Skip to main content

Youth Protection Policy

The University of Missouri System offers children a wide variety of learning opportunities in program areas ranging from academic, athletic, enrichment, behavioral, fine arts, science and others. These programs are available throughout the academic year, including summer session, both on and off its four university campuses. During these endeavors, the University is committed to providing the best possible experience for any child participating in a youth program while ensuring a safe environment for all participants. This webpage is a resource for program coordinators to help protect children participating in a University-sponsored program and activity.



University Policy

The full policy for youth programs is described in Collected Rules and Regulations, Section 210:020: Youth Protection Policy. The policy establishes standards of conduct and reporting obligations for both in-person and virtual programs. Other requirements include:

  1. Registering youth program in advance.
  2. Screening for adults working a program.
  3. Annual training for adults and minors working a program, and orientation for minors participating in a program.
  4. Certain standard forms, including notice to parents/guardians.
     

Some youth-related activities are not subject to these provisions. Others, such as 4-H programs, athletic recruiting and research studies involving minors have alternate processes. Consult the full policy for details and exceptions. For university programs, refer to the informational registration requirements handout (PDF) or see questions and answers related to the policy in the Policy Q&A section below. Non-university organizations should refer to the "Register a Youth Program" section below.


Register A Youth Program

To operate a youth program at a University of Missouri System university, it must be registered with the UM System's youth program registry.

University programs

For university programs, program coordinators should visit the youth program registry portal to submit upcoming programs.


Registration is required for ongoing and pre-established activities and programs with minors on an annual basis prior to the start of the university’s academic year (i.e., August). For first time registrations, mark program as "new;" subsequent sessions of the same program will be "existing."

Registration for other activities and programs with minors should be completed sixty (60) days in advance when possible; registration must be completed before an activity or program with minors begins.

 
Non-University Programs

Program registration: Non-university organizations register programs by:

  • Submitting program details through the online Non-University Youth Program Registry Form.
  • Completing a Facility User Agreement, including the Youth Policy Addendum (formerly the Protection of Minors Addendum).
    • These documents outline policy requirements and the non-university organization's responsibility to operate consistent with the guidelines of the policy.

Comply with requirements: The university reserves the right to require proof of compliance for any policy requirement, which includes but is not limited to:

  • Completed background and U.S. Department of Justice sex offender registry checks within the prior three years and at least 30 days prior to the program on all program personnel.
  • Program leaders awareness of how to report any incident/concerns.
  • Program structure eliminates one-on-one time between an adult and a minor in a private area not readily observable by others.  

Additionally, all program-related brochures, websites, advertising materials, etc. should contain the following statement:
"[Program Name] is solely operated by [Legal Name of Entity], which is not affiliated with The Curators of the University of Missouri."

Programs that fail to comply with the Youth Protection Policy and its requirements may be subject to suspension or termination of operations.

 
On-Demand and Live Information Sessions

Professionals from Ethics, Compliance, and Audit services hold sessions discussing the policy requirements, and demonstrating the process for submitting a youth program to the registry and facilitating screening and training for program staff. To request a session for your group, please send a message to umyouthprograms@umsystem.edu.

Program coordinators are encouraged to watch the on-demand training (available in the registry portal; log in required) and may also refer to the informational registration requirements handout (PDF).

 
Program Staff Ratio Requirements
Participant age Ratio for overnight program Ratio for day program
5 years and younger 1 staff : 5 participants 1 staff : 6 participants
6–8 years 1 staff : 6 participants 1 staff : 8 participants
9–14 years 1 staff : 8 participants 1 staff : 10 participants
15–18 years 1 staff : 10 participants 1 staff : 12 participants
 

Training and Screening Requirements

As part of the university's Youth Protection Policy, individuals working or participating in a youth program must meet certain requirements depending on their role, ranging from training and screening to orientation.

Training

Any individual who supervises or has oversight of youth participants (i.e., Designated Individual) must complete annual training prior to working a youth program.

UM System-provided standard training is available to meet this requirement. While the standard training is effective for most youth programs, alternate training programs may be approved on a case-by-case basis. Program coordinators interested in alternate training  should reach out to the Youth Program Representative to submit a request for approval.

Designated Individual who needs to complete annual training?
Please consult materials provided by your program coordinator for training access information, and reach out to your program coordinator if necessary.

 
Screening

All Designated Individuals must have a background check and a sex offender registry search completed prior to their work with a youth program. A department of motor vehicles state driving record check should be completed for Designated Individuals providing transportation.

Program directors can initiate the necessary background check process via the youth program registry portal. If you have additional questions, please consult the policy FAQs or contact the Youth Program Representative.

 
Orientations

All program staff must complete a program orientation including the campus security authority training (Clery reporting) and the items below:

  • Standards of Conduct Requirements – Review and provide to all program staff.
  • Reporting – Know how to report and review with all program staff.
  • Emergency and Safety Planning – Include information about how to handle these situations in orientations
 
Documentation

Parents or guardians of a youth participant must receive the Youth Protection Policy Parent Handout which describes the Youth Protection policy and related reporting mechanisms. Each program should have a registration form, medical authorization and photo release at a minimum. Samples are included in our Forms section.

 
Program Forms

Below are several forms available that you may use for your youth program:

 
Risk and Insurance

A department within the Office of Finance's Management Services, Risk and Insurance Management (RIM) organizes, coordinates, and implements programs to control risks for all University of Missouri campuses. If there any questions or concerns related to risk review or analysis, insurance, coverage, accidents, claims, waivers or anything else risk related, please reach out to us.

