Protection of Minors

Protection of Minors

Protection of Minors 

The following is an overview of the content on this website:

Purpose of the Protection of Minors Program

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The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill ("University" or "UNC CH") strives to create a welcoming and safe environment for all individuals visiting University property or participating in University programs.  The University’s Policy on the Protection of Minors (Policy) reinforces this expectation by establishing standards, requirements, and procedures that specifically focus on protecting the safety of individuals who are less than eighteen (18) years of age (“Minors”) from abuse and neglect by a parent, guardian, caregiver, or staff of programs sponsored by or affiliated with the University.

It’s Everybody’s Responsibility

Compliance with the Policy on the Protection of Minors is the responsibility of all University faculty, staff, volunteers, interns and students as well as anyone using University facilities. 

Reporting Suspected Child Abuse/Neglect

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Both as a matter of University policy and North Carolina State law, any member of the University Community who reasonably suspects that a minor has been abused or neglected by a parent, guardian, caregiver, or staff member has an absolute obligation to report that suspicion to the appropriate County Department of Social Services (“DSS”). The Orange County (North Carolina) DSS is the appropriate contact for incidents occurring on the University’s campus in Chapel Hill regardless of the residence of the minor involved.

Reports of abuse and neglect can be made to the Child Protective Services Division in the Orange County DSS as follows:

  • Monday-Friday 8-5, excluding holidays, call (919) 245-2818 or (919) 968-2000
  • After hours and on weekends and holidays, call 911 and ask for the on-call social worker.

In addition to notifying the Orange County DSS, the reporting party also must notify one of the following offices:

  • For instances involving alleged sexual misconduct, harassment or assault, the University’s Equal Opportunity and Compliance Office (EOC) at (919) 966-3576.
  • For instances involving any other forms of alleged inappropriate behavior or misconduct, the University’s Employee and Management Relations Unit of the Office of Human Resources at (919) 843-3444.

If you encounter a situation in which a minor is at immediate risk of harm or the victim of a criminal act, please contact the UNC Department of Public Safety or the appropriate Police Department immediately by Dialing 9-1-1. The UNC Department of Public Safety or the appropriate Police Department will make a final determination as to whether a matter merits further investigation and University Community Members must not attempt to make such judgments independently of law enforcement. Reporting to University officials does not relieve the obligation of a University Community Member to also make a report directly to law enforcement in the event the minor is at immediate risk.

Requirements for Programs Serving Minors

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No University Department may offer programs that serve minors nor may any third party utilize University property to offer programs that serve minors without first obtaining approval under the Policy on the Protection of Minors and continuously complying with all of the Policy standards and requirements.  Procedures for registering and obtaining approval are detailed below.

The Coordinator for the Protection of Minors can be contacted at 919-843-8995 or by email at protectionofminors@unc.edu to answer questions or provide guidance regarding requirements for programs serving minors.

Any Covered Program that is determined to have not complied with any provision of the University’s Policy on the Protection of Minors is subject to immediate discontinuation of the Covered Program’s operation and/or use of University property at the discretion of the University Coordinator and may also be banned from future use of University facilities.

Registration and Approval

In order for a University program or activity to be permitted to serve minors or for any outside third-party individual or organization to conduct a program that includes minors on University property (“Covered Programs”), the programs must be registered and approved by the University’s Coordinator for the Protection of Minors.  Covered Programs include both daytime and overnight/residential activities such as athletic camps, science camps, academic camps, enrichment programs, and similar activities intended for the benefit of minors.  Covered Programs exclude externally-sponsored field trips or visits that bring minors to campus (e.g., school trips to Morehead Planetarium, campus tours, library visits, athletic events) and programs exclusively for UNC-CH enrolled or matriculated students.

University Sponsor

Every proposed Covered Program must have a University sponsoring unit (department or program) and must have the approval of the head of that sponsoring unit.  A sponsoring unit may choose to designate a staff person (or Departmental Booking Agent in Athletics) to coordinate the registration, compliance, and approval process. 

