Minors Program Operational Requirements

  1. Prior to the commencement of the minors program, the responsible program person will email the University’s director of emergency management or a designee with the name and contact information for a program contact (defined below) in the event the minors program participants need to be evacuated or moved per Syracuse University protocols during an emergency.
    1. The minors program must also establish a procedure for the notification of the minor participants’ parents or legal guardians in the event of an emergency, including medical or behavioral concerns, natural disasters, or other significant disruptions. If emergency services are needed, the responsible program person should contact 911, Syracuse University Ambulance, or Fire and Life Safety Services.
  2. If required, the responsible program person must collect executed permission and waiver forms from parents or legal guardians of minor participants prior to the start of the minors program. The responsible program person must use approved forms provided by Risk Management. Once completed by parents and guardians, the responsible program person must provide copies of all signed permission and waiver forms to Risk Management, and Risk Management is responsible for retaining the forms for seven (7) years from the end of the minors program, consistent with the University’s record retention policies.
  3. The responsible program person must provide information to parents or legal guardians describing how minor participants can be contacted during the minors program.
  4. The responsible program person must maintain an up-to-date list of minors program times and dates, locations, attendance (including identities of staff, volunteers, and minor participants), and a designated program contact. The responsible program person must supply this information to Risk Management prior to the start of the minors program. Third parties must provide this list to Risk Management at least ten (10) days prior to the start of the minors program.
  5. Any minor suspected of possessing or consuming alcohol, illegal drugs, or prescription drugs in a manner other than prescribed shall be immediately dismissed from the minors program and from Syracuse University owned, operated, or controlled property, subject to sub-section 6.
  6. Custody obligations. Minors programs may only release a minor to the parent or legal guardian identified on the minors program waiver/permission forms, unless there is prior written consent from the parent or guardian authorizing pick up by another adult and the adult provides valid photo ID.
  7. Standards for maintaining appropriate ratios (number of staff per minor participant by age and type of activity). The New York State Department of Health requires the following age and oversight ratios for minors programs:
    1. Staff/volunteers must be at least 18 years of age (20% may be 17) for overnight minors programs.
    2. Staff/volunteers must be at least 16 years of age for day minors programs.
    3. During passive activities (defined as activities that take place in a defined area, where participants are spectators or have limited mobility and use no tools or equipment other than computers), the participant/staff-volunteer ratios will be no greater than 1:25.
    4. At an overnight minors program, the ratio will be 1:10.
    5. At a day minors program, the ratio will be 1:12.
    6. Swim activities require that supervision ratio for participants age 8 and older be at least 1:10.
    7. Minors programs will endeavor to keep minors program participants together within appropriate age levels when possible.
  8. There may be specific instances in which a staff member is not working directly with minors but may be hosted by an authorized adult to discuss an area of expertise or experience to a group of minors.  When all of the following provisions are met, someone will qualify as a guest speaker for the purposes of the policy:
    1. The guest speaker will not at any time (before, during or after) have the care/custody/or control of the minor(s).  This means if the authorized adult is unable to attend, and no other authorized adult is able to step in, the event will be cancelled. No unsupervised access to minors will be allowed.
    2. The program in which the guest speaker is participating in must be registered with Risk Management and the guest speaker must be classified as such in the program.
    3. The guest speaker is not able to be counted in the staff to minor ratio as they are not authorized for the purposes of the policy.
    4. The event the guest speaker is involved in must either be a one-time event, or if a recurring event, the groups of minors must never be comprised of any of the same minors.
  9. Insurance requirements. Third-parties seeking to host a minors program on University owned, operated, or controlled property must ensure they obtain the appropriate insurance coverage prior to the start of the minors program. The amount of general liability and additional insurance coverage required will be determined by Risk Management depending on the potential exposure. Syracuse University must be named as an additional insured on this insurance policy. Workers compensation insurance coverage will also be required.
  10. Minors programs in research and teaching laboratories are subject to additional operational standards. For more information, see the standards specific to minors in laboratories.

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