 

Contacts and Resources

For questions about policy or youth programs generally, please contact the UM System Youth Program Representative:

JoAnne Flowers
Youth Program Representative
Ethics, Compliance and Audit Services, University of Missouri System
umyouthprograms@umsystem.edu
(573) 882-8847

University Title IX Offices

If you have concerns about sexual harassment or other forms of discrimination or harassment, or if you want to make a report, you may reach out to the local university Title IX Office. You may also view the university's Collected Rules and Regulations related to anti-discrimination and Title IX policies and procedures for additional information.

 
University Police Departments

Each campus of the University of Missouri has a University Police Department committed to enhancing the safety of all its community members, including visitors. General contact information for each is available through the webpages linked below:

 
Additional resources

(exit UM System site)

 

Policy Q&A

Have additional questions not answered here? Log in to the youth program registry portal or contact the Youth Program Representative for additional information.

What types of youth programs must be registered?

University-sponsored or hosted (on-site or online) workshops, group lessons, conferences, seminars, camps, competitions, internships, group experiential learning opportunities or other enrichment programs with participants who are 1) under the age of 18 and 2) not enrolled/accepted for enrollment as a student at the University.

Activities that follow alternate processes/requirements (see full policy for details) include:

  • 4-H activities
  • Athletic recruitment
  • Research studies involving minors
     

Activities not subject to policy requirements include:

  • School/organization trips where minors are accompanied throughout the trip by an adult chaperone from their school/organization.
  • Performances or events open to the public.
  • Official University admissions events where minors are accompanied by a parent/guardian.
  • Visits in the workplace where minors are accompanied by a parent/guardian.
  • Day care, preschool, or elementary school providers affiliated with the University.
  • Clinical services, including but not limited to health care, therapy services, and developmental evaluations.
 
Does the Protection of Minors policy apply to programs held virtually/online?

Yes. The Protection of Minors policy, and its registration, screening and training requirements, applies to both virtual and on-site youth programs sponsored by a UM System university.

 
What is the youth program registry?

A youth program must be registered with the youth program registry at least 60 days prior to the start of the program. Prior to working in activities and programs with minors, any authorized adult and authorized youth leader must have successfully completed the requisite background screen process and required training.

 
When must a youth program be registered with the youth program registry?

A youth program must be registered with the youth program registry at least 60 days prior to the start of the program.

 
What type of background check is conducted?

The University of Missouri has contracted with an outside company that completes the requested background and sex offender registry checks. With a person’s consent, criminal background records are searched at both a local, state and national level.

As set forth in the policy, renewed background checks occur at regular intervals to maintain updated and verified information. This practice has become the industry standard across the nation and found to help promote the safety and protection of our children.

 
What is the process for obtaining a background check and who will access to it?

Any authorized adult will first sign a consent form and provide the necessary information authorizing the University to work with its contractor to conduct the background check.

After the background check process is completed, a report will be generated and sent to an HR professional within the University designated the responsibility to receive confidential information. The results will also be shared directly with the authorized adult.

Results will be received as “clear” or “consider.” If “clear,” that means that the authorized adult did not have any findings of concern. If “consider,” that means that a review of the authorized adults report will need to be conducted by personnel at the University to determine whether that individual is deemed suitable to work with minors.

Any authorized adult that completes and clears the background screening process will be monitored on a monthly basis for one year following the criminal background screen. Should information regarding criminal conduct become available through the monitoring process, the university will be notified by its contractor and a review will be conducted to determine whether the authorized adult remains suitable to work with children. Notice of any additional information would be provided to the authorized adult.

 
Who is an “authorized adult”?

An authorized adult is any person, including faculty, staff, students, student employees, appointees or volunteers, who are eighteen years of age or older, and regardless of whether they are paid or unpaid, who supervise or have responsibilities for oversight of youth participants and/or other authorized adults of youth programs.

 
Who is an “authorized youth leader”?

An authorized youth leader is any person under eighteen years of age who supervises or has responsibilities for oversight of minors and/or other authorized youth leaders.

 
Who is considered a minor / child?

Any person under the age of eighteen who is not enrolled or accepted for enrollment as a student at the University.

 
Who is the youth program representative?

This is the point of contact at the University of Missouri designated by Ethics, Compliance and Audit Services as the individual responsible for ensuring implementation and execution of the Protection of Minors policy.

 
I am an employee for the University and want to act as an authorized adult for a youth program. Do I need to apply for a background check?

Yes. An authorized adult, applying or required to work in activities and programs with minors who is likely to have responsibility for the supervision of a minor as part of that activity or program, must have a background check and a sex offender registry search completed within the prior twelve months before any activity or program with minors begins. The background check must be performed by the University’s approved vendor or be specifically approved by the Youth Program Representative. Authorized adults who remain full-time employees with the University must undergo a renewed background and sex offender registry check every three (3) years.

 
I am an authorized adult/authorized youth leader. How often do I have to undergo specialized training?

Annual training is required for anyone prior to working in activities and programs with minors.

 
What is considered one-on-one contact?

Personal, unsupervised interaction between any authorized adult and a youth participant without at least one other minor, parent or legal guardian being present. One-on-one contact is not permitted except under limited circumstances as set forth in the policy.

 
I am working with a youth program. If I suspect that a minor may have been subjected to abuse or neglect, do I have to report this to anyone?

Yes. First, you are required to make a report to Missouri’s Children’s Division Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline, which is a 24/7 hotline and can be reached by calling (800) 392-3738. Second, if you are also an employee of the University of Missouri, you are also mandated to make a report to the University Equity or Title IX office. However, anyone may report such conduct to the University’s Equity or Title IX office and is always encouraged to do so.

 
What happens if an individual violates the Protection of Minors policy?

If a program is found to be in violation of any provision of the Protection of Minors policy, the youth program could be denied permission to continue operation at the University of Missouri. In addition, any violations by an individual could result in disciplinary actions in accordance with University policies and procedures or criminal or legal action being taken against them.

 

Reviewed 2022-11-10