Minor Protection and Adult Leadership Policy
To provide for appropriate supervision of minors not enrolled or accepted for enrollment at a UW institution who are involved in University-sponsored programs, programs held at the University via written agreement or sponsorship and/or programs housed in University facilities at all geographic locations. Supervision of minors who are subjects in University research is addressed by the Institutional Review Board process and is not addressed by this policy.
This policy also does not apply to general public events or locations that are generally open to the public, such as arboretums and unions, and where parents/guardians are invited and expected to provide supervision of minors.
The University System has adopted the following policies for the safety and well-being of minors that attend our various programs for minors. These policies are primarily for the protection of minors; however, they also serve to protect adult employees and volunteers.
For the purposes of this policy:
"Minor" A person under the age of eighteen (18) who is not enrolled or accepted for enrollment at the University. Students who are "dually enrolled" in University programs while also enrolled in elementary, middle and/or high school are not included in this policy unless such enrollment includes overnight housing in University facilities.
"Authorized Adult" Any person eighteen (18) years of age or older in a paid or unpaid supervisory or leadership position.
"University Facilities" Facilities owned by, or under the control of, the University. University daycare and preschool services or services provided by a licensed health care provider (or employee or volunteer acting under the direction of a licensed healthcare provider) are not included in the definition of university facilities and will follow applicable laws, regulations, and separate policies that reflect the unique activities that occur in those locations.
"Programs" Programs and activities offered by various academic or administrative units of the University. Non-University groups that use University facilities for programs must have an agreement.
This includes but is not limited to workshops, sport camps, academic camps, conferences, and similar activities. Outside groups or organizations that contract with the University to use University facilities for programs must warrant that they follow the Minor Protection and Adult Leadership Policy.
"Department of Health Services (DHS)" In Wisconsin, recreational and educational camps are regulated by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS).
"One-On-One Contact" Unsupervised interaction between an Authorized Adult and a participant in a program without at least one other Authorized Adult, parent, guardian, family member or other minor being present.
One-on-one contact between an adult and a minor is prohibited. A group setting must be maintained at all times which means that one-on-one contact between adults and minors is not permitted during the duration of the program.
- The case of a child and parent, guardian, or family member relationship.
- Instructional settings where one-on-one tutoring ensues. In such settings, free access to the instructional setting by authorized persons to and from any space must be maintained at all times. Examples to achieve this include: no window or door coverings that would restrict or eliminate visibility into the room and ensuring doors that are used to enter and exit the space are unlocked and accessible. In such settings it is strongly encouraged to leave doors open when feasible.
- Authority of Risk Manager or Human Resources Director. An institution's risk manager or human resources director (or their designee) may grant limited exceptions to this policy. Factors to be considered in evaluating an exception are:
- One-on-one contact should not be permitted unless it would fundamentally alter the nature of the service being provided. If one-on-one contact is permitted, free access to and from any space must be maintained.
- The number of adults present must be sufficient to ensure adequate supervision of minors at all times.
Supervision. An appropriate ratio of staff members (adults) to campers (minors) must be maintained. UW System follows DHS regulations, except where a variance applies. One adult is required per every ten campers under the age of 18 during instructional time. One adult per every ten campers under the age of 18 is required during non-instructional periods.
Overnight events. In the case of adults supervising minors overnight, other than the minor's own parent, guardian or family member, an Authorized Adult should not enter a minor's room, bathroom facility, or similar area without another Authorized Adult in attendance, consistent with the policy of not having one-on-one contact with minors. Adults must maintain a two-deep (at least two adults present) at all times on overnight events. When camping or participating in any overnight event, no minor is permitted to sleep in the tent or room of an adult other than his or her own parent or guardian.
Privacy of youth respected. Adults must respect the privacy of minors in situations such as changing clothes and taking showers, whenever possible. Intrusions are permitted only to the extent that health and safety require. Adults must protect their own privacy in similar situations.
Inappropriate use of cameras, imaging, or digital devices prohibited. Use of such device capable of recording or transmitting visual images in shower houses, restrooms, or other areas where privacy is expected by participants is prohibited.
Emergency Exception. The two-deep leadership requirement may be temporarily suspended if an emergency situation warrants it (e.g., one adult accompanies a minor to the emergency room, is summoning law enforcement, or is searching for a missing minor). An alternative adult must join the group to reestablish leadership as soon as feasible.
Violations. Any employee who violates this policy may be subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment.
For additional information on programs involving minors:
Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection ch. ATCP 78, Recreational and Educational Camps
Department of Children and Families ch. 252, (2009), Licensing Rules for Day Camps for Children
Revised: September 2016