The Dartmouth College Minors Protection Policy includes three elements:
- Obligation to report suspected child abuse or neglect, including sexual abuse, in accordance with State of New Hampshire (NH) law;
- 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;
- 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.
- 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 ), 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.