Guidance for Implementation of the Protection of Minors Policy
Individuals at RIT (whether faculty, staff, or students) who are organizing an activity or event that involves minors must register the program with the Office of Youth Protection and Compliance at least 30 days prior to the start of the program. This applies to programs held on campus as well as RIT-sponsored programs that occur off-campus.
All youth program organizers must ensure the following steps are completed prior to the start of their programs:
- Submit the Program Registration Form.
- If there are multiple sessions, please register each session.
- If this will be an in-person program, determine if the program requires a permit from the Monroe County Department of Health for summer or overnight camps.
- The program organizer must submit the permit application to the Office of Youth Protection and Compliance at least 90 days prior to the start of the camp.
- If this will be a virtual program, determine the platform you will be utilizing.
- Zoom (through RIT) and myCourses are approved platforms.
- If you plan to use any other online platform and must secure a contract through Procurement, the platform will be vetted for security and privacy requirements.
- If you plan to use a platform other than Zoom or myCourses but do not need to work through Procurement, then you must submit the platform for approval using the RIT Information Access and Protection Questionnaire.
- Once you receive approval from the Information Security Office (ISO), you must send the platform’s End User Agreement to Evan Thompson, Interim Privacy Officer (firstname.lastname@example.org). Let him know the ISO has already approved the platform.
- Review the Staff Screening Process by Program Role to understand the specific screening steps that will be required for each member of your program staff (including yourself).
Keep in mind that the while you must continue to report screened individuals for each new program they work, the screening is only necessary on an annual basis. Therefore you must report individuals for each program they work, but each person must only complete the screening process once each year.
- Submit the Staff Tracking Form for each individual who will be working or volunteering with your program, including yourself.
- If the staff is large, you may use this spreadsheet to submit the staff information on a single list rather than completing the staff tracking form for each individual. Please email the completed list to Cara Mulvaney (email@example.com).
- If an individual will be working or volunteering for multiple sessions, please include all sessions that individual will be involved in on the same form.
- The individual staff member’s role with the program will determine the necessary screening process:
- For your (the program organizer) annual background check, submit the Request Form to Human Resources. (If you are unsure if you are due for a new background check, please check with Cara Mulvaney first.)
- If the individual is a guest speaker, presenter, or panelist who will be supervised by an authorized adult at all times and will not be responsible for minors at any time, no other screening is required.
- If the individual is someone who will only interact with minors for brief and intermittent activities only:
- Send the individual the Staff Code of Conduct - Select Volunteers. This may be completed on a computer or mobile device and submitted electronically. This is the only screening requirement that must be completed for these roles.
- For large groups of these individuals working the same program or other circumstances where an individual’s completing this form is not possible, the program organizer may determine an alternate means of distributing the content of this form. In that case, the program organizer must provide Cara Mulvaney with a description of how this requirement was satisfied for that specific program.
- If the individual is NOT a guest speaker, presenter, panelist, or select volunteer:
- The individual will be sent an email from Hire Right to initiate a background check. Please let them know they will need to respond to that email right away.
- If the individual is a current RIT staff or faculty member, they will be assigned the appropriate youth protection training in Talent Roadmap. Please let them know to expect a notification about this.
- If the individual is an RIT student or other individual who is not an RIT employee, please have them complete the training session “Protecting Minors: Identifying and Reporting Sexual Misconduct” through the United Educators portal.
- Please provide the staff person the link to the Staff Code of Conduct. This may be completed on a computer or mobile device and submitted electronically.
- Depending on the individual’s role with the program, the program organizer also may be instructed to have the staff person complete the New York State Mandated Reporter Self-Directed Online Training. Cara Mulvaney will notify the program organizer about this as necessary.
- The program organizer will be notified by Cara Mulvaney once the staff member has completed this process and is authorized to begin working or volunteering with the program.
- From each minor participant in your program, in addition to your program’s own registration form, collect a release form and participant code of conduct. The program organizer should complete the activity description section on the form prior to distributing it to participants. These do not need to be submitted to the Office of Youth Protection and Compliance, but please retain these in a secure manner.
