FAQs

University of Michigan policy clearly defines expectations on managing the health, wellness, safety and security of children and teens while on campus or in the university’s care.

The policy can be found here: U-M Standard Practice Guide: Policy on Minors Involved in University-Sponsored Programs or Programs Held in University Facilities.

The following questions and answers help explain how the policy applies to:

Additional questions about managing programs involving children and teens can be directed to Risk Management Services: childrenoncampus@umich.edu.


University-sponsored programs and events

I understand there’s a robust policy for children and teen programming; what do I do first?
A quick and easy checklist on how to comply with policy can be found in the Program Planning Checklist.

We require programs to meet all of the following guidelines:

  • Register university-sponsored programs and activities involving children and teens.
  • Follow the established Code of Conduct.
  • Obtain criminal background screening of all authorized adult faculty, staff and volunteers.
  • Use university-provided templates for participant forms.
  • Ensure all authorized adults complete required training.
  • Adhere to all reporting obligations.

Why was the policy created?
The university’s goal is to enhance the existing efforts on children’s programming by sharing best practices and centralized resources to ensure a positive experience for all.


To whom does the policy apply?
The policy applies to all university-sponsored programs and non-university programs using U-M facilities involving youth.

All administrators, healthcare providers, faculty, staff, students and volunteers on the Ann Arbor, UM-Dearborn or UM-Flint campuses, including Michigan Medicine and Athletics, are expected to follow the established guidelines.


What type of programs fall under the new policy?
With few exceptions, all programs involving children and teens fall under the new policy.
Examples include:

  • Summer camps.
  • Specialty camps such as academic camps or patient camps.
  • Outreach activities and pipeline programs.
  • Workshops, conferences and educational programs.
  • Tutoring.
  • Licensed childcare facilities and programs.
  • Sponsored student organization activities.
  • Programs and events involving children that take place in U-M facilities or on U-M property.

Exceptions include:

  • Students under the age of 18 who have been admitted to an undergraduate or graduate academic degree program or who have matriculated to the University of Michