The Administrative Policies

TAP NO. 50 - Protection of Minors

Scope

This policy applies to students, faculty, and staff; all individuals doing business with or providing services to the University; and all other persons that participate in the University's programs and activities, including third-party visitors on campus.

Purpose

This policy sets forth the University's commitment to the protection of Minors on campus. It also puts into practice the requirements set forth under Pennsylvania Act 153 and Pennsylvania's Child Protective Services Law.

I. Policy

The University places the highest emphasis on the safety and wellbeing of its students, faculty and staff. The University places the same emphasis on the safety and wellbeing of its campus visitors and particularly those visitors who are Minors. Minors may visit the campus for various reasons, including as matriculated students, prospective students, interns, clinic patients, or as part of an athletic camp or program.

To put into practice the University's commitment to the protection of Minors on campus and to the compliance with the various laws related to Minors on campus, this policy describes the University's requirements regarding background checks, programs with Minors, and reporting suspected abuse. Every member of the campus community has an obligation to comply with the provisions of this policy.

As used in this policy, the term "Minor(s)" means any person or group of persons under the age of 18, excluding those who are enrolled at the University as full-time students.

II. PA ACT 153 Compliance

A. Key Terms and Concepts Related to Act 153 Compliance

1. Direct Contact: the care, supervision, guidance, or control of Minors or routine interaction with Minors.

2. Routine Interaction: regular and repeated contact that is integral to a person's employment responsibilities.

3. Act 153 Clearances: Pennsylvania Act 153 requires employees working at educational institutions who have direct contact and routine interaction with Minors to obtain three different background checks: 1) Pennsylvania Access to Criminal History Check through the Pennsylvania State Police, 2) Pennsylvania Child Abuse History Check through the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services, and 3) FBI Criminal History Check, requiring the individual to submit their fingerprints to the FBI.

4. Act 153 Eligible Positions:

a. The following University employees are required to obtain Pa Act 153 clearances:

i. Faculty, staff, and student employees working at Duquesne with direct contact and routine interaction with Minors during the course of their employment;

ii. Admissions employees or other faculty and staff who have direct contact and routine interaction with Minors while recruiting or working off campus; and

iii. Faculty teaching dual-enrolled students/who have high school students enrolled in or attending one of their courses. Dual-enrolled students are Minors in high school taking college courses on the University's campus.

b. Faculty, staff, and student employees working with matriculated students under the age of 18 are not required to obtain PA Act 153 clearances.

c. Responsibility for Identifying PA Act Eligible Positions:

i. University Department Heads and Managers are responsible for determining whether their employees, based on required job duties, must obtain PA Act 153 clearances. This includes all full-time, part-time, and temporary PA Act 153 eligible positions within their area(s) of responsibility.

ii. Department Heads and Managers must alert the Office of Human Resources when adding or changing responsibilities to include direct contact and regular interaction with Minors. Updates must be communicated to hrservices@duq.edu.

d. The Office of Human Resources will conduct an annual position audit to review and update as appropriate the current list of PA Act 153 eligible positions. The Office of Human Resources will consult with all University Department Heads (or their designee) in order to conduct this audit, and will share Act 153 definition of "direct contact" and "routine interaction" to ensure clearances are needed based on required job duties. The position audit will include all positions: part-time, full-time, temporary, student and non-student. The annual audit will occur each year commencing on October 1 and will be completed by December 31.

B. Act 153 Clearance Information for New Hires and Current Employees

1. New Hires: Through its vendor, the Office of Human Resources will initiate Act 153 Clearances. Employment will not commence until the results of the Act 153 Clearances are received and are satisfactory to the University, except as otherwise described below.

a. Swear and Affirm: In the event Act 153 Clearances are not received prior to an employee's start date, the law provides a 90-day provisional period for employees to begin working as long as the applicant/employee provides a signed swear-and-affirm waiver and verification and the "provisional employee" works in the immediate vicinity of a cleared permanent employee. In such cases, the Office of Human Resources will take the following steps:

i. Require express written approval from the appropriate Department Head in order to allow commencement of employment;

ii. Send the official swear and affirm document to the provisional employee and explain the form requirements;

iii. Receive completed form and review to ensure compliance;

iv. Educate the provisional employee and employing department supervisor on the requirements of provisional employment;

v. Use a tracking system to monitor until final clearances are received; and

vi. Notify the provisional employee and Department Head when final clearances are received.

2. Current Employees: When job duties shift such that a current employee will have direct contact and regular interaction with Minors, Act 153 Clearances must be obtained for continued employment.

a. University Department Heads and Managers must notify the Office of Human Resources of such position changes.

b. Once notified of the change in duties, HR will:

i. Promptly communicate with employee about the need to obtain Act 153 Clearances and provide directions on how to do so.

ii. Explain the swear and affirm process as described above with the employee, ensure collection of documents, and set up /track the 90-day provisional employment period.

iii. Through its vendor initiate PA Act 153-specific clearances.

iv. Track and ensure receipt, review, and proper storage of clearances.

3. Previously obtained Act 153 Clearances; transfers: Clearances previously obtained for the purpose of employment with another employer will be accepted as long as they are less than five years old from the start date of employment with Duquesne University. Clearances obtained for purposes of a volunteer assignment or that are over five years old will not be considered for transfer. Commencement of employment may not occur until the previously obtained clearances are received and reviewed by the Office of Human Resources or the employee and department follow the swear and affirm above. Eligible transfer clearances will be documented in the Office of Human Resources system. The Office of Human Resources will advise employees when the transfer clearances are about to expire and will explain the recertification process.

4. Recertification: Act 153 Clearances must be renewed every 5 years so long as employment is ongoing and responsibilities continue to require direct contact and regular interaction with Minors. Accordingly, the Office of Human Resources will track, monitor, and prepare reports related to clearance expiration dates. At least 60 days prior to scheduled expiration of clearances, the Office of Human Resources will communicate with affected employees in order to ascertain whether or not their job responsibilities continue to require direct contact and regular interaction with Minors; any reported changes or discrepancies will be reviewed by HR with the Department Head or his/her designee. The Office of Human Resources will also provide an overview of PA Act 153 recertification standards and expectations and provide directions on how/when to recertify under PA Act 153.

III. Programs with Minors

A. Key Terms and Concepts Related to Programs with Minors

1. Minors Program: An event sponsored or co-sponsored by, or in any way affiliated with, Duquesne University that involves Minors and that is compliant with the requirements of the Compliance Manual for Programs Involving Minors.

2. Exempt Program: An Exempt Program is not required to follow all the requirements under the Compliance Manual for Programs Involving Minors. As more fully described later in this policy, however, Exempt Programs are required to be registered with the Assistant Director, Risk Management (ADRM). The ADRM has final discretion regarding whether a Minors Program is an Exempt Program. The following is a list of Exempt Program categories:

a. Performances or events open to the general public (such as liturgies, athletic competitions, plays, concerts, lectures);

b. Visits and tours for prospective students organized or sponsored by the Office of Undergraduate Admissions. This is a limited exemption, and not all Minors Programs co-sponsored by the Office of Undergraduate Admissions are exempt;

c. Tutoring and mentoring by full-time Duquesne University students who are registered in recognized organizations or participating in community service activities sponsored by an administrative or academic unit of the University provided that such activities take place only in public settings (such as libraries and dining halls) during normal operating hours;

d. Visits by Minors over the age of 16 who are prospective student-athletes, or siblings of enrolled students, when hosted by enrolled University students provided that all such visitors shall be fully subject to the Student Code of Conduct while on campus and all other applicable University policies requirements;

e. Private events that are by invitation only (such as wedding receptions and similar functions);

f. Programs where Minors are accompanied by their parent(s) or guardian(s) for the duration of the event (such as music recitals or post-athletic meet-the-athlete events);

g. Programs of limited duration as approved by the ADRM where those supervising the Minors will have their clearances and be able to see, hear and direct the interactions with the Minors at all times during the program (including in the dining and residence halls); and

h. Other visits and tours of campus as approved by the ADRM (such as Siblings Weekend).

3. Program Coordinator: The Duquesne University student, faculty, or staff member responsible for overseeing the planning, operation, and execution of the Program, and for certifying compliance with all requirements of the Compliance Manual for Programs Involving Minors. The Program Coordinator is also subject to clearance and training requirements, further outlined in the Compliance Manual for Programs Involving Minors, and must be at least 18 years of age.

B. Program Requirements

1. Compliance Manual for Programs Involving Minors: All Minors Programs must meet the requirements in the Compliance Manual for Programs Involving Minors, available on DORI or by contacting the Office of Risk Management (ORM) by email at pwm@duq.edu or by phone at 412-396-2073.