Program Staff Background Checks

A background check must be completed each year for all individuals eighteen (18) years of age or older who work with, instruct, or otherwise come into direct contact with minors in a Covered Program (“Program Staff”), even if these individuals are volunteers.  This requirement applies to all University faculty, staff, students, or volunteers who will serve as Program Staff who directly support a Covered Program, as well as individuals employed by, contracted by, or volunteering for external entities operating a Covered Program.  These checks must be completed prior to a Program Staff member having any contact with minors as part of the program.  A background check completed within the twelve (12) months prior to the start of the program will satisfy this requirement.

Refer to the Policy for specific requirements.

Program Staff Training

Each Covered Program must assure that all Program Staff are appropriately trained on policies and issues relevant to the protection of minors.  This training must occur at least annually and must occur prior to any initial interactions with minors.  The management of a Covered Program may enhance and/or modify the University’s training requirements to meet specific needs of the applicable program, but such training must include the following minimum components:

The University’s Policy on the Protection of Minors;

  • Sexual abuse and sexual harassment;
  • Detection of abuse and neglect through behavioral signs of abuse or neglect that minor victims may exhibit;
  • Protecting minors from abusive emotional and physical treatment by adults or peers;
  • Laboratory safety for minors (when applicable).

Procedures for Programs Serving Minors

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The following procedures must be followed before any program covered by the University Policy on the Protection of Minors (“Covered Program”) is permitted to commence on University property, in a University-operated facility, or a program or activity off-campus involving minors.

The Program Director must attest that all the requirements in Section V of the University’s Policy have been met or will be met in advance of the proposed program’s initiation and will be continuously maintained during the program’s operation.  For recurring Covered Programs, approval and registration must be renewed at least annually utilizing this process.  The Program Director of any Covered Program must complete and submit the following at least one month prior to the start date of the program:

  • Registration Form - Once the completed Registration Form has been submitted, the unit head (or Departmental Booking Agent in the Department of Athletics) will confirm availability of space and the willingness of the unit to sponsor the proposed program.  If space is available and a unit is willing to sponsor the program, the unit head (or Departmental Booking Agent in the Department of Athletics) will endorse the request and submit for formal review and approval by the Protection of Minors Coordinator.
  • Compliance Form - The Compliance Form is required to be completed and submitted for review by the Protection of Minors Coordinator. 

The Protection of Minors Coordinator will inform the Program Director and sponsoring unit head (or Departmental Booking Agent in the Department of Athletics) of whether the proposed program is approved.  Notification of approved requests will be sent to relevant University departments including, for example, Carolina Union, Public Safety, Parking and Transportation, Housing and Residential Education, Risk Management, and Campus Dining Services.

Post Approval Procedures

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Units may choose to require the Covered Programs that they sponsor to prominently display their compliance with the Policy, for example, by requiring Program Staff to wear lanyards or buttons that say “I’ve been checked” and indicate the year of issue.  Covered Programs may require staff to wear the issued lanyards or buttons at all times when the Covered Program is operating.

Protection of Minors Program Oversight

Day-to-day program oversight is provided by the Protection of Minors Coordinator at UNC CH. 

The University has established an Advisory Board to support and advise the Protection of Minors Coordinator.  The Board includes representatives from the various University stakeholder departments, including Athletics; EOC; Diversity and Multicultural Affairs; Environment, Health and Safety; OHR; Office of the Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost; Public Safety; Risk Management; and Student Affairs.

Resources

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  • Protection of Minors Policy
  • Registration Form
  • Compliance Form
  • “Pre-Camp Training Topics” identified by the American Camp Association (http://www.acacamps.org/knowledge/human/precamp)
  • Covered Programs are encouraged to have policies that address instances of severe weather, swimming safety, lifeguard supervision, travel off premises, or other applicable situations where minors’ safety or security could potentially be threatened
  • Training for Program Staff in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), First Aid, and automated external defibrillator (AED) use is also strongly recommended.

Contact Information

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Protection of Minors Program

  • Starr Barbaro, Protection of Minors Coordinator
  • Monday-Friday 8am-5pm, excluding holidays: 919-843-8995
  • protectionofminors@unc.edu

Orange County Child Protective Services:

University’s Equal Opportunity and Compliance Office

UNC CH Public Safety