Youth Protection

 

Child Youth Protection Primary Contact

Ashleigh Dinkins
Conference & Camp Coordinator
Email: adinkins@uttyler.edu

 

What is Child Youth Protection Training?  When is it Required?

Youth Protection Training (YPT) is state- approved training on warning signs of sexual abuse and child molestation that all people involved in and assisting with a youth program must complete.  

Per UTT 2.14.1 Youth Protection Policy, a youth program is defined as a camp, program, internship, mentorship, event, or activity held on U.T. owned or controlled premises, or sponsored or supported by a U.T. institution that offers recreational, athletic, religious, or educational activities to Youth Participants. Youth Program also includes any “Youth programs” as defined by Section 51.976 of the Texas Education Code.  “Youth Program” as defined herein specifically includes external 3rd party youth programs that contract with UT institutions for the use of institutional facilities.  For the purposes of this Policy, this definition does not include programs for U.T. enrolled students or employees under the age of 18, or programs where the custody, control, and care of a minor (under age 18) is not the responsibility of the institution but instead held by non-UT teachers, official chaperones, parents, or legal guardians (e.g. campus tours of prospective students’ families, visits by local school district classes). 

 

Youth Protection Process

Step 1

Determine whether the camp or program meets the criteria outlined above.  If so, the Program Director/Operator contacts the Conference and Camp Coordinator (CCC) to discuss how to register their youth program with the University.

Step 2

The Program Director identifies all Designated Individuals (employees or volunteers*) who will work their youth program and lists their information during program registration.  The CCC enrolls each Designated Individuals into the required YPT, which is hosted on Canvas. 

*Note: Any employee or volunteer who visits for a limited purpose or time and has no direct or unsupervised interaction with a minor is not required to take this training (i.e. a guest speaker or entertainer).

Step3

The CCC provides the Office of Human Resources (OHR) with a list of Designated Individuals for the required background checks.   OHR conducts background checks.

Step 4

Each Designated Individual is required to complete and pass an exam on Canvas once their YPT training is complete.  Canvas issues a certificate of completion for each Designated Individual after receiving a passing grade on the exam, which can be printed and provided to the Program Director.

Step 5

The Program Director will complete the required Youth Programs Information Form*, if their program meets the requirements below, and submit it to the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) within five (5) days of the start of their youth program.  A copy should also be sent to Scheduling & Conference Services (eventmgmt@uttyler.edu).

Requirements:

  1. Operated by an institution of higher education or conducted on the campus of the institution;
  2. Offers recreational, athletic, religious, or educational activities; and
  3. Offered to at least 20 minors who
    1. are not enrolled at the institution and
    2. attend or temporarily reside at the camp for all or part of at least four (4) days (does not have to be consecutive days

 

*Note:
When completing the form,

  • Training course name is University of Texas System Child Protection Training
  • Approval number is CPM12-0071
  • County ID number is
    • 48423 for Smith (Tyler),
    • 48123 for Gregg (Longview), or
    • 48001 for Anderson (Palestine).

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What constitutes a minor?

Generally, under Texas law a minor is anyone under the age of 18.

Do the statute’s requirements also apply to youth programs that are conducted off campus?

Yes. The statute’s definitions encompass not only youth programs occurring on campus but also youth programs “operated by” institutions of higher education, which may be off campus. See Sec. 51.976(a)(2)

Who must take Youth Protection Training?

All Designated Individuals (i.e., volunteers, employees) who work in a youth program must take the Youth Protection Training. Program Directors, in coordination with the Conference and Camp Coordinator, are responsible for ensuring these requirements are met.

What form of Youth Protection Training does the University utilize?

UT Tyler utilizes a Youth Protection Training program developed by UT System, which has been approved by DSHS (Step 4 above).

Can I work in a youth program without taking this training?

No. UT Tyler may only allow an individual to work or volunteer in a youth program position involving contact with minors if:

  1. It can be verified that the individual successfully completed a sexual abuse/child molestation training and examination program that has been approved by the Texas Department of State Health Services pursuant to Section 51.976 of the Texas Education Code within the last two (2) years, or
  2. the individual successfully completes the training prior to the commencement of the youth program.

Are criminal background checks required for me to work in a youth program? Who will conduct these checks?

Yes. UT System Policy UTS124 "Criminal Background Checks" Section 2.5 (c), states, "Youth camps shall ensure that for all employees and final applicants who will work at the camp, and all volunteers and student observers who will regularly or frequently be at the camp, are subject to a criminal background check each year. The check shall be conducted prior to permitting an individual to work, volunteer, or be present. Further, volunteers and student observers who are not subject to a check must not have unsupervised access to campers." UT Tyler's Office of Human Resources will conduct the background checks (Step 3 above).

Who administers the Youth Protection Training?

The Office of Scheduling and Conference Services is the responsible party for ensuring that training is conducted and that the requirements of Section 51.976 are met. UT Tyler has designated youth programs as an high-risk area with oversight by the Institutional Executive Compliance Committee and Compliance Working Group. The course and subsequent test are in Canvas.

What documentation must be submitted to DSHS? How long must it be kept on file?

The Program Director must complete and provide the Youth Programs Information Form to DSHS (Step 5 above) with a copy to the Conference and Camp Coordinator. This form will list program information and affirm that employees and volunteers have received the required training. The Program Director must retain the original information form for three (3) years from the date of submission. A copy of the form will also be retained by the Office of Scheduling and Conference Services for three (3) years.

Is there a cost for Youth Protection?

There is no charge for access to the Youth Protection Training module in Canvas.

The Program Director is responsible for the cost of the background checks for their program(s). Human Resources will track these expenses and recover the cost via budget transfer from the Program Director’s cost center.

DSHS does not currently charge for submission of the Youth Programs Information Form, and UT System has paid the DSHS fee for the training program.

How long is the Youth Protection Training documentation kept on file?

Canvas saves all YPT examinations for at least the required three (3) years.

Do employees of UT Tyler’s University Academy need Youth Protection Training since they work with minors?

Employees of UT Tyler's University Academy are not subject to this requirement as charter schools are generally governed by other statutes that prevail over Section 51.976.

What about outside groups that rent University facilities?

According to UTT 2.14.1 Youth Protection Policy, third party clients who rent University facilities for youth programs must comply with youth protection training. All facility use agreements must contain a clause specifically mentioning the obligation of the third-party to comply with the provisions of Section 51.976 (i.e. "Licensee shall comply with all laws of the United States and of the State of Texas, including child sexual abuse/molestation awareness training as required by Texas Education Code Section 51.976").

What happens if a Designated Individual of a youth program who has contact with minors fails to obtain the proper training and examination under the statute?

A Program Director or Designated Individual who fails to comply with the training and examination requirements of the statute is subject to investigation by the Department of State Health Services and an assessment of civil penalties of not less than $50 or more than $1,000 for each act of violation.

Under UT Tyler policy, there is the potential that the youth program will be immediately shut down.

What if I have other questions?

For additional questions, contact the Conference and Camp Coordinator at 903.565.5723 or email eventmgmt@uttyler.edu.