Protection Of Minors

Protection Of Minors At The Leapman Institute

In our dedicated mission to foster a nurturing and secure environment, The Leapman Institute has established a comprehensive Protection of Minors and Reporting Child Abuse Policy. This policy is crafted in strict adherence to all relevant state laws and outlines a detailed framework of requirements, guidelines, and procedures aimed at the safeguarding and supervision of minors (individuals under the age of 18) who engage with our Institute or participate in our diverse programs and activities.

Pursuant to this policy, it is imperative for organizers to complete and submit the Minors Program Registration form before initiating any program, activity, service, or event involving minors. This applies to situations both on the Institute’s premises or off-site, as well as in virtual settings, and includes events:

Sponsored by any academic, administrative, or athletic department of The Leapman Institute,

Sponsored by external entities utilizing the facilities of The Leapman Institute.

Upon receipt of the registration, it will be forwarded to the Institute’s Minors Program Coordinator (insert appropriate contact email), who will then provide detailed guidance on the subsequent steps.

The responsibility of protecting minors from abuse and neglect is one we share collectively. It demands concerted efforts among the formal child protective services system, community partners, faculty, professional staff, students, and volunteers to create effective safety nets for children who may be encountering difficulties within our communities. While not everyone may be legally obligated as a mandated reporter, we emphatically encourage any individual with suspicions or knowledge of child abuse to voluntarily report such concerns.

All members of The Leapman Institute community are required to consider the implications of safety, potential disruptions, the appropriateness of activities, legal liabilities, and the challenges posed by emergencies resulting from the presence of children within our settings. Consequently, faculty, professional staff, and students of The Leapman Institute are advised against bringing children onto the premises unless they are participating in an authorized service or event.

This section is dedicated to providing essential information and resources related to the Protection of Minors and Reporting Child Abuse Policy, emphasizing our commitment to ensuring a safe and supportive environment for all minors engaged with The Leapman Institute.

MINORS PROGRAM REGISTRATION PROCESS AT THE LEAPMAN INSTITUTE

The Leapman Institute hereby establishes the requisite procedure for registering any activities involving minors conducted either on the premises of The Leapman Institute or off-site and sponsored by The Leapman Institute or external organizations. It is imperative that such activities be registered with the Minors Program Coordinator, situated within the Department of Human Resources, in advance of the activity’s initiation. This encompasses a broad spectrum of activities including, but not limited to, educational camps, early learning programs, recreational camps, individual tutoring, workshops, competitions, clinics, conferences, pre-admission visits, outreach programs, research initiatives, and any engagement employing minors in conjunction with The Leapman Institute. Activities recurring annually necessitate re-registration each year, and those extending throughout the year require re-registration at the commencement of each Academic Year.

The following delineates the structured process for Minors Program Registration:

Preliminary Registration: The Activity Coordinator must complete the Minors Program Registration Form no less than 30 days before the proposed activity’s commencement. This form, which solicits comprehensive details of the event, should include the names of any colleagues or management personnel the Activity Coordinator wishes to involve in subsequent communications.

Submission of Registration Form: The completed Minors Registration Form will be submitted to the Minors Program Coordinator via the designated electronic mail address. Acknowledgment of receipt and further instructions will be communicated within three business days.

Evaluation Process: The Minors Program Coordinator will conduct a thorough review of the submitted registration to ascertain the requirements for:

Compliance with Delaware Enhanced Background Certifications (Child Abuse, Criminal, and FBI clearances) or adherence to applicable legal mandates.

Acquisition of informed consent from the guardians of minor participants.

Consultation with the Office of General Counsel.

Clarification of the roles and responsibilities of external partners.

Proper documentation for minor volunteers or interns.

Endorsement and COVID-19 precautionary measures by the Institute’s Oversight Committee for in-person activities.

Assessment of any additional risks.

Notification of Next Steps: Following the evaluation, the Minors Program Coordinator will issue directives to the Activity Coordinator (copying in any additional contacts) regarding the subsequent steps. Should additional actions be required, such as the attainment of Delaware Enhanced Background Certifications or compliance with specific legal mandates, the HR Compliance Team will facilitate the process. A collaborative document will be maintained to track the completion of clearances, with access to sensitive information restricted to Human Resources personnel.