2. Registering a Minors Program: All Minors Programs, including Exempt Programs, must be registered with the Office of Risk Management (ORM). To register a Minors Program, the Program Coordinator must submit the registration form, found in the Compliance Manual for Programs Involving Minors, to the ORM at least four weeks prior to the Minors Program. The ORM will then work with the Program Coordinator to identify what requirements need to be met prior to the Minors Program start date. Failure to timely notify the ORM of Minors Program, including Exempt Programs, will result in immediate cancellation of the event.

3. Access to University Facilities; Compliance with University Policies: The University reserves the right to condition, restrict or deny access to University facilities for Minors Programs at its discretion. All Minors shall be subject to all applicable University policies while on campus and may be asked to leave the campus if unwilling to comply.

4. Prohibited Conduct: The following conduct is prohibited for all Minors Programs including Exempt Programs:

a. Unobserved or unsupervised one-on-one contact with a Minor;

b. Corporal punishment;

c. Inappropriate touching;

d. Horseplay;

e. Hazing or bullying;

f. The presence or consumption of tobacco, alcohol or illegal drugs;

g. The presence or use of sexually explicit literature or other media;

h. The presence or use of firearms or weapons;

i. Gifts unrelated to the Minors Program and/or that indicate favoritism to one or a small group of Minors over the others in the Minors Program (i.e., if gifts related to the Minors Program are given to participant Minors, they should be given to all participant Minors);

j. Photographing, videoing and/or recording Minors without a signed Use of Image Consent and Release form from the parent or guardian;

k. Use of photographs, videos and/or recordings in any way other than indicated on a signed Use of Image Consent and Release form;

l. Posting identifying information about Minors to social media sites without written permission from the parent or guardian;

m. Communication between adults and Minors on matters unrelated to Minors Program logistics using technology including but not limited to telephone, email, text messaging or social media; and

n. Transportation of Minors by adults except in conformance with a transportation plan that has been discussed with the ADRM.

C. Training

1. Students, faculty, and staff who volunteer with and/or act as Program Coordinators for Minors Programs are required to have taken University TAP 50 training within the three years prior to the Minors Program. Training will be offered in-person, periodically, and online at any time.

IV. Duty to Report

A. Mandated Reporter:

All University employees are Mandated Reporters of suspected or reported child abuse. There are no exceptions; clergy and licensed healthcare providers are also considered Mandated Reporters. Students responsible for the welfare of a Minor or who have direct contact with Minors such as those acting in the capacity of Supervising Adults are also Mandatory Reporters of suspected or reported child abuse. Volunteers for Programs with Minors are also Mandatory Reporters of suspected or reported child abuse. Additionally, it is consistent with the University's mission to encourage all other non-Mandated Reporters to report instances or suspected instances of child abuse.

As used in this policy, child abuse has the same meaning that it has under the Pennsylvania Child Protective Services Law. Some examples include 1) causing bodily injury; 2) falsifying, exaggerating, or inducing a medical symptom or disease which results in a potentially harmful medical evaluation or treatment; 3) causing or substantially contributing to serious mental injury; 4) sexual abuse or exploitation; and 5) neglect. Mandated Reporters who are uncertain whether a report or suspected activity meets the definition of child abuse should file a Mandatory Report out of an abundance of caution.

B. Filing a Mandatory Report:

Mandatory Reporters must immediately submit reports of abuse internally (to Duquesne) and externally (to the PA Dept. of Human Services). Members of the University community who are not Mandated Reporters are encouraged to follow the steps outlined below to report suspected or reported child abuse. If a Minor is in immediate danger, call 911 or contact DUPS at 412-396-2677.

1. Internal Reports: Convey all relevant information regarding the suspected or reported abuse to the (ADRM); University General Counsel; the Director of Public Safety; or the Director of Human Resources. These officials, in turn, have the obligation to ensure that a report has appropriately been made externally.

2. External Reports: External reports to the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services may be submitted by telephone via the Childline Hotline at 1-800-932-0313, or electronically via the Child Welfare Portal www.compass.state.pa.us/cwis. Not later than 48 hours after calling the Childline Hotline, the Mandated Reporter must prepare and submit a written report utilizing Form CY47 (located online at keepkidssafe.pa.gov) to the County Children and Youth Agency where the suspected abuse occurred. A report made electronically via the Child Welfare Portal is not required to be followed by Form CY47.

