate behavior by minors, consulting with supervisors if assistance is needed with misbehaving youth 
  • Be aware of how your actions and intentions might be perceived and could be misinterpreted 
  • Provide open door counseling for any sessions with minors or conduct such sessions in an area that allows for private conversation while remaining in the view of others 
  • Consult with other adult supervisors or colleagues when uncertain about a situation 
  • Use good judgment about verbal, electronic or other forms of social media communications with or about minors, and refrain from discussing personal or intimate information 
  • Comply with additional rules and/or policies of sponsoring organizations which provide for the protection of minors, and which are provided to individuals involved with applicable programs or activities 

DON'T:
  • Spend time alone with one minor away from the group or conduct private interactions with minors in enclosed spaces or behind closed doors 
  • Engage in inappropriate touching or physical contact with a minor 
  • Use inappropriate language, tell risqué jokes or make sexually suggestive comments around minors, even if minors themselves are doing so 
  • Give personal gifts to, or do special favors for, a minor or do things that may be interpreted as favoring one minor over others 
  • Share information with minors about one’s private life or have informal or purely social contact with minor program participants outside of program activities 
  • Strike or hit a minor, or use corporal punishment or other punishment involving physical pain or discomfort 
  • Relate to minors as if they were peers, conduct private correspondence, utilize social media or take on the role of "confidant" (outside of a professional counseling relationship) 
  • “Friend” minors or approach them on social media sites 
  • Date or become romantically or sexually involved with a minor 
  • Show or share sexually inappropriate or pornographic materials to minors or involve minors in sexually inappropriate or pornographic activities 
  • Provide alcohol or drugs to minors or use them in the presence of minors 
  • Participate in or allow others to engage in any form of hazing 
  • Dress, undress, shower or bathe with or in the presence of minors 
  • Share sleeping locations with minors, except in open areas so long as adults and minors have separate defined sleeping areas 
  • Transport minors to or from their homes (other than the driver’s children) whether before, during or after a program or activity 

Signs of Child Abuse and Neglect 

Nationally, most reports and substantiations of child mistreatment are neglect, followed by physical abuse and sexual abuse. The following signs, by themselves, may not be conclusive evidence of a problem, but serve as indicators of the possibility that a problem exists.

Neglect occurs when parents or caretakers do not provide proper supervision, control, subsistence, education as required by law or other care necessary for healthy development.

Physical signs may include:
  • Poor hygiene 
  • Inappropriate or ill-fitting clothing 
  • Being left alone or with people unable to provide proper supervision 
  • Obvious lack of necessary medical treatment
Behavioral signs may include:
  • Chronic hunger or sleepiness 
  • Delayed language development 
  • Clinging behavior or development of indiscriminate attachments 
  • Frequent complaints of feeling unwell 
  • Frequent tardiness or absence from school
Physical abuse is a non-accidental injury of a child by a parent or caretaker.

Physical signs may include:
  • Bruises, welts, or swelling 
  • Sprains or broken bones 
  • Burns 
  • Lacerations or abrasions 
  • Bite marks 
  • Unexplained or repeated injuries
Behavioral signs may include:
  • Attempts to hide injuries 
  • Difficulty sitting or walking 
  • Wariness of physical contract with adults 
  • Depression or self-mutilation 
  • Fear of parent(s) or caregiver(s)
Sexual abuse is exploitation of a child for the sexual gratification of an adult or older child.

Physical signs may include:
  • Difficulty walking or sitting 
  • Torn, stained, or bloody clothing 
  • Genital pain or itching 
  • Sexually transmitted diseases 
  • Pregnancy 
  • Nightmares or bedwetting
Behavioral signs may include:
  • Demonstrates sophisticated or unusual sexual knowledge or behavior 
  • Extremes - hostile and aggressive or fearful and withdrawn 
  • Self-mutilation 
  • Substance abuse 
  • Running away 
  • Refusal to change for gym or to participate in physical activities

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3
These guidelines are not meant to limit medical, psychiatric or other professional interactions with minors where professional standards apply.