Activities and programs involving youth are integral to Auburn University’s mission of improving the lives of the people of Alabama, the nation, and the world through education, research, and service. To serve, develop, and foster this mission, Auburn University created the Youth Protection Program. The Youth Protection Program promotes a culture of safety for all individuals participating in the wide variety of youth programs the University sponsors or sanctions, both on-campus and off-campus under University supervision.
The Youth Protection Program’s mission is to support and protect the University community by developing standards regarding the protection of minors; delivering education and training on youth protection strategies, and assessing compliance with laws and the University’s policies affecting youth protection.
Any (1) program, event, activity, or endeavor offered by various academic or administrative units of the University; or by student organizations or other University-affiliated organizations; or by External Entities using University facilities; (2) that is designed to serve minors (non-enrolled persons under age 19); and (3) during which parents or guardians are not expected to be responsible for care, custody, and control of the minors.
Exclusions are listed in the Youth Protection Policy.
If you are not involved in any programs or activities involving minors, most of the provisions of the policy will not apply to you. Everyone, however, is expected to:
- Review the Youth Protection Policy,
- Review the Reporting of Child Abuse and Neglect Policy,
- Help to protect the safety and well-being of minors with whom they may interact, and
- Report known or suspected abuse or neglect of a minor.
The policy does not apply to personal activities that are apart from your role or responsibilities as a student, faculty member, staff member, or volunteer for an Auburn University Youth Program, but the guidance provided by the policy may be helpful and important in non-university contexts.
Yes. All faculty, staff, students, and volunteers who are involved in a university-run or -affiliated program or activity involving minors must comply with this policy.
Any requests for clarification as to whether a particular program is subject to the Youth Protection Policy should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. Requests for an exception to all of, or any portion of, the Youth Protection Policy should first be approved by the program director and the dean or director. The request should then be sent to Risk Management & Safety for appropriate review using the Youth Program Registration Form.
Email any questions to email@example.com or call 334-844-2626.
Yes. Program sponsoring units should register events as soon as possible but no later than 90 days prior to the first scheduled date of the event. Click here to register your program. Programs in which minors are expected to participate on campus should be registered with the university’s Campus Event Planning System. Sponsoring units of off-campus or virtual programs involving minors should register through the Campus Event Planning System as well if they want the program to be listed on the Campus Events Calendar. Information is be completed by the appropriate program director. For more information about registering a program you may also call 334-844-6323 or email AUEvent@auburn.edu.
Regardless of whether the program occurs on campus, all programs involving minors should register with the Youth Protection Program.
Please note that the Program Registration Form should be submitted at the time the event is registered. This form provides the review committee with a summary of the event and requires the dean or department ahead signature to confirm the event is approved by your unit.
For more information on event registration, click here.
Please allow up to two (2) weeks for a response from the review committee. Information provided through the Campus Event Planning System will be submitted to, and reviewed by, the appropriate members of the review committee. The review committee may request additional information from the program director. The Office of Communications and Marketing has oversight of the Campus Event Planning System and will approve the event once all proper information has been submitted and reviewed. Please be prepared to submit additional information as requested. No program involving minors can take place until it has been registered, reviewed, and approved.
Yes. You will be required to update any forms and provide current lists of employees, volunteers, etc. and proof of background checks and training.
All Auburn University employees are designated by law as mandatory reporters of child abuse or neglect.
In addition to Alabama law’s requirement that employees of public higher education institutions report known or suspected child abuse or neglect, Auburn University requires all student employees, volunteers, vendors, and representatives to report known or suspected child abuse or neglect. Auburn University also requires third-party vendors and their employees, representatives, or volunteers that contract for use of university facilities to report known or suspected child abuse or neglect.
If you are participating in a program or activity involving minors and you know, suspect, or receive information indicating that a minor has been abused or neglected or is otherwise unsafe, you must make a report. Please review the Reporting of Child Abuse and Neglect Policy for further information.
