Staff / Volunteers

Staff, chaperones (paid and/or volunteer) are key components to any youth program, activity or camp.

A master roster of staff and chaperones must be submitted (Staff / Chaperone List) 10 days in advance of program start date to facilitate background check review.

Background Check

Explanation

Following the Minors on Campus Policy (approved December 2015), all Program Staff, including the Program Director, who may have contact with participants must be thoroughly screened, which includes conducting a background check on all such individuals.  At a minimum, the background check should include: state criminal felony and misdemeanor for the past seven years (for an unlimited number of counties, as revealed by a social security number trace), federal criminal (for an unlimited number of districts, as revealed by a social security number trace), and national sex offender and child abuse searches.  For university-sponsored Programs, KU Human Resource Management (HRM) will coordinate access to the background check provider and/or be responsible for auditing the outcome of the required background check.

If the Program is not university-sponsored, it is the Program Director’s responsibility to follow best practices in determining whether an individual has satisfactorily passed the screening, including the background check, with consideration for the individual’s role and responsibilities relating to the Program (e.g., a person convicted of an alcohol offense shall not be permitted to transport participants, a person with a theft conviction shall not be responsible for finances or Program resources, etc.).  

Notwithstanding the foregoing, under no circumstances shall an individual be permitted to participate in the operation of the Program, including contact with any participants and involvement in Program activities, if the individual has been convicted of a crime against persons (including a child), sex offense, felony drug conviction, crime involving fraud or deception, or other crime of violence or bodily harm.  

The Program Director shall certify to the university in writing that all Program Staff (including the Program Director and all employees, interns, volunteers, contractors, etc.) have satisfactorily completed screening, including a background check within five years of the start date of the Program, prior to the first day of the Program.  The Organization will make the results of the background check available to the university for inspection upon request.  For university-sponsored Programs, KU HRM shall make the final determination regarding whether an individual has passed the screening and may serve as Program Staff and coordinate the disciplinary action process for university employees if appropriate.

Specific questions should be directed to:
KU Human Resource Management       
Phone:  (785) 864.4946
Email:    hrdept@ku.edu


Procedures

University of Kansas Human Resource Management (HRM) procedures *Please note: Kansas Athletics Inc. (KAI) will follow their established procedures for background checks and program directors will submit staff/chaperone list.

  • Background checks are an automatic part of University of Kansas employment processes since September 2008.  Counselors / Staff who are new KU employees being paid to participate in the Youth Program will receive necessary background checks as part of the hire process.
  • KU staff working with youth will need new background checks every five (5) years.
  • Costs ($45/person-average) will be charged to the School / Department sponsoring Youth Programs/Camps
  • Program Directors need to complete the counselor portion of the “Participant/Counselor Registration Form” and submit to the Office of Event Management and Protocol (OEM&P), at least 10 working days prior to the program start date.
  • HRM will maintain confidential records to determine when background checks are made and when updates are necessary.

For the purposes of background checks:

KU Employees:

  • The Office of Event Management and Protocol (OEM&P) will forward the spreadsheet of Counselors/Staff to HRM.  The spreadsheet will indicate which are KU employees and include KU ID#s (not Social Security Numbers), valid e-mail addresses, and a funding resource to which the background check should be billed.
  • Program Director will notify all KU Employees that a background check is required for program participation on a five-year basis.  Employees requiring a background check for that program year must watch for an e-mail from KU’s Background Check vendor HireRight and respond immediately.
  • HRM will send an update of all background check orders to the OEM&P within three working days prior to the start date of the program/camp/activity.
  • HRM will work directly with the hiring unit, General Counsel and the appropriate University hierarchy in the event that the results of the background check are adverse.  Final determination regarding employment eligibility will be confidential, however notification of the individual’s eligibility in programs with minors will be provided to the Event Management and Protocol Office.
  • If an employee fails the background check they will not allowed to participate in the program and employment may be subject to termination.

Non-KU Employees:

  • The Office of Event Management and Protocol (OEM&P) will forward the spreadsheet of Counselors/Staff to HRM that are not KU employees. The spreadsheet will indicate which are KU employees and include KU ID#s (not Social Security Numbers), valid e-mail addresses, and a funding resource to which the background check should be billed.
  • Program Director will notify all Non-KU Employees that a background check is required for program participation on a five-year basis.  Participants/Volunteers requiring a background check for that program year must watch for an e-mail from KU’s Background Check vendor HireRight and respond immediately.
  • HRM will send an update of all background check orders to the OEM&P within three working days prior to the start date of the program/camp/activity.
  • HRM will work directly with the hiring unit, General Counsel and the appropriate University hierarchy in the event that the results of the background check are adverse.  Final determination regarding volunteer eligibility will be confidential, however notification of the individual’s eligibility in programs with minors will be provided to the Event Management and Protocol Office.
  • If the Volunteer/Participant fails to comply with the background check procedures or does not satisfactorily completes the terms of the background check, he/she/they are not allowed to participate in the camp/program.
Training

Each Program Director should develop their own training / requirements specific to their youth program.  Some basics should include:

  • Instruct staff and volunteers of responsibilities to report any known or suspected criminal actions:  KU Crime Reporting Policy
  • Review and follow – Alcohol & Drug Policy
  • Review and follow – Smoking Policy
  • There should be no physical contact with any youth except when rendering first aid
  • Establish check-in/check-out procedures as well as bed-checks (if applicable)
  • Parking and access to vehicles while working/or during free time
  • Understand responsibilities regarding the program’s Missing Youth / Camper Plan
  • Emergency situations/building evacuations/rally points & check-in
  • Identify program responsibilities/job assignments/free time
  • Be good role models for participants
  • Assist youth in managing resources, assisting with clean-up as needed, reporting damage before leaving an area, etc.
  • Establish how to handle lost keys / meal cards, etc.
  • Review and follow Social Media Guidelines and discourage or prohibit texting, checking email, posting photos on Facebook or other social media while on duty.
Adult / Child Ratios

The University of Kansas recommends following the American Camp Association adult/child supervision ratios:

  • 4 to 5 year-old day participants        1:6          for overnight participants   1:5
  • 6 to 8 year-old day participants        1:8          for overnight participants   1:6
  • 9 to 14 year-old day participants      1:10        for overnight participants   1:8
  • 15 to 17 year-old day participants    1:12        for overnight participants   1:10

There should always be two staff members with a group of program participants unless they are in an area near the main program where other groups are around and have easy accessibility to get help in the event of an emergency.

This recommendation is NOT intended to hinder youth program events on campus, but as best practices to protect the University, the sponsor of the program and ultimately the youth participants.


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