Action Items for Participants: Participants identified as requiring Delaware Enhanced Background Certification or fulfilling other legal prerequisites will be assigned specific action items to complete.

Final Approval: The Minors Program Coordinator will maintain regular communication with the Activity Coordinator to ensure the completion of all action items. At this point, the program will be designated as “approved.” Failure to complete the necessary action items will mark the program as “not in compliance.”

BEST PRACTICES FOR SAFEGUARDING MINORS AT THE LEAPMAN INSTITUTE

The Leapman Institute, in its commitment to creating a secure and enriching environment for minors engaged in its programs and activities, hereby formalizes a set of best practices for interactions with minors. These guidelines are intended to ensure minors’ utmost safety and protection within both in-person and virtual settings associated with the Institute.

GUIDELINES FOR IN-PERSON ENGAGEMENTS WITH MINORS

Minimize one-on-one interactions with minors whenever feasible, adhering to the established “Rule of Three,” which mandates the presence of two adults or an additional minor in all engagements.

Strict supervision is required for minors not enrolled as students at The Leapman Institute by an adult over 18 years of age who holds the position of supervisor or authorized official of the respective program, irrespective of the location of the activity.

Acknowledge and execute your duties to protect minors from potential harm.

Conduct yourself in a manner that precludes any doubts regarding your motivations and intentions.

Ensure that all interactions with minors occur in a manner that is observable and interruptible.

Uphold professional standards in all dealings with minors.

Deny access to individuals not affiliated with the program or event to areas where minors are present.

Conduct diligent monitoring of spaces and facilities utilized for activities to mitigate potential risks, ensuring such areas are visible and accessible.

Secure any unused spaces to prevent unauthorized access.

Maintain strictly professional boundaries in all forms of communication, including electronic and social media.

The transportation of minors in personal vehicles by faculty, staff, or volunteers is strictly prohibited.

Remain vigilant for behaviors construed as grooming and report any such observations.

GUIDELINES FOR VIRTUAL ENGAGEMENTS WITH MINORS

Adapt the in-person best practices to fit virtual interaction environments appropriately.

Employ all available security features of the virtual platform to restrict access to authorized participants only.

If necessary, disable private messaging features, ensuring that a parent or guardian is included in communications.

Adhere to the “Rule of Three” in virtual breakout sessions or ensure a guardian’s presence during interactions with individual minors.

Be vigilant of the potential for cyberbullying and maintain professional standards in virtual backgrounds and presentations.

Tailor content to suit the minors’ attention spans and cognitive levels.

Exercise patience and understanding regarding the minors’ potential home responsibilities and interruptions.

Respect minors’ privacy and cultural sensitivities, allowing them to control the sharing of their personal spaces and backgrounds.

SUPERVISION RATIOS

To ensure adequate supervision and the safety of minors, The Leapman Institute recommends adhering to the following adult-to-minor ratios:

Overnight Programs:

1 Authorized Adult per 5 Minors aged 4 to 5.

1 Authorized Adult per 6 Minors aged 6 to 8.

1 Authorized Adult per 8 Minors aged 9 to 14.

1 Authorized Adult per 10 Minors aged 15 to 17.

Day Programs:

1 Authorized Adult per 6 Minors aged 4 to 5.

1 Authorized Adult per 8 Minors aged 6 to 8.

1 Authorized Adult per 10 Minors aged 9 to 14.

1 Authorized Adult per 12 Minors aged 15 to 17.

CONDUCT STANDARDS

The Leapman Institute mandates the promulgation of explicit rules and standards of conduct for all programs involving minors, addressing prohibitions and expectations concerning behavior, substance use, and the handling of property.

GUIDELINES FOR MINORS IN INTERNSHIPS

Minors participating in internships are subject to specific conduct and safety guidelines to ensure their well-being and productive engagement in Institute programs.

By instituting these guidelines, The Leapman Institute reaffirms its dedication to safeguarding minors and fostering a positive, respectful, and safe learning environment for all participants.