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Published November 14, 2016
The University of Wyoming Office of General Counsel reminds UW employees and volunteers who work with minors about UW’s policy on minors participating in university-sponsored or university-approved programs. The policy applies to all programs advertised after Jan. 1, 2017.
The policy establishes minimum requirements that program staff must follow when working with minors -- those under the age of 18 who are not enrolled at UW. A sponsoring unit -- the UW academic, administrative or athletic unit that offers a program, or gives approval for housing or use of UW facilities -- or a non-university group must develop program guidelines. The policy outlines the necessary components of the guidelines.
A sponsoring unit or a non-university group must submit the guidelines to the UW Risk Management and Safety Office at least 45 days prior to registration of participants or other communications with prospective participants regarding the program. The Risk Management and Safety Office, and the Office of General Counsel will determine if the guidelines are compliant with the policy.
The types of programs covered under the policy include workshops, conferences, sports and academic camps, and 4-H or UW Extension programs. The policy does not apply to every interaction with a minor on university property. Some exemptions include events open to the public in which parents/guardians are invited and expected to provide supervision of minors; campus tours, visitation programs, athletic recruitment visits and student host arrangements for prospective students that are governed by a separate policy; and field trips supervised by a minor participant’s school or organization and not sponsored by UW.
As part of the policy, all program staff, including volunteers, who have direct contact with minors are required to have current background checks on record with UW before they are hired or allowed to begin working with minors.
Additionally, a sponsoring unit must provide training to its program staff. At a minimum, a sponsoring unit must administer an initial training, a thorough training update at least every three years and a refresher training annually.
Those who do not work with minors still have an obligation to report suspected or known abuse or neglect of a minor, according to Wyoming law.
To view the policy and associated documents, go to www.uwyo.edu/risk/claims-and insurance/events.html.
For questions, contact the Risk Management and Safety Office at 766-5767 or firstname.lastname@example.org.