If a child is in imminent danger, call 911 to obtain immediate protection for the child. Do not directly question or solicit information form the child or from the person suspected of child abuse or neglect.
Within 24 hours after making the foregoing report, you must report the information to your immediate supervisor and to the Auburn University Executive Director of Campus Safety & Security at 334-844-2255.
If you have a reasonable suspicion that a child has been abused or neglected, report it---even when you have doubts, it is better to report your suspicions than to ignore them. You do not have to be absolutely certain that child abuse or neglect has occurred.
It is the university’s position that, in addition to the mandated statutory reporting requirements for certain individuals and entities, all university personnel and volunteers who have a reasonable cause to suspect that a child is being abused or neglected must immediately make a report. Neither Alabama law nor any university policy allows you to delegate the duty to report child abuse or neglect. Please review the Reporting of Child Abuse and Neglect Policy for further information.
Non-University organizations that wish to operate programs or activities involving minors on campus must be sponsored by or affiliated with a University department, college, or recognized student organization and must comply with the university’s Youth Protection Policy, including requirements relating to reporting suspected abuse or neglect of minors, completing all relevant training, and background checks.
Prior to the start of any program or activity involving minors, non-university organizations must certify that they have conducted criminal background checks of their employees, volunteers, and representatives that meet or exceed Auburn’s standards and notified the program director of any background check that returned a conviction or other adverse information.
More information about Third-Party Youth Programs may be found in the Guide for Third-Party Youth Programs.
All programs designed to serve minors that are held on AU’s campus must operate under the administrative purview of an AU sponsoring unit. In this case, the sponsoring unit would be the department that is facilitating the third party’s use of the AU facility. The department is responsible for submitting a Youth Program application for registration and review and for ensuring that the program is approved before activities involving minors occur.
Yes. Because an external entity (the coach-owned business) is operating the camp, this camp would be a Third-Party Youth Program. The AU sponsoring unit facilitating the coach-owned business’s use of AU facilities must register the program. The program must follow the requirements for Third-Party Youth Programs.
Program directors, staff, and volunteers for youth programs are required to review the Youth Protection Policy and Reporting of Child Abuse and Neglect Policy. These policies provide helpful information for maintaining a safe and positive environment when working with minors and steps to take if you suspect that a minor has been abused or neglected.
In addition, all program or activity directors, staff, and volunteers must complete the free online training course "Protecting Children: Identifying and Reporting Sexual Misconduct" or another training that meets the requirements of the Youth Protection Policy. In-person training is also available for groups. Click here for more information, or contact firstname.lastname@example.org for help with online training or to request in-person training.
Additional training may be required based on the nature of the program and the staff member’s role in the program.
The university is committed to promoting the well-being and safety of youth who participate in university programs or activities and in programs that outside organizations deliver on campus. Criminal background checks may reveal prior convictions that would make it inappropriate for someone to participate in a program or activity with minors. Program or activity directors, staff, volunteers, and all authorized program working with minors in Youth Programs are required to complete a background check every 3 years. All program staff working or volunteering in a Third-Party Youth Program are required to complete a background check every 3 years.
All Authorized Program Staff are required to complete a criminal background check. Authorized adults are defined as individuals, paid or unpaid, who have Direct Contact with minors participating in Youth Programs. This includes but is not limited to faculty, staff, volunteers, graduate and undergraduate students, interns, employees of temporary employment agencies, and independent contractors/consultants.
Direct Contact is defined as providing care, supervision, instruction, guidance, oversight, or control of minors and/or having routine interaction with minors in a Youth Program.
Temporary guest speakers, presenters, and other individuals who have no direct contact with program participants other than short term activities supervised by program staff are not required to have a criminal background check. Please contact email@example.com if you have questions about who is required to complete a background check.
Risk Management & Safety oversees the processing of criminal background checks for university Youth Programs. More information concerning how to request background checks and their cost can be found here.
The Sponsoring Unit (the AU unit offering the program) will be responsible for the cost of the background checks. Third-Party Youth Programs are responsible for the cost of their background checks.