3. Mandated Reporters are expected to make an Internal Report, but solely making an Internal Report is not sufficient under this policy or the law.

4. Under the Pennsylvania Child Protective Services Law, a person or school acting in good faith who makes a report of child abuse, whether required to report or not, has immunity from civil and criminal liability.

C. When to File a Mandatory Report

1. A Mandated Reporter must immediately make a report if he/she has reasonable cause to suspect that a Minor is the victim of child abuse in the following circumstances:

a. The Mandatory Reporter comes into contact with the Minor in the course of employment, occupation and practice of a profession or through a regularly scheduled program, activity or service;

b. The Mandatory Reporter is directly responsible for the care, supervision, guidance, or training of the Minor, or is affiliated with an agency, institution, organization, school, regularly established church or religious organization or other entity that is directly responsible for the care, supervision, guidance or training of a Minor;

c. A person makes a specific disclosure to the Mandatory Reporter that an identifiable Minor is the victim of child abuse;

d. An individual 14 years of age or older makes a specific disclosure to Mandatory Reporter that the individual has committed child abuse.

V. Recordkeeping

A. Act 153 Eligible Employees:

The Office of Human Resources shall be the official record-keeper for all employment-based Act 153 clearance documents. Clearances will be organized and stored electronically and will be searchable by designated HR personnel only. Employment based Act 153 clearance documents shall be retained by the Office of Human Resources as long as they are valid and the employee remains actively and has continued direct contact and regular interaction with Minors as part of their job or volunteer responsibilities. In the event an employee with employment-based clearances separates from the University, the Office of Human Resources will maintain the clearance that is active at the time the employee separates from the University for seven years from the date the employee separates from the University.

B. Programs with Minors Volunteers:

Program Coordinators are responsible for maintaining evidence that all individuals who volunteer with a Minors Program have obtained appropriate clearances. Program Coordinators shall forward clearances obtained by University students, faculty, and staff who volunteer with Minors Programs to the Office of Human Resources, who will maintain clearances on file for seven years. In the event the student, faculty, or staff leaves the University the Office of Human Resources will maintain the most recent clearance on file for seven years from the date the student, faculty, or staff separates from the University.

VI. Related Information

Compliance Manual for Programs Involving Minors

PA Act 153

PA Child Protective Services Law

TAP No. 4, Recruitment and Employment

Swear and Affirm Waiver Verification Form

University PA Act 153 FAQ's

PA Department of Human Services Child Welfare Portal

PA ChildLine

VII. Violations

Violations of this policy will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis and may result in sanctions up to and including termination of employment or expulsion. In addition:

Any delay in response or refusal to comply on the part of an employee or applicant with the Act 153 Clearance requirements under the law and this policy will be referred to the Chief Human Resources Officer, the Vice President of Legal Affairs, and the appropriate divisional Vice President for review and resolution and/or will result in rescinding of an offer of employment.

University programs involving Minors that have not been registered with the ORM or that do not meet all of the requirements outlined in the Compliance Manual for Programs Involving Minors are subject to cancellation.

If an employee is arrested or convicted of any PA Act 153 Prohibited Offense, the employee must provide the Office of Human Resources with written notice within 3 days after the arrest, conviction or notification that the person has been listed as a perpetrator in the statewide database. The Office of Human Resources will review the report with appropriate University administrators, and the report will be reviewed for appropriate action. An employee who fails to disclose this information as required shall be subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment.

If a student is arrested or convicted of any PA Act 153 Prohibited Offense, the student must notify the Director of Student Conduct within 3 days after the arrest, conviction or notification that the person has been listed as a perpetrator in the statewide database. The Director of Student Conduct will share the report with appropriate University administrators, and report will be reviewed for appropriate action. A student who fails to disclose this information as required shall be subject to disciplinary action up to and including expulsion.

Any employee or student against whom a credible accusation of child abuse has been made as determined by a preponderance of the evidence, on or off campus, is subject to University discipline up to and including termination or expulsion, as applicable.

A University employee who is convicted of the abuse of a Minor will be terminated, whether the abuse occurred on or off campus. Any student of the University who is convicted of abuse, on or off campus, will be expelled from the University.

VIII. History

Date of most recent revision: April 2020.

IX. Ownership of Policy

Division of Legal Affairs

Office of Risk Management

Office of Human Resources

Department of Public Safety