Dartmouth Minors Protection Policy

Policy ID

037-0004

Effective Date

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Division

Office of the President

Office of Primary Responsibility

Office of the General Counsel (OGC)

Summary of Policy

The Dartmouth College Minors Protection Policy states that it is any member of the Dartmouth community's obligation to report any suspected abuse or neglect of children and that all Dartmouth-sponsored or third-party youth skill programs/camps must adhere to NH laws and regulations regarding criminal background checks.

Affected Parties

All Groups

Policy Statement

The Dartmouth College Minors Protection Policy includes three elements:

  1. Obligation to report suspected child abuse or neglect, including sexual abuse, in accordance with State of New Hampshire (NH) law;
  2. Requirement of all Dartmouth-sponsored Youth Skills Programs/Camps to adhere to State of NH laws and regulations regarding the need for criminal background checks;
  3. Requirement of all third-party Youth Skills Programs/Camps to document their adherence to State of NH laws and regulations regarding the need for criminal background checks.

Definitions

  • Authorized Adult: Any adult faculty member, college student, staff member, or volunteer who is working directly with minors and who has undergone a criminal background check within the current calendar year and with results acceptable under New Hampshire law and Dartmouth College standards.
    • Any Program/Camp staff member or volunteer who may be left alone with a child or children, is subject to a criminal background check within the calendar year. If a staff or volunteer has not undergone a criminal background check with results acceptable to Dartmouth within the calendar year, an "Authorized Adult" must also be present.
  • Child Abuse or Neglect: For purposes of this policy, the definitions of child abuse or neglect shall be those contained in NH RSA 169-C3.
  • Criminal Background Check: A review of criminal records from every state of residence within the last seven years and a search of the National Sex and Violent Offender Registries.
  • Minor: A person under the age of 18 years old.
  • Youth Skills Program/Camp: Consistent with NH state law, a Dartmouth-sponsored Youth Skills Program/Camp is defined as a program that runs for three or more consecutive days for the purpose of teaching skills such as sports, the arts, and scientific inquiry to minors. Youth Skills Programs/Camps include unpaid internships and mentoring arrangements.
    • Exclusion: Students, including high school students, who are minors and who have been accepted for enrollment or who are enrolled for academic credit in Dartmouth classes and not participating in a Youth Skills Program/Camp.

Obligation to Report Possible Abuse or Neglect of a Minor

  • Every person in New Hampshire has an obligation to report suspected child abuse.
  • Under NH State RSA 169-C:29-31 anyone, including all Dartmouth employees, students and volunteers, who has reason to suspect a child under the age of 18 has been abused, including sexual abuse1, or neglect, must report that suspicion to the NH Child Protection Services2 at 800-894-5533 (when calling from in state) or 603-271-6562 (when calling from out of state). For immediate emergencies call 911.
  • Procedure for Reporting (applies to Dartmouth employees, students, volunteers and third parties who work with youth programs at Dartmouth):
    • Step 1: Notify NH Child Protection Services, 800-894-5533 (when calling from in state) or 603-271-6565 (when calling from out of state).
    • Step 2: Notify your Program Manager that a report has been made.
    • Step 3: You or your Program Manager should notify Dartmouth Safety & Security (S&S) (603-646-4000) that a report has been made, after which S&S will follow its communication protocol.
  • Individuals making reports in good faith are protected from legal liability.

 1"Child sexual abuse" as defined by the New Hampshire Statute NH RSA 169-C:3.
 2Depending on the direction provided by New Hampshire authorities, you may be advised to inform child Protective Services in other states.

Adherence to NH Regulations for Dartmouth-Sponsored Youth Skills Programs/Camps

  • Dartmouth faculty/staff who sponsor Youth Skills Programs/Camps for minors acknowledge that in accordance with NH state law (NH Rev Stat § 485-A:24-1 [2013]), only Authorized Adults may be left alone with attendee(s) who are under the age of 18.
  • Dartmouth faculty/staff who sponsor Youth Skills Programs/Camps for minors agree to comply with the requirements of NH state law (NH Rev Stat § 485-A:24-II(a)) for obtaining criminal background checks for those required under the statute.
  • Procedure and Process
    • The process for obtaining a criminal background check can be found here. It requires that each faculty sponsor/program director fill out a Request for Criminal Background Check Form for each adult who might be alone with Program/Camp minors. Once this form is submitted to Human Resources, it takes approximately 10-14 business days to complete the criminal background check.
    • Each faculty sponsor/Program director is responsible for submitting a NH Certification of Background Checks Form to the State of NH, along with a $25 check, in advance of the Program/Camp. A copy of this completed form must be shared with the Office of the General Counsel, Attn: Amy T. Baker.

Adherence to NH Regulations for Youth Skills Programs/Camps – Non- Dartmouth Programs

  • All third-parties that offer Youth Skills Programs/Camps on Dartmouth College premises are required to adhere to the NH legislation regarding the criminal background checks for Youth Skills Camps. Such programs include: sports camps, debate camps or any other youth programs that are run as independent businesses or endeavors.
  • Procedure and Process
    • Prior to obtaining access to Dartmouth facilities through the Office of Conferences and Events or through the Athletics Department, all third-party programs must prove that they have complied with the legislation by producing a copy of their NH Certification of Background Checks Form or documentation of their program on the State of NH website, which lists the Youth Skills Camps in operation.

Last Revised

Friday, May 22, 2020