Minor Protection and Adult Leadership
Assistant Vice Chancellor for Human Resources, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Business Services
Vice Chancellor of Finance and Administration
Director, Office of Workforce Relations, Director, Risk Management
The University of Wisconsin–Madison values the well-being, safety, and protection of minors who participate in programs sponsored by or associated with the University. This policy provides guidance for University of Wisconsin–Madison employees regarding appropriate levels of supervision of and contact with minors. The policy protects minors and members of the University of Wisconsin–Madison who supervise or interact with minors.
Who This Policy Applies To
This policy applies to University of Wisconsin–Madison employees (including volunteers) who sponsor, operate, or participate in programs which include contact with minors (other than minors who are enrolled students or employees of the University).
This policy establishes a minimum standard of conduct relating to the supervision of and interactions with minors. It does not supersede any stricter standards set by divisions, departments, or programs that apply to supervision of and interaction with minors, including the supervision of minors who are participating in University research, which is overseen by a campus Institutional Research Board. This policy does not reflect additional requirements which programs must meet as outlined in other State, UW System or UW–Madison policy.
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.
This policy does not apply to events on campus that are open to the general public, or locations generally open to the public, and which minors attend at the sole discretion of their parent(s) or legal guardian(s), or private events where minors attend under parental or legal guardian supervision. Any other program or activity that believes it should be exempt from this policy must contact the Assistant Vice Chancellor for Human Resources or Director of Risk Management to request an exemption.
The University of Wisconsin–Madison is committed to the well-being, safety, and protection of all members of the community, including minors. The University community recognizes minors are a potentially vulnerable population, and they require special attention and protection.
- One-on-one contact. One-on-one contact between an adult and a minor is generally prohibited. A group setting must be maintained at all times. One-on-one contact between adults and minors is not permitted during the duration of all University-sponsored programs.
- The case of a child and parent, guardian, or family member relationship.
- Instructional and research settings where one-on-one tutoring ensues. In such settings, free access to the instructional or research 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.
- Authorization by the Assistant Vice Chancellor for Human Resources or Director of Risk Management. The UW–Madison 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 adults (staff members) to minors (campers) must be maintained. See Appendix for recommended ratios for campers.
- 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.
- 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 a 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 leadership requirement identified in this policy 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.
Consequences for Non-Compliance
In accordance with the applicable policies and procedures, University employees who violate this policy may be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment.
Authorized Adult: Any person eighteen (18) years of age or older in a paid or unpaid supervisory or leadership position.
Minor: A person under the age of eighteen (18) who is not a University employee or enrolled or accepted for enrollment at the University.
Program: 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.
University Facilities: Facilities owned by, or under the control of, the University.
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.
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