Release Agreement to Participate (for in-person programs)
Virtual Program Release Agreement and Waiver (for virtual programs)
RIT Youth Program Participant Code of Conduct
If your program is a webinar or virtual presentation, where there will be minimal interaction between the minor participants and the speakers or panelists, a Release Agreement to Participate is not necessary. Instead, you may provide the Virtual Program Terms to participants when you distribute the webinar link. The program organizer must first download the document and complete the highlighted spots on this document before distributing it to participants.
RIT Virtual Program Terms
- Ensure your program plans provide appropriate safety, supervision, and privacy for the children who will be participating in your program:
- Collect registration information from participants, including parent/guardian and emergency contact information as appropriate.
- Staffing levels should be sufficient to prevent unsupervised 1:1 contact or communication between staff/volunteers and participants or unsupervised 1:1 contact or communication between participants, both for in-person and virtual activities. This includes disabling private chatting in virtual settings, ensuring virtual breakout rooms are supervised by an authorized adult, and ensuring private meetings out of sight and sound of others do not occur.
- If it will be necessary to provide transportation during your program, program staff and volunteers should not use personal vehicles to transport participants.
- Provide parents/legal guardians with staff contact information and information on how to report concerns about the program.
- For virtual programs, all staff and volunteers should utilize the recommended security and privacy settings of the online platform to ensure only registered participants join an activity. Staff should ensure they can control participants’ screens and audio if necessary.
- Program staff and volunteers should not have any contact with participants outside of scheduled program hours or activities or on other platforms not approved for use by your program, unless such activity has been approved by the Office of Youth Protection and Compliance.
- Once all of the above steps have been completed, submit the Acknowledgement of Compliance for your program.
Summer Day camp
If your program meets the following criteria, it must meet NY children's camp requirements as well as the rest of the guidance on this page.
- Operates between June 1 and September 15
- With 10 or more children under 16 years of age
- For more than all or part of 5 days in a 2-week period
- Includes 1 or more "non-passive recreational activities" (i.e. sports, swimming, field trips)
- Single activity camps are excluded (all of the time is spent on one activity/sport)
- Classroom educational programs are excluded unless more than 1 hour or 1/5 of the day is spent on a "non-passive recreational activity"
- Is occupied by 10 or more children under 18 years of age
- For 72 or more consecutive hours
RIT Employees and Students Engaging in Non-RIT Programs, Events, or Activities with Minors
If you are going to participate in an activity with minors that is not sponsored by RIT, and you are participating in your role as an RIT employee or student, RIT’s Protection of Minors Policy applies to your participation in that program. Please submit the program, event, or activity to the Office of Youth and Protection by completing the Registration for RIT Employee or Student Participation in Non-RIT Activity form.
Here are a few examples of activities when this form should be completed:
- RIT student observing a K-12 classroom as teacher training
- RIT faculty member asked to be a guest speaker for a community youth organization
- RIT outreach staff asked to conduct STEM activities for a scouts meeting
- RIT faculty member asked to serve as a judge for a K-12 school’s science fair
Internships and Lab Visits with Minors
Both RIT and the K-12 community benefit when students visit RIT and/or participate in internships on campus. The individual coordinating an internship opportunity for a minor should register the internship with the Office of Youth Protection and Compliance by completing this form. The internship coordinator must ensure the following steps are completed prior to the start of a minor’s internship:
- Faculty, staff, and students who will be working directly with a minor intern must clear a sex offender registry check in accordance with RIT Human Resources procedures.
- Faculty, staff, and students who will be working directly with a minor intern must complete online youth protection training. Upon registration of the internship, the internship coordinator will receive further information about how to access the training.
In order to maximize the rewards and minimize the risk from these activities, please consider the following when coordinating such a visit:
- Be sure to follow all of the requirements and guidance for the protection of minors on this page.
- Contact Environmental Health & Safety (585) 475-2040 for help with a safety and training assessment if students are working in shops/labs/studios or in other potentially hazardous areas.
- Create a plan which eliminates or minimizes the chance that a minor will be working alone or behind a closed door with an adult.
- Familiarize the student with RIT emergency action plans.
Visit RIT’s Human Subjects Research Office here.
Minors in RIT Housing - information coming soon