Child & Youth Protection Program
As part of its mission, SUNY Plattsburgh offers a variety of academic, cultural, athletic, and artistic events open to enrich the lives of the members of our campus and local communities. Activities involving children and youth are an integral part of our role as a center of learning in the North Country.
SUNY Plattsburgh is committed to protecting the safety and well-being of children/youth who participate in a college-related program or activity (whether on- or off-campus) and has developed a child and youth protection program that establishes appropriate conduct for employees charged with the custody, control, or supervision of children/youth.
About the Program
The Child and Youth Protection Policy was approved by SUNY Plattsburgh’s Executive Council in Summer 2015. The policy defines the structure of the college’s Child and Youth Protection Program. The chief of University Police serves as the president’s designee for Child and Youth Protection. The policy also establishes a Child and Youth Protection Committee to provide advice and guidance to the president’s designee as needed to improve the program.
The program requires that any group seeking to hold activities on campus involving the custody, control, or supervision of children/youth be reviewed and then take steps to provide training and establish expectations for appropriate conduct for any personnel who will be directly responsible for children while on campus. Under the policy, a child/youth is defined as an individual under the age of seventeen years who is participating in a covered activity.
University Police is responsible for overall institutional coordination of the Child and Youth Protection Program. The Child and Youth Protection Committee assists by providing advice and guidance of the campus Child and Youth Protection program. The committee has developed these pages to assist the members of our community who wish to sponsor events with children better understand their responsibilities.
If you have questions, please contact University Police at 518-564-2022.
What is the Child & Youth Protection Policy?
The Child and Youth Protection Policy states that individuals must conduct themselves appropriately with children/youth who participate in college related programs and report instances or suspicion of physical or sexual abuse of children to the University Police Department at 518-564-2022.
What is a “Child/Youth” Under the Policy?
An individual under the age of seventeen years, who is participating in a Covered Activity. The term “child/youth” shall not include a matriculated student of the University or a person accepted for matriculation. For purposes of this policy, “matriculation” means accepted by the university as a student into a college course that is listed in the college catalog.
What Does the Policy Cover?
This policy covers the college (departments, employees and students), affiliates, and any vendor, licensee or permittee for which a license or permit for use of college facilities has been approved, occurring on or off campus.
What is an Affiliated Entity?
An affiliated entity is any one of the following: The Research Foundation of the State University of New York, The Plattsburgh College Foundation, the Plattsburgh Alumni Association, and College Auxiliary Services.
Is the Student Association an Affiliated Entity?
No, for the purposes of this policy, the Student Association (and any of its recognized clubs or organizations) is not an affiliated entity and must enter into an agreement with the college through conference services via a revocable permit in order to hold a function which involves children under the age of 17.
What is a “Responsible University Official” and a “Covered Person“?
A “Responsible University Official” is an employee of the college or college-affiliated organization who has been designated by the college to fulfill the responsibilities as listed in Section F of the SUNY Child Protection Policy.
A “Covered Person” is a person who is responsible for the custody, control, or supervision of children/youth participating in the Covered Activity and who is:
- An employee of the college or college-affiliated organization; or
- a student enrolled at the college; or
- a volunteer of the college or college-affiliated organization; or
- a vendor, licensee, permittee or other person, who is given permission to come onto campus or to use college facilities for Covered Activities; or their employees, agents, or volunteers.
What is a “Covered Activity”?
An activity is “Covered” if it meets the two-part Policy definition as follows:
- it is sponsored or approved by the university, college-affiliated organization or conducted by a vendor, licensee or permittee for which a license or permit for use of college facilities has been approved, occurring on or off campus; AND
- for the duration of the activity, custody, control and supervision of children/youth is vested in the college, college-affiliated organization or the approved vendor, licensee or permittee.
How Do I Know if My Activity is a “Covered Activity“?
Please view the decision tree to determine if your activity falls into the definition of a covered activity. When in doubt, please call University Police at 518-564-2022 as we can assist you with making this determination.
Who is Responsible When a School District is Invited on Campus for an Event?
Generally, field trips where custody and control remain with the school district are not considered covered activities. However, if students are not accompanied by chaperones from the school and a college employee is expected to be responsible for any children/youth at any point of the visit, then the activity should be reviewed by University Police to make a determination.
Which Activities Where Children/Youth Under the Age of 17 are Present are Not Considered “Covered Activities”?
The Child Protection Policy does not apply to incidental visits where custody, control and supervision is not vested in the college or an affiliated organization. Some examples include:
- Events that are open to the general public, such as concerts, athletic events, exhibitions and seasonal events such as winter carnivals and Halloween parties.
- Children/youth accompanying a visitor to campus (e.g., accompanying a sibling on a recruiting visit).
- “Field Trips” where children/youth are brought onto campus by a school or other organization and the representatives of those schools or organization remain with the children/youth throughout the trip and remain responsible for the custody, control and supervision.
Again, when in doubt, please contact University Police at 518-564-2022 so we can help review the activity.
How Do We Treat Off-Campus Internships, Such as Student Teaching Assignments?
Internships, student teaching assignments, affiliations, and volunteer work conducted off-campus by students or faculty are generally not Covered Activities because the responsibility for custody, control and supervision of children/youth is not vested in the university, college-affiliated organizations or approved vendor, licensee or permittee.
Who Do I Call if I Have Any Questions Regarding the Child & Youth Protection Policy?
Please direct your questions to University Police at 518-564-2022.
- Training & Resources
The Child and Youth Protection Program requires that individuals who are exercising custody, control or supervision of children receive training biennial training. SUNY’s Office of General Counsel has developed a system-wide training on the SUNY Child Protection Policy for use by SUNY campuses.
Child and Youth Protection Training Acknowledgement:
The Child and Youth Protection Committee has created an acknowledgement that can be utilized by event coordinators to record the biennial training that has been completed by covered persons, which is available on the Child and Youth Protection Policies and Procedures page.
The following resources have been identified by the Child Protection Committee as helpful resources for campus individuals who may be working with children:
Policies, Procedures & Forms
The college’s Child and Youth Protection Program is made up of a number of policies, procedures and forms. These components are detailed below.
- University Policies & Procedures
The following policies were approved by the Board of Trustees for the State University of New York and apply to all SUNY Institutions:
State University of New York Policy # 6504 — Mandatory Reporting and Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse
Summary: This Policy places an affirmative obligation upon all State University of New York employees, students, and volunteers to report child sexual abuse that occurs on campus or off campus at university-sponsored events to the appropriate authority or authorities. This policy also requires that relevant employees and students be trained on recognizing child sexual abuse crimes and that there is an obligation to report such abuse if it is witnessed.
State University of New York Policy # 6505 — Child Protection Policy
Summary: This policy outlines the steps that institutions must take to safeguard the health and safety of children participating in university programs. All individuals must conduct themselves appropriately with children who participate in university-related programs and report instances or suspicion of physical or sexual abuse of children.
- College Policies, Procedures & Guidelines
The following policies were approved by SUNY Plattsburgh’s Executive Council and apply only to the college:
SUNY Plattsburgh Policy # 8008.1 — Child and Youth Protection Policy
Summary: This policy supplements the SUNY Policies listed above and outlines those expectations and standards specific to SUNY Plattsburgh’s Child and Youth Protection Program.
Summary: This document outlines steps that should be taken when locker rooms are used by covered activities.
- Guidance Documents
SUNY Office of General Counsel has created these documents to assist members of our community with compliance.
The following forms may be utilized by individuals who are holding programs involving the custody, control or supervision of children/youth.