SUNY Plattsburgh Campus Handbook

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INFORMATION

Child Protection Policy

Approved by Executive Council on June 2, 2015

Policy Number Policy Owner
8008.1 Management Services

1.0    Purpose

The State University of New York College at Plattsburgh (“College”) is committed to ensuring the health, safety, and general welfare of all members of our campus community, including children who may be participating in campus events and activities, and who are entrusted to the care of the College, an affiliated organization, or a permitted third-party organization. This policy and accompanying procedure outlines the steps that the College will take in order to ensure that all children participating in campus functions will be protected from harm. 

2.0    Revision History

Date Version Change Ref Section
6/2/2015 1.0 New Document  
8/14/2015 1.1 Minor Revisions 4.0
1/6/2017 1.2 Minor Revisions  
4/10/2017 1.3 Minor Revisions 8.0
5/3/2017 1.4 Minor Revisions 8.0

3.0    Units and Persons Affected

All employees, agents, students, volunteers, and employees of the College, college-affiliated organizations, and third-party organizations permitted to operate on College premises.  

4.0    Policy

    4.1    Overview

        4.1.1    Individuals must conduct themselves appropriately with children who participate in College-related programs and report instances or suspicion of physical or sexual abuse of children.

        4.1.2    This local policy supplements SUNY Policy # 6504 – Mandatory Reporting and Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse and SUNY Policy # 6505 – Child Protection Policy and provides procedures that implement all three policies. College employees, volunteers, and other persons affected are expected to comply with all three policies.

    4.2    Child Protection Committee

        4.2.1    The College President shall appoint members to a committee that will be responsible for oversight of the College’s child protection efforts. The committee should have broad representation across academic and student affairs. This committee shall meet at least four times a year and shall be empowered to assess current efforts and make changes as necessary to ensure the safety and welfare of all children in the College’s care. 

        4.2.2    The chairperson of this committee will serve as the president’s designee for child protection and will be responsible for organizing committee meetings, providing annual notifications to the campus, and providing support to responsible university officials, covered persons, and offices responsible for implementing aspects of the child protection program.

    4.3    Covered Activity Identification

        4.3.1    All activities sponsored by the College, a College-affiliated organization, or conducted by a third-party organization permittee that involve children must be assessed to determine whether “custody, control, or supervision” is vested in the College, the affiliate, or the third-party organization. All activities that meet the criteria are considered covered activities and carry affirmative obligations on the College and all covered persons associated with the activity. 

        4.3.2    In the event that there is any disagreement about whether an event is considered a covered event, the matter shall be referred to the president’s designee on child protection who will make a final determination.

    4.4    Responsible University Official and Covered Persons Identification

        4.4.1    The College will designate a responsible university official for each covered activity

        4.4.2    The responsible university official, in tandem with the sponsor of the covered activity, will identify all covered persons

    4.5    Mandatory Reporting of Physical or Sexual Abuse

        4.5.1    All employees, students, and volunteers of the College (regardless of whether they are involved in a covered activity involving children) are expected to comply with SUNY Policy # 6504 on the mandatory reporting of child sexual abuse.

        4.5.2    Notwithstanding any other requirement in this section, individuals who are designated as mandated reporters are still required to report abuse to external agencies, such as the New York State Office of Children & Family Services or the Office of Persons with Developmental Disabilities, through their prescribed reporting mechanisms. Any reporting completed under this policy is in addition to, not in lieu of, other reporting requirements. 

        4.5.3    All covered persons and responsible university officials are required to immediately report any suspected physical abuse or sexual abuse of a child to University Police and provide to University Police a written report of suspected physical or sexual abuse. 

        4.5.4    University Police will coordinate with the appropriate administrative office on campus and where appropriate will report any substantive allegations to the Department of Social Services.

    4.6    College-Sponsored Overnights

        4.6.1    In those instances where an overnight opportunity is not integral to the activity and would not place an undue hardship on the College or participants, College offices should refrain from hosting children on campus overnight.

        4.6.2    All overnight experiences involving children are automatically considered covered activities and would trigger the obligations of SUNY Policy # 6505 – Child Protection Policy.

        4.6.3    Any College-sponsored program that qualifies as a Children’s Camp as defined under New York Public Health Law §1392 must comply with all Department of Health rules.

