F. Protection of Minors

(Note: OLPM sections on this page may be cited following the format of, for example, "UNH.III.F.1.1". These policies may be amended at any time, do not constitute an employment contract, and are provided here only for ease of reference and without any warranty of accuracy. See OLPM Main Menu for details.)

1.   Purpose

1.1   The University of New Hampshire is committed to providing a safe environment for all persons, including but not limited to children, and to prevent and respond to abuse, neglect and crimes against children. This policy establishes consistent standards intended to support the University in meeting its commitment to protect minors who participate in University activities.

1.2   All members of the University community who have any reason to suspect child abuse or neglect shall follow all applicable NH state laws and the process for reporting as described in this policy.

2.   Definitions

2.1   Child Abuse and Neglect - for purposes of this policy, the definitions of child abuse and neglect shall be those contained in NH RSA 169-C:3, as amended:

"Abused child'' means any child who has been: 
       (a) Sexually abused; or 
       (b) Intentionally physically injured; or 
       (c) Psychologically injured so that said child exhibits symptoms of emotional problems generally recognized to result from consistent mistreatment or neglect; or 
       (d) Physically injured by other than accidental means.

"Neglected child'' means a child: 
       (a) Who has been abandoned by his parents, guardian, or custodian; or 
       (b) Who is without proper parental care or control, subsistence, education as required by law, or other care or control necessary for his physical, mental, or emotional health, when it is established that his health has suffered or is very likely to suffer serious impairment; and the deprivation is not due primarily to the lack of financial means of the parents, guardian or custodian; or 
       (c) Whose parents, guardian or custodian are unable to discharge their responsibility to and for the child because of incarceration, hospitalization or other physical or mental incapacity.

2.2    Minor - a person under the age of 18 years old

2.3    UNH Youth Program - Events or programs sponsored, operated, or supported by the University specifically intended for minors who are under the supervision of UNH staff, including faculty, volunteers and student employees. These programs may be day or overnight; on- or off-campus.

Note: the following are not considered a UNH Youth Program:

  • Events at UNH open to the public where parents/guardians or adult chaperones are expected to accompany and supervise minors.
  • Undergraduate and graduate programs in which minors are enrolled for academic credit or have been accepted for enrollment.
  • Courses in which minor students are dually enrolled in UNH credit-bearing non-residential courses while also enrolled in elementary, middle, and/or high school. 
  • University programs, such as student teaching, academic or clinical internships, which take place outside of the University under the supervision of a separate organization. UNH staff and students in these placements will follow the policies and procedures for the protection of minors in place at the hosting organization.
  • Field trips or visits to UNH solely supervised by an external school or organization, where there is no UNH department providing contracted facility usage or otherwise supporting the program. These trips or visits are subject to the policies in place within the sponsoring organization.
  • Licensed child care facilities operated by UNH.

2.4   Youth Skill Camp - Consistent with NH State Law, UNH defines a Youth Skill Camp as a program that runs for three or more consecutive days for the purpose of teaching skills to minors.

2.5   Sponsoring department - The UNH department or program sponsoring, operating, or supporting programs for minors, or contracting for the delivery of activities to participants who are minors.

2.6   UNH Youth Program Manager - Employees, faculty, students or volunteers who manage or direct a UNH program(s). The UNH Youth Program Manager is responsible for ensuring compliance with all policies and procedures.

2.7   UNH Youth Program Staff - Employees, faculty, students and volunteers, whether paid or unpaid, who work for a UNH Youth Program.

2.8   Authorized Adult - A University employee, student, or volunteer (paid or unpaid) who has successfully completed a criminal background check and completed a University protection of minors training within the timelines outlined in the Procedures for the Protection of Minors.

2.9   External Groups - Groups outside of UNH who use UNH facilities as the location for programs or events intended for minors or where minors may be present.

3.   Background Checks

3.1   Youth Skill Camp – UNH Youth Program Managers and UNH Youth Program Staff working in programs that meet the NH State definition of a “youth skill camp” are required to complete an annual background check, including a check of the National Sex Offender Registry (NSOR), in accordance with NH State Law. (RSA 485-A:24).

3.2   Other UNH Youth Programs - Youth Program Managers and Staff working in programs that do not meet the NH State definition of a “youth skill camp” are subject to a criminal history background check as outlined in the UNH Procedures for the Protection of Minors.

3.3   Guest Speakers - UNH Youth Programs may utilize untrained and unscreened guest speakers, instructors, or volunteers to work with minors for short term specific tasks, as long as the program provides continuous supervision by an Authorized Adult.

4.   Reporting Obligation

4.1   NH Law (RSA 169-C:29-31) requires any person who suspects that a child under age 18 has been abused or neglected must report that suspicion immediately to:

  • NH Division for Children, Youth and Families (DCYF) Intake Unit
    If calling from NH: (800) 894-5533
    If calling from outside NH: (603) 271-6562
  • After a call to NH DCYF, contact UNH Police.

Note: Proof of abuse and neglect is not required to make a report.

4.2   The Youth Program Manager and Staff will follow established procedures for reporting, as outlined in the Procedures for the Protection of Minors.

4.3   In addition to these statutory reporting requirements, University employees must also comply with any other University policies that impose additional reporting obligations, such as the Clery Act, UNH Policy on Discrimination, Harassment, Interpersonal Violence, and Title IX.

5.   External Groups and Outside Contractors

5.1   External Groups conducting programs or events at UNH intended for minors: UNH departments providing contracted facility usage or otherwise supporting external groups will require that an external group affirms its compliance with all applicable NH State and Federal laws, including:

  • Requiring background checks for staff and volunteers;
  • Training for staff and volunteers working with minors, including NH State requirements for reporting suspected cases of child abuse and neglect.

5.2   In UNH contracts with external groups, it shall specify that, while the University acts as landlord for the event, the external group is responsible for the safety of minor children attending the program. The contract will further state that the external group  is required to obtain its own insurance, including coverage with no exclusions or sub-limits for incidents arising from sexual misconduct (including, but not limited to, sexual molestation, sexual assault, sexual harassment, dating violence and stalking).

5.3   Outside Contractors or Vendors - UNH departments that utilize outside contractors or vendors to provide services at UNH locations where the contractor or vendor may have unsupervised access to minors  should ensure that the contractor or vendor affirms its compliance with all applicable NH State and Federal laws, including the hiring and supervision of employees.

6.   Violation of Policy

6.1   Violations of this policy may result in appropriate disciplinary measures in accordance with University policies, applicable collective bargaining agreements, and applicable Student Conduct policies.

UNH Procedures for the Protection of Minors

This page last updated Wednesday, October 2, 2019. For information on the adoption and effective dates of policies please see explanation on the OLPM Main Menu.