A Reminder on our Youth Protection Program
Next month we celebrate Child Abuse Prevention Month. As the academic school year winds-down and the youth summer camp season gears up, we wanted to take this time to reiterate that the university is proud to host our future Knights in a variety of academic, recreational, overnight, and service programs.
Youth programs vary significantly, and UCF is committed to providing a safe and healthy environment for all programs associated with the university. UCF’s Youth Protection Program sets forth standards and expectations for providing a safe environment for minors and to ensure all persons understand how to minimize the threat of child abuse and neglect, recognize the signs of child abuse and neglect, and respond promptly and effectively should child abuse and neglect be observed, suspected, or disclosed.
University Compliance and Ethics is responsible for implementation of the university’s Youth Protection Program and oversees compliance with UCF Policy 2-005 Youth Protection. We work with colleges, departments, and our community to ensure programming needs are met while fulfilling the university’s commitment to provide a safe campus environment and meet legal obligations. If you, your unit, or your department hosts or sponsors activities involving youth participants that meet the definition of a program in UCF Policy 2-005, you will need to be familiar with and adhere to this policy. We encourage you visit the Youth Protection Program webpage for information on the program and to access resources.
Activities or programs subject to the Youth Protection Policy are required to register with University Compliance and Ethics using the Squire Registration Portal at least 45 days prior to the program’s start date. Recurring programs must re-register on an annual basis. Please read the university’s policy for information that is required to be submitted as part of the registration process.
Third-party organizations and other non-UCF affiliated groups hosting programs with minor participants at our campus must have a campus liaison register the youth program with the university on behalf of the third party. The campus liaison must be either a UCF or Direct Support Organization (DSO) employee.
All program sponsors and program staff responsible for the supervision of minors must pass a State of Florida Level 2 background check in accordance with UCF Policy 3-011 Background Checks. Eligibility to work with minors is determined by the Florida Department of Children and Families. Program staff who supervise minors on an intermittent basis for less than 10 hours per month do not require a background check, as long as a person who meets the level 2 background check requirement is always present and has the staff member within sight at all times.
DSOs and third-party organizations are required to electronically sign a Third Party Completed Background Check Certification as part of the program registration within Squire. This Certification verifies that all required background checks have been conducted on anyone supervising minors as part of their program.
The UCF Youth Protection Training was developed to protect all individuals working with minors, and the minors themselves, by providing education on UCF policies and federal and state reporting requirements when working with minors. All youth program staff, both UCF affiliated and third party, are required to complete this training within Squire at least five days prior to the program start date. The training course is required to be repeated every two years to remain compliant with the university’s policy.
Youth program staff who are responsible for supervising minors during overnight programs must also complete the UCF Overnight Youth Program Staff Training annually within Squire prior to the start of the overnight program.
In addition to completing the training all program staff must certify within Squire to their understanding of the UCF Youth Program Staff Code of Conduct.
All Programs subject to the Youth Protection Policy must obtain camp insurance in accordance with UCF Policy 3-110 University Insurance and provide proof of such when submitting their registration through the Squire Portal.
Programs hosted or sponsored by UCF must purchase camp insurance through the office of Enterprise Risk and Insurance (firstname.lastname@example.org). Documentation confirming the purchase must be uploaded at the time of program registration. Programs hosted on university property by a third-party organization must upload a valid Certificate of Insurance in accordance with the requirements set forth in UCF Policy 3-110.
All persons in the State of Florida are mandated reporters of child abuse and neglect, as defined by Florida Statute Chapter 39, and must comply with Florida’s mandated reporting laws. These laws require any person who knows, or has reasonable cause to suspect, that a child is abused or neglected, to report such knowledge or suspicion to DCF, regardless of where it occurs. If you suspect or know of child abuse occurring:
- Remove the child from immediate harm if it is safe to do so and call 9-1-1.
- Report the abuse or neglect to the Florida DCF Hotline using one of the following:
a) Telephone: 1-800-962-2873; Florida Relay 711 or TTY: 1-800-955-8771
b) Fax: 1-800-914-0004
c) Online: https://reportabuse.dcf.state.fl.us/
- Report the abuse or neglect to the UCF IntegrityLine using one of the following:
a) Telephone: 855-877-6049
b) Online: ucfintegrityline.com
Additionally, Florida Statutes state that university administrators who knowingly and willfully, upon receiving information from faculty or staff, fails to report known or suspected child abuse, abandonment, or neglect committed on university property or during a university event, or who knowingly and willfully prevent another person from reporting, shall subject the university to a fine of $1 million for each failure. In accordance with the Florida Board of Governors Regulation 3.002, “university administrator” means the following high level personnel who have been assigned the responsibilities of university-wide academic or administrative functions: university president, provost, senior or executive vice presidents, vice presidents, associate vice presidents, associate or vice provosts, deans, chief of police, equal opportunity programs director, intercollegiate athletics director, internal audit director, Title IX coordinator, and university compliance officer.
Check out the FAQ section of this edition to review some questions and answers related to this article or for more information on the UCF Youth Protection Program, including resources, please visit the Youth Protection Program Website. Questions regarding the Youth Protection Program can be directed to University Compliance and Ethics at email@example.com.