University Sponsored Campus Programs for Minors (CPM) Compliance Guidelines
Revised: April 28, 2014
Stephen F. Austin State University is committed to providing a safe environment for its students, employees and guests. The university sponsors programs on campus from time to time that involve minors. In addition, the university may grant use of its facilities to third-parties for programs that involve minors. University policy 13.5 (Campus Programs for Minors) provides for regulation of these activities.
The following information is provided to assist SFA-sponsored programs to comply with the requirements of Policy 13.5 and those imposed by Section 51.976, Texas Education Code, which requires certain employees of campus programs for minors to receive sexual abuse and child molestation awareness training.
There is a separate site for information for camps/programs operated by third-parties here.
What constitutes a university sponsored "Campus Program for Minors?"
A program is defined as a university sponsored CPM if it:
1) includes participants who are minors;
2) is operated by the university,
3) offers recreational, athletic, religious, or educational activities to participants for all or part of at least two (2) days.
Who is considered a minor?
A minor is anyone under the age of 18.
Are camps conducted off-campus subject to the requirements of this statute?
It looks like my program meets the criteria to be defined as a "campus program for minors." What are the requirements?
1. Designate a "Program Operator" and register the program with the SFA Camps and Conferences Office.
Each SFA CPM must designate an individual as the program operator. The person designated should have a level of authority to ensure compliance with the necessary requirements. The name of the individual designated as program operator will be included on the registration form provided to the SFA Camps and Conference Office.
2. Train Staff and Volunteers
The Program Operator is responsible for ensuring the employees and volunteers that will be working the CPM are successfully trained prior to the start of the program. Click here for more information.
3. Submit Documentation to the State
The Program Operator is responsible for the timely submission of the appropriate documentation to the Texas Department of State Health Services (TDSHS) that certifies the program's employees/volunteers have been properly trained. A copy of this documentation must also be filed with the SFA Camps and Conferences Office prior to the start of the program. Contact the SFA Camps and Conferences Office (468-3400 or e-mail) for assistance.
4. Maintain Records Evidencing the Training of Program Staff/Volunteers
The program operator is responsible for maintaining a copy of the training documentation required for each employee/volunteer until the second anniversary of the examination date. These records are subject to university audit.
What support can the university provide in complying with these requirements?
The university will assist the program operator in complying with these requirements by:
- making approved training available to employees and students at no-cost 1,
- assistance in submitting the appropriate paperwork to the Texas Department of State Health Services 2, (a copy must be on file with the Camps and Conferences office prior to the start of the program)
- assistance with specific questions regarding compliance 3.
1 The in-house approved training is coordinated by the Student Services Department. Click here for more information.
2 The assistance with paperwork submittal is provided by the Camps and Conferences office within Student Services. Contact Camps and Conferences at 468-3400 or by e-mail.
3 The primary contact for assistance with compliance questions is Sam Smith, Director of Student Services. Contact Sam at 468-3403 or by e-mail.
Do volunteers also have to be trained?
Yes. Since the purpose of the statute is to provide child abuse/ molestation awareness to those who will be in contact with minor campers, SFA requires that volunteers, in addition to paid employees, be successfully trained.
Are SFA employees who assist with camp check-in or other administrative duties required to complete the training since they could potentially have unsupervised contact with the minor campers?
What about guest speakers, entertainers, etc.? Must they be trained?
Employees/volunteers acting as a guest speaker, an entertainer, or fulfilling any other role who visits for a limited purpose or a limited time and has no direct and unsupervised interaction with campers are not subject to the training and examination requirements.
What about custodial staff, maintenance staff, food servers or other individuals who may be around the campers? Must they be trained?
University support staff hired to attend to the entire campus are not subject to the training requirement.
What happens if an employee of a campus program for minors fails to obtain the proper training and examination under the statute?
The program operator or employee that fails to comply with the training and examination requirements of the statute is subject to investigation by the Department of State Health Services and an assessment of civil penalties of not less than $50 or more than $1,000 for each act of violation.
What if I become aware of, or suspect, sexual abuse or molestation of a minor camper?
State laws impose a duty to report abuse or molestation of a minor when a person has cause to believe it is occurring. Under section 261.101 of the Texas Family Code, a person having cause to believe that a child's physical or mental health or welfare has been adversely affected by abuse or neglect by any person must immediately make a report to a local or state law enforcement agency, or the Department of Family and Protective Services, among other agencies. The identity of the person making the report is confidential. Also, a person acting in good faith who reports or assists in the investigation of a report of alleged child abuse or neglect, or who participates in a judicial proceeding arising from a report is immune from civil or criminal liability that might otherwise exist.