Child Protection Training Information
Office of Compliance
Child Protection Primary Contact
Conference & Camp Coordinator
What is Child Protection Training and when is it required?
In 2012, the Texas Legislature passed Senate Bill 1414 into law, which is now codified as Section 51.976, Texas Education Code. The statute requires child protection training for all "campus programs'' for minors (children or youth under the age of 18) that: (1) are operated by an institution of higher education or conducted on the campus of the institution; (2) offer recreational, athletic, religious or educational activities; and (3) are offered to at least 20 minors who (a) are not enrolled at the institution and (b) attend or temporarily reside at the camp for all or part of at least four (4) days (does not have to be four consecutive days). The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) is the agency responsible for the administration of this requirement. UT Tyler has adopted the policy outlined below in order to comply with Section 51.976, Texas Education Code.
Note that this requirement does not apply to minors who are students enrolled at UT Tyler or to UT Tyler's charter schools (which are governed by other statutes). This training is only required if your camp or program meets the criteria outlined above.
Outline of the process for compliance
Determine whether your camp or program meets the criteria outlined above. If the program meets the criteria, then identify all employees or volunteers* ("impacted individuals") who will be working in your campus program for minors and designate the individual who will be the point of contact for the purposes of this policy (the "program operator"). *Note: Any employee or volunteer who visits for a limited purpose or limited time and has no direct and unsupervised interaction with minors does not have to take this training (i.e. a guest speaker or entertainer).
Send an email containing the names of the impacted individuals and their status (employee or volunteer) to Human Resources (firstname.lastname@example.org), so that the required background checks can be conducted. Please include the name of the camp or program and the dates of operation. Human Resources will notify the program operator when the background checks are completed and will also enroll the impacted individuals for the required Child Protection Training which is hosted on Canvas.
Once the training is completed, the impacted individuals can log into Canvas and complete the exam.
The Canvas Training will issue a certificate of completion for each impacted individual upon completion of the exam, which can be printed and provided to the program operator.
The program operator will complete the required Campus Program for Minors Information Form and submit it to the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) within five (5) days of the start of the camp or program with a copy to the Compliance Office.
***Note: When completing the form, the training course name is University of Texas System Child Protection Training and the approval number is CPM12-0071; the County ID number is 48423 for Smith (Tyler), 48123 for Gregg (Longview), and 48001 for Anderson (Palestine).
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Who must take this training?
All impacted individuals who work in a campus program for minors that meets the criteria outlined above. All program operators are responsible for ensuring these requirements are met in coordination with the Office of Compliance.
What form of Child Protection Training does the university utilize?
UT Tyler utilizes a Child Protection Training program developed by UT System which has been approved by DSHS (Step 3 above).
Can I work in a campus program for minors without taking this training?
No, UT Tyler may only employ an individual in a campus 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 an approved program during the first five (5) days of employment and documents its completion. While not required by law, it is UT Tyler policy that volunteers who are impacted must take this training.
Are criminal background checks required in order for me to work in a campus program for minors, and 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 2 above).
Who administers this training?
The Office of Compliance is the responsible party for ensuring that training is conducted and that the requirements of Section 51.976 are met. UT Tyler has designated campus programs for minors as High-Risk area with oversight by the Institutional Executive Compliance Committee and Compliance Working Group.
What documentation must be submitted to DSHS and how long must it be kept on file?
The program operator must complete and provide the Campus Programs for Minors information form to DSHS (Step 5 above) with a copy to Compliance; this form will list program information and affirm that employees have received the required training. The program operator 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 Compliance for three (3) years.
Is there a cost for training?
DSHS does not currently charge for submission of the Information Form, and UT System has paid the DSHS fee for the training program. The program operator 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 operator's cost center.
How long is this documentation of training kept on file?
The program operator must maintain documentation of each employee's successful completion of the training and examination program for three (3) years from the date of the examination. Documentation of training will also be retained by the Office of Compliance for three (3) years.
Do employees of the Innovation Academy need this training since they work with children?
Employees of UT Tyler's Innovation 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?
The law does not impose an obligation on UT Tyler to ensure that third-party camp operators who rent facilities on campus comply. However, any facility use agreement 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 if I have other questions?
Refer to the Sexual Abuse Prevention FAQ or consult the Office of Compliance at 903-565-5688.