    4.7    Retaliation

        4.7.1    Retaliatory action against anyone acting in good faith, who has reported alleged physical abuse or sexual abuse in accordance with this policy, or who has been involved in investigating or responding to allegations of physical or sexual abuse, or who has reported a failure to comply with this policy, is a violation of this policy. Retaliatory acts may include, but are not limited to:

            4.7.1.1    Employment actions affecting salary, promotion, job duties, work schedules and/or work locations;

            4.7.1.2    actions negatively impacting a student’s academic record or progress; and

            4.7.1.3    any action affecting the campus environment, including harassment and intimidation.

    4.8    Training & Awareness

        4.8.1    All College employees shall be trained biennially on child protection and mandatory reporting of child sexual abuse to ensure college-wide awareness of these issues.

        4.8.2    In addition, all covered persons and responsible university officials who are employees or volunteers of the College, an affiliated organization, or students will be required to complete an in-depth child protection training prior to the commencement of the activity. The training must have been completed within the last two calendar years.

        4.8.3    Annually, the president’s designee for child protection shall send reminders of this policy to all members of the College community including state employees, students, and employees of college-affiliated organizations.

        4.8.4    The child protection committee shall be responsible for creating a website to provide guidance and support to the campus community.      

    4.9    Third-Party Usage of Facilities

        4.9.1    All third-party organizations seeking to utilize campus facilities and who will be holding covered activities must complete a revocable permit and comply with all terms and conditions of said permits including, but not limited to, disseminating policy information, purchasing sexual molestation insurance and conducting sex offender registry checks on any covered persons. 

        4.9.2    In the event that a third-party organization is unable to secure sexual molestation insurance, it may request an exemption in writing. The College, at its discretion, may grant an exemption based on the following criteria:

            4.9.2.1    The number of children involved in the activity;

            4.9.2.2    the number of covered persons supervising the activity;

            4.9.2.3    the duration on the covered activity;

            4.9.2.4    the date, time, and place of the covered activity;

            4.9.2.5    the level of risk associated with the activity;

            4.9.2.6    the nature of the organization and its history; and

            4.9.2.7    any additional precautions being taken by the organization to safeguard children.

        4.9.3    All decisions made by the College on exemption requests are considered final and are not subject to appeal.

5.0    Definitions

    5.1    Child – An individual who is under the age of 17 and who is participating in a covered activity

    5.2    Children’s camp – A camp defined under New York Public Health Law §1392.

    5.3    College-affiliated organization – An organization located on SUNY Plattsburgh’s campus, intrinsically linked to the College, and advances College interests. Such organizations include College Auxiliary Services, the Plattsburgh Alumni Association, the Plattsburgh College Foundation, and the Research Foundation. 

    5.4   Covered activity – A program or activity sponsored or approved by the College or a College-affiliated organization, or an activity conducted by a third-party organization, occurring on or off campus, for the duration of which the responsibility for custody, control, or supervision of children is vested by the College, College-affiliated organization, or third-party organization. This does not pertain to child-care centers located on College premises nor any instructional activity directly related to enrollment in credit-bearing college courses.

    5.5    Covered persons – A person who is responsible for the custody, control, or supervision of child participating in the Covered Activity and who is:

        5.5.1    An employee of the College or College-affiliated organization; or

        5.5.2    a student enrolled at the College; or

        5.5.3    a volunteer of the College or College-affiliated organization; or

        5.5.4    a vendor, licensee, permittee or other person, who is given permission to come onto campus or to use College facilities for Covered Activities; or

        5.5.5    an employee, agent, or volunteer of 5.5.4.

    5.6    Physical Abuse – Physical contact with a child by a covered person which is intended to cause, or causes, pain or physical injury, including punching, beating, shaking, throwing, kicking, biting and burning, or directing a child, outside the norm of supervised activity, to perform physical activity which is intended to cause physical injury.

    5.7    Sexual abuse – Engaging in a sexual offense with a child and/or encouraging or promoting sexual performance by a child. Pursuant to the NYS Penal Law Articles 130, 263, and Section 260.10 and 260.25 sexual offenses include: sexual misconduct, rape, criminal sex acts, forcible touching, persistent sexual abuse, sexual abuse, aggravated sexual abuse, course of sexual conduct against a child, facilitating a sex offense with a controlled substance, sexually motivated felony, predatory sexual assault against a child, and sexual performance by a child. This also includes Penal Law offenses relating to children including endangering the welfare of a child and unlawfully dealing with a child in the first degree.  Sexual performance by a child, as defined by the Penal Law, is any behavior which results in the touching of the sexual or other intimate parts of a child for the purpose of sexual gratification and/or adult, including touching by the child and/or adult with or without clothing, and all acts as defined by the New York State Penal Law Articles 130, 263, and Section 260.10.

    5.8    Responsible university official – An employee of the College or College-affiliated organization who has been designated by the College to fulfill the responsibilities as listed in Section F of the SUNY Child Protection Policy.

    5.9    Student organization – An organization that includes students enrolled at the College and is recognized by the College or the Student Association. Student organizations include the Student Association, any of its recognized clubs or organizations, fraternal organizations, hall councils, club sports, honor societies or college-recognized student organizations. For the purpose of this policy, student organizations generally will be treated as a third-party organization.

    5.10    Third-party organization – An organization that has been granted permission to operate on the College’s campus for a specific purpose and duration of time. May include vendors, licensees, or organizations granted a revocable permit.

6.0    Responsibilities

    6.1    All employees – Responsible for complying with this policy and SUNY Policy # 6504 – Mandatory Reporting and Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse and SUNY Policy # 6505 – Child Protection Policy including, but not limited to, mandated reporting for suspected child sexual abuse.

    6.2    Child protection committee – Responsible for assessing the effectiveness of, and making recommendations to improve, the College’s child protection efforts, providing guidance to the president’s designee on child protection, and hearing appeals of decision by the president’s designee.

    6.3    College Auxiliary Services – Responsible for facilitating the revocable permit process for third-party organizations, appointing a responsible university official, and ensuring that third-parties are aware of the College’s expectations.

    6.4    Covered persons – Responsible for complying with all conduct standards listed in this policy and SUNY Policy # 6505 – Child Protection Policy. 

    6.5    Human Resource Services – Responsible for discipline of employees who violate this policy.

    6.6    President’s designee for child protection – Responsible for disseminating policy information, organizing meetings of the child protection committee, reviewing policy effectiveness, providing guidance and support to responsible university officials, covered persons, and offices implementing this policy and maintaining records of searches for covered activities sponsored by the College or college-affiliated organizations.

    6.7    Responsible university official – Responsible for complying with all conduct standards listed in this policy and SUNY Policy # 6505 – Child Protection Policy. 

    6.8    Third-party organizations ­­– Responsible for completing revocable permits, complying with all terms in the revocable permit, including but not limited to, securing sexual molestation insurance and conducting sex offender registry checks on its covered persons, ensuring that covered persons are aware and adhere to the policies, and completing the written acknowledgment of policy compliance.

    6.9    University Police – Responsible for investigating allegations of physical or sexual abuse of children on campus, and referring incidents that occurred off campus to the law enforcement agency with appropriate jurisdiction, and conducting sex offender registry checks.

7.0    Procedures 

General College Procedures

    7.1    All College employees should familiarize themselves with this policy and SUNY Policy # 6504 – Mandatory Reporting and Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse and SUNY Policy # 6505 – Child Protection Policy and be prepared to act in compliance with reporting requirements mandated by these policies.

    7.2    Annually, the president’s designee for child protection will be responsible for sending a notification to the campus community regarding events that involve children and the need to comply with this policy.

    7.3    The child protection committee will meet a minimum of four times a year to assess the College’s child protection efforts and provide oversight and guidance functions to the president’s designee for child protection.

    7.4    Any allegations of retaliation should be reported to Human Resource Services or the appropriate oversight office, which will conduct an investigation in accordance with its policies and procedures.

Child Protection Procedures for Covered Activities Sponsored by the College or a College-affiliated organization

    7.5    All employees or volunteers of the College or a college-affiliated organization seeking to hold an activity involving children must complete the Request to Hold On-Campus Activity Involving Children form, which must be submitted to the president’s designee for child protection. This form will provide information about the event.

        7.5.1    The president’s designee shall assess the activity to determine whether it meets the criteria listed in Section 4.3.

            7.5.1.1    If the event does not meet the criteria then the obligations of SUNY Policy # 6505 – Child Protection Policy would not trigger [procedure ends].

        7.5.2    If the president’s designee decides that the activity meets the criteria, he or she shall approve the activity, identify a responsible university official for approved activities, and communicate that decision to the event’s sponsor.

            7.5.2.1    Approval of the activity will be granted based on an assessment of the purpose of the event, the number of children involved, the level of risk of harm to child participants, and the precautions being taken by the department to ensure child safety.

            7.5.2.2    In the event that the activity is not approved, the sponsor of the activity can appeal the decision to the child protection committee, which shall review the facts of the case and make a decision to affirm or overrule the president’s designee.

    7.6    Once a covered activity has been identified, the president’s designee will work with the activity’s sponsor and the designated responsible university official to ensure that all covered persons are identified.

    7.7    The president’s designee will provide training materials to the responsible university official designated for the event and convey expectations regarding the event.

