All Programs Involving Minors must be reviewed and approved by the provost or vice president having supervisory authority over the Program, normally at least sixty (60) days prior to the first scheduled date of participation by minors. The Program must also be approved by the provost of the campus where it will take place, if different.
Factors to be considered before approving a Program include:
- Alignment of the Program with the College’s mission;
- Appropriate subject matter and fully planned activity itinerary;
- Appropriate staffing and supervision ratios, with special regard to avoiding one-on-one contact between Minors and Program/Activity Staff.
All Programs shall, at least ten (10) days prior to the first scheduled date of participation by minors, register such Program with the Office of Administrative Services/ Risk Management. Registration shall be on Form 125-392 and shall require, at a minimum:
- the name of the person in charge of the Program,
- the dates and locations where minors will be participating,
- the provost or vice president having supervisory authority over the Program,
- the general nature of the activities to be undertaken, and
- the administrative requirements associated with the Program, including whether waivers, permission slips, and medical emergency forms have been or will be obtained from the parents/guardians of participating minors.
4.3 Additional Requirements for Programs Involving Minors Working in Labs
While all programs involving minors are expected to complete the requirements outlined above, there are additional requirements that must be satisfied when minors will be working in labs at NOVA.
Minors and their parents or guardians must submit required College forms before minors are allowed to participate in a College sponsored program, including:
- assumption of risk signed by parent or legal guardian
- program rules and behavioral expectation
- medical information and emergency contact
- photo release
For programs that are co-sponsored by an external organization, that organization’s forms may be substituted for the College forms. However, the College assumption of risk form is always required, even if the external organization’s form covers assumption of risk.
4.5 Supervision and Interaction with Minors
Program staff are responsible for:
- supervising minors at all times while they are participating in the program
- following College guidelines for Interaction with Minors
- enforcing all program rules and behavioral expectations
- responding to emergencies
- completing incident reports, if required
- reporting child abuse or neglect as outlined in Reporting Child Abuse and Neglect Policy
4.6 Background Checks
Individuals who are responsible for the supervision or care of minors in College-sponsored or cosponsored Programs, or whose duties would require close contact with minors must successfully complete a criminal background check prior to working with minors, and every three years thereafter. The cost of the background investigation is the responsibility of the College sponsor. Background investigations are coordinated through the Office of Human Resources.
Individuals with unsatisfactory background check results may be excluded from participation in the Program at the College’s discretion.
4.7 Violations and Reporting
College employees who fail to supervise minors in College sponsored programs may be subject to disciplinary action in accord with DHRM and VCCS policies. College departments that fail to comply with this policy may be prohibited from sponsoring programs involving minors in the future.
All College employees, who in their official or professional capacity, have reason to suspect that a minor is an abused or neglected child, are required to report the matter as soon as possible, but not longer than 24 hours after having reason to suspect a reportable offense of child abuse or neglect. See Policy 406 Reporting Child Abuse and Neglect.
Accidents involving visitors, including minors, should be reported. The College employee at the scene should complete the Incident Report Form, (NVCC Form 125-088), at the time of the occurrence or as soon after the occurrence as possible. College police are to complete the form if no College employee is present.