University of Michigan changes its guidelines to work with children

By FATIMA FAKHREDDINE, Staff Writer

ecec1The University of Michigan-Dearborn has furthered its commitment to keep children safe on campus by instituting a centralized policy that ensures their wellness, safety, and security when interacting with the University.

The guidelines, which build on existing policies and procedures, must comply with minors who are involved in university-sponsored programs and non-university programs using University of Michigan facilities.

The guideline outlines by the policy are as follows:
· The creation of a registry on each campus and a requirement that authorized programs are registered annually.
· An expectation that adults interacting with children follow the code of conduct set out in the Standard Practice Guide Section.
· A requirement that adults working with children receive criminal background screenings every two years.
· The development of university-provided templates for participant forms such as transportation permission forms or medical release forms.
· A requirement that staff and volunteers complete required training. Training will be developed and provided to programs.
· Adherence to all reporting obligations.

Kate Rychlinski is the assistant Director of Risk Management, and responsible for administering the Minors on Campus program and coordinating efforts to register (track), train staff, provide resources and ensure compliance with the policy guidelines.

“The guidelines are designed to support and enhance the current outstanding work with children happening throughout the university and to promote healthy and responsible behavior through consistent training, enhanced resources, and coordinated support services from central administrative units that support Program Administrators,” Rychlinski said.

According to the UM-Dearborn website, “The new policy applies to all administrators, health care providers, faculty, staff, students and volunteers involved with minors on the Ann Arbor, Dearborn, and Flint campuses, including the UM Health System and UM Athletics.”

Committees are being formed to help the guidelines function efficiently.

Rychlinkski said, “We are in the process of developing committees to assist with development of procedures, resources, and other essential pieces of the policy; UM-Dearborn will be represented on these committees.”

In addition to the creation of the Standard Practice Guide Section there is a website being developed as a resource for managing programs involving minors. This development will have a program registry for each campus and health system, which will be available this summer for 2015 programs.