    7.8    The responsible university official will convey the expectations of this policy and SUNY Policy # 6505 – Child Protection Policy to all covered persons and ensure that all covered persons understand their responsibilities. 

    7.9    The responsible university official will notify the covered persons that they will need to clear New York State and national sex offender registry checks in order to participate in the event, provide an opportunity for those individuals to opt out of the event, collect names and birth dates of all individuals, and submit the Child Protection – Covered Person Sex Offender Registry Check form to University Police

        7.9.1    In the event that a covered person expresses concern or unwillingness to be checked, they shall not be allowed to participate in the covered activity.

    7.10    University Police will conduct sex offender checks in accordance with SUNY Policy # 6505 –Child Protection Policy. The outcome of these checks, including the names of any covered persons who are excluded from participation, shall be conveyed to the president’s designee. 

        7.10.1    The president’s designee for child protection will be responsible for complying with all sex offender registry record-keeping requirements as stipulated in SUNY Policy # 6505 – Child Protection Policy and communicating the outcome of the sex offender registry searches to the responsible university official for the covered activity. 

    7.11    The responsible university official will ensure that no covered person participates in the covered activity until they have been cleared through the sex offender registry and that they have completed the child protection training.

    7.12    The responsible university official will secure identification for all covered persons clearly identifying the individual as a covered person for the specific covered activity in question. 

    7.13    During the covered activity, all covered persons will conduct themselves in accordance with the rules stipulated in SUNY Policy # 6505 – Child Protection Policy. This shall include, but is not limited to, avoiding one-on-one contact with a child (except where permitted by the College and required for pedagogical or health-related reasons), engaging in physical or sexual abuse, using alcohol or illegal drugs during the event, facilitating a child’s usage of alcohol or illegal drugs, and immediately removing a child from potential physical or sexual abuse.

    7.14    All covered persons and the responsible university official shall also report any suspected physical or sexual abuse in accordance with Section 4.5 of this policy.

    7.15    The responsible university official will coordinate with appropriate campus offices to ensure that the allegations are investigated and addressed appropriately [procedure ends].

Child Protection Procedures for Covered Activities Sponsored by a Third-Party Organization

    7.16    All third-party organizations seeking to utilize campus facilities should contact College Auxiliary Services.

    7.17    Upon receiving the request, College Auxiliary Services, in consultation with the president’s designee for child protection, will make a determination as to whether the event constitutes a covered activity.

        7.17.1    If the event does not meet the criteria then the obligations of SUNY Policy # 6505 – Child Protection Policy would not trigger[procedure ends].

    7.18    Once identified as a covered activity, College Auxiliary Services will inform the third-party organization of the need to complete the revocable permit specific to child protection and the need to comply with all terms as listed in the revocable permit. 

    7.19    In the event that a third-party organization cannot secure the sexual molestation insurance, the organization may request a waiver based on the criteria listed in accordance with Section 4.9 of this policy.

    7.20    The event scheduler in College Auxiliary Services will serve as the primary responsible university official for all third-party covered activities.

    7.21    The third-party organization will provide a list of names and titles for covered persons to the designated responsible university official. 

    7.22    Third-party organizations will be responsible for creating identification tags for all covered persons involved with their activities. College Auxiliary Services may assist at its discretion.

    7.23    The third-party organization will be responsible for conducting sex offender registry checks of covered persons in accordance with the rules stipulated in SUNY Policy # 6505 ­– Child Protection Policy.

    7.24    The third-party organization will complete a written acknowledgement that they will comply with all terms in the policy including, but not limited to, the completion of sex offender registry checks, adherence to American Camp Association Standards, and transportation standards.

    7.25    During the covered activity, all covered persons will conduct themselves in accordance with the rules stipulated in SUNY Policy # 6505 – Child Protection Policy. This shall include, but is not limited to, avoiding one-on-one contact with a child, engaging in physical or sexual abuse, using alcohol or illegal drugs during the event, facilitating a child’s usage of alcohol or illegal drugs, and immediately removing a child from potential physical or sexual abuse.

    7.26    All covered persons and the responsible university official shall also report any suspected physical or sexual abuse in accordance with Section 4.5 of this policy.

    7.27    The responsible university official will coordinate with appropriate campus offices to ensure that the allegations are investigated and addressed appropriately [procedure ends]. 

8.0    Appendix 

 

 

Contact Information

For questions about the Campus Handbook, please contact:

Management Services Office
Office: Kehoe 710-11
Phone: (518) 564-2538
Fax: (518) 564-2540
Email: policies@plattsburgh.edu