Policy In Progress Aims to Protect Children Attending UNH Programs

Policy In Progress Aims to Protect Children Attending UNH Programs

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

A draft of a policy that addresses kids participating in UNH programs was presented to the PAT Council last week and will be discussed at the monthly meeting of the OS Council today. It will also be shared with other UNH governance groups and councils during the next few months. 

The draft, titled “UNH Policy for the Protection of Minors” aims to provide a secure environment for children attending university programs. 

“Adopting and implementing a successful university wide policy is imperative in establishing a safe environment for any youth that are here in our community,” the draft reads.  

UNH brings upwards of 30,000 youth under the age of 18 to campus each year. Having this many children either in day camps or staying overnight for various sports camps and academic programs requires careful program planning, policy and training for employees and program managers. 

A working group that includes child safety experts in UNH’s Crimes against Children Research Center, members of the departments that provide programs to minors, and Human Resources, has been working on the policy since October 2012.

Once the policy is approved, a plan to train UNH staff will be implemented.

Draft recommendations include:

  • Conduct background checks every 3 years on faculty, staff, and volunteers who have access to minors
  • Create an internal minors protection training team to train program managers on an ongoing basis in child protection strategies
  • Designate a department/employee to oversee implementation of the policy and procedures in all programs that serve minors
  • Conduct a survey of programs that serve minors at UNH and UNH-M

 

Members of the working group include:

Affirmative Action                 Donna Marie Sorrentino

Athletics                             Steve Metcalf, Carrie Kimball and Kate McAfee

Campus Recreation              Stacey Hall and Brian Scott

Cooperative Extension          Wendy Brock

Dining Services                    Richard Lehoullier

Housing                               Michael Saputo

Human Resources                Pat McCabe and Chris Van Horn

SHARPP                             Mary Mayhew

TRIO                                    Dan Gordon

UNH Police                          Frank Weeks