The purpose of this policy is to provide for appropriate supervision of Minors who are involved in programs held at the University.
This policy is for any person under the age of eighteen (18) in a University-sponsored Program or a Program held at University Facilities wherein the employees/coordinators/volunteers of those Programs have Custodial Responsibility for the participating Minors.
This policy does not apply to general public events where parents/guardians are invited/ expected/required to provide supervision of Minors. Nor does it apply to Minors enrolled in or accepted for enrollment in credit-granting courses. Likewise, the policy does not apply to prospective students staying with University students or guests of University students that may be under the age of 18.
- Minor - A person under the age of eighteen (18) who is not enrolled in or accepted for enrollment in credit-granting courses at the University.
- University Facilities - Facilities owned by or under the control of the University including the South Orange and Newark campuses.
- Program(s) - Programs, activities or camps sponsored by academic or administrative units of the University, or by non-University entities using University Facilities that involve Minors or provide housing to Minors. This includes but is not limited to workshops, athletic camps, academic camps, conferences, admissions events, internships, etc.
- Custodial Responsibility – Responsibility for taking care of and ensuring the well-being of a Minor.
- Sponsoring Unit - The academic or administrative unit of the University which offers a Program, and/or the University unit that grants approval for the use of University Facilities sponsored by non-University entities.
- Division Vice-President - The Executive Cabinet member with oversight for the Sponsoring Unit.
- Authorized Adult - Individuals, age 18 and older, paid or unpaid, who interact with, supervise, chaperone, or otherwise oversee Minors in Programs. This includes but is not limited to faculty, staff, administrators, volunteers, graduate and undergraduate students, interns, employees of temporary employment agencies, and independent contractors/consultants. The Authorized Adults’ roles may include positions as counselors, chaperones, coaches, instructors, etc. Authorized Adults are considered to be Mandated Reporters as defined by New Jersey law. Further guidance on reporting child abuse is provided at http://www.nj.gov/dcf/.
- Mandated Reporters - Any person having reasonable cause to believe that a child has been subjected to child abuse or acts of child abuse shall report the same immediately to Department of Children and Families’ Child Protection and Permanency by telephone at 1-877 NJ ABUSE (1-877-652-2873).
- Program Director - The individual responsible for organizing the Program and overseeing its administration, including management of Authorized Adults, as well as supervision of Minors.
- Direct Contact – The positions with the possibility of care, supervision, guidance or control of Minors and/or routine interaction with Minors.
- One-On-One Contact – The personal, unsupervised interaction between any Authorized Adult and a Minor without at least one other Authorized Adult, parent/legal guardian present.
All Sponsoring Units, offering or approving a Program which involves Minors or provides University housing for Minors participating in a Program, or a non-University group offering a Program on campus, whether utilizing University housing or not, shall:
- Ensure adequate supervision of Minors while they are in University Facilities. All Programs involving Minors must be supervised by at least two (2) Authorized Adults or by the Minors’ parent/legal guardians at all times. Some of the factors to consider in determining "adequate supervision" are the number and age of the Minors, the activities involved in the Program, the type of housing (if applicable), and the age and experience of the Authorized Adults. The ratio of Authorized Adults to Minors must reflect the gender distribution of the Minors, and should meet the following standards:
- One Authorized Adult for every four Minors ages 4 and 5
- One Authorized Adult for every seven Minors ages 6 to 8
- One Authorized Adult for every seven Minors ages 9 to 14
- One Authorized Adult for every ten Minors ages 15 to 17
- One Authorized Adult for every five Minors ages 4 and 5
- One Authorized Adult for every six Minors ages 6 to 8
- One Authorized Adult for every ten Minors ages 9 to 14
- One Authorized Adult for every twenty-five Minors 15 to 17
- Provide information to parent/legal guardian detailing the manner in which the Minors can be contacted during the Program, including during an emergency, in writing prior to the start of the Program.
- Establish security and emergency measures for Minors. Such measures must include, but are not limited to:
- Collection of emergency contact information for parent/legal guardian of each Minor
- Drop-off and pick-up procedures (at a minimum, such measures shall require every Minor to be checked-in; and every Minor under the age of 13 to be checked-out);
- Containment of Minors in specified areas during free time, mealtimes and before the Program beings;
- Where to go if lost; and
- Steps to take in the event of an emergency (including medical or behavioral problem, natural disasters, or other significant Program disruptions).
