Each edition of the IntegrityStar features an actual investigation conducted by the investigative offices here at UCF (note, however, all names have been changed in an effort to provide confidentiality of the parties involved). In this edition, we’d like to share a case involving our Youth Protection Program, which resulted in corrective action and an improvement in the Program to keep minors on our campus safe.
University Compliance and Ethics was notified of an incident on campus involving minors registered through the university’s Youth Protection Program. The office initiated an inquiry and subsequent investigation.
The minors were participating in an overnight program hosted by a third-party youth program sponsor on UCF’s campus. The minors had a disagreement while in a UCF residence hall and one of the minors left the residence hall undetected by the program staff assigned responsibility for supervising the minors. The minor was initially lost on campus during inclement weather, when a UCF student noticed them and contacted their parent. The parent then picked up their child and notified the third-party program sponsor that they were taking their child home. Based on the evidence obtained during the investigation, University Compliance and Ethics identified that the on-site supervisor was not present and the staff assigned the responsibility were not actively supervising the minors. The university implemented the following corrective actions:
- The third-party program sponsor is no longer permitted to host overnight youth programs at UCF.
- UCF Housing and Residence Life implemented a process to monitor compliance with the provisions of the signed Housing Agreements, namely, to ensure that the individual listed as the on-site supervisor is on-site during the overnight program.
- University Compliance and Ethics implemented within the Squire Registration Portal a process for flagging overnight camps and listing the program staff who will reside with overnight campers. This process assists UCF Conference Housing with identifying the staff for each overnight youth program at the time of check in, and ensures that the appropriate ratios of staff to minors are maintained.
- University Compliance and Ethics also implemented a new requirement for youth program sponsors to submit a safety plan when registering a youth program. That plan must be reviewed by the office prior to approval of the program registration.
- University Compliance and Ethics and the UCF Conference Housing staff also developed and implemented a new mandatory training course for youth program staff supervising minors in overnight camps. This training course includes expectations regarding proper supervision.