- For residential Programs in University Facilities, Housing and Residence Life shall keep record of the details of the Program which intend to use overnight accommodations at least sixty (60) days prior to the first date of participation by Minors. Information provided shall include, at a minimum:
- The University employee in charge of the Program (if sponsored by Seton Hall);
- The name and contact information for non-University entities sponsoring Programs at University Facilities;
- The dates and locations where Minors will be participating;
- The general nature of the activities to be undertaken or offered in the Program; and
- The names and contact information of all Authorized Adults
- Arrange to access emergency medical services at all locations. Medical care appropriate for the nature of the Program, expected attendance and other variables should be arranged by the Program Director in advance of the start of the Program. Additionally, a completed Youth Program Medical Treatment Authorization Form should be maintained on file for all Minors in advance of the start of the Program. Medical information is confidential and cannot be disclosed, except as provided by law.
- Obtain all Media and Liability Release Forms as part of the Program registration process. All data gathered shall be confidential, is subject to Sponsoring Unit records retention guidelines, and shall not be disclosed, except as provided by law.
- Require Authorized Adults to abide by the conduct requirements articulated in this policy and the accompanying Code of Conduct for Authorized Adults Supervising Minors.
- Ensure that Minors and Authorized Adults abide by all University regulations and Program rules. Non-compliance with rules may result in removal from the Program.
- All Authorized Adults who have Direct Contact with Minors are required to have a current background check successfully completed before beginning work with Minors, as detailed in the accompanying Criminal Background Checks for Authorized Adults Supervising Minors Policy.
- Each Authorized Adult who will be participating in a Program with Minors is required to attend annual, mandatory training developed by the Human Resources Department on the practices and conduct requirements of this Policy, on protecting Minors from abusive emotional and physical treatment, and on appropriate or required reporting of incidents of improper conduct (including, but not limited to, appropriate law enforcement authorities). The Division Vice-President or Program Director may enhance and/or modify the required training program to meet specific needs of the particular Program involved, in consultation with University’s General Counsel. Any such enhanced or modified training program must include all the elements described in this Policy.
Seton Hall University requires Vertis training (Protecting God’s Children) be part of the training for all Authorized Adults. Training for all Authorized Adults must include, at a minimum, information about responsibilities and expectations; policies, procedures, and enforcement; appropriate crisis/emergency responses; safety and security precautions; confidentiality issues involving Minors; Mandated Reporters; and University responsibility/liability. Authorized Adults must know how to request local emergency services and how to report suspected child abuse.
- If a Minor discloses any type of assault or abuse (at any time previously or during the Program), or an Authorized Adult has reason to suspect that a Minor has been subject to such assault or abuse, the Authorized Adults shall immediately report any known violation or reasonably suspected violation of this Policy or the accompanying Code of Conduct for Authorized Adults Supervising Minors as follows:
- For situations that involve life threatening emergencies, dial 911.
- For situations that require action in less than 24 hours, call the Department of Children and Families, child abuse reporting hotline: 1-877-652-2873. Anonymous reporting on the hotline is allowed.
The individual notified and the Authorized Adult together will call the state of New Jersey at 1-877 NJ ABUSE (1-877-652-2873) and provide written notification, if required. In addition, Authorized Adult will immediately send an email to the Director of Public Safety and University Counsel notifying them of the alleged assault or abuse.
If the individual notified or his/her designee does not call 1-877 NJ ABUSE (1-877-652-2873) and follow the above procedures, the Authorized Adult should do so immediately. Authorized Adults must make all reasonable efforts to ensure the safety of Minors participating in Programs, including removal of Minors from dangerous or potentially dangerous situations, irrespective of any other limitation or requirement. If a situation is felt to present immediate danger to a Minor, the Department of Public Safety and Security should be called as soon as possible, and then followed with a call to state of New Jersey at 1-877 NJ ABUSE (1-877-652-2873).
Authorized Adults are to discontinue any further participation in Programs covered by this policy when an allegation of inappropriate conduct has been made against him or her, until such allegation has been satisfactorily resolved.
- For Programs sponsored by Seton Hall University, the Program Director must obtain satisfactory evidence of compliance with all of the requirements of this Policy at least thirty (30) days prior to the scheduled start of the Program. Non-University entities using University Facilities must provide the Sponsoring Unit granting use of University Facilities evidence of compliance with all requirements of this Policy, as well as sign an approved agreement for use of University Facilities sixty (60) days in advance of the scheduled start of the Program.
By A. Gabriel Esteban, President, on the recommendation of the Executive Cabinet on September 4, 2014.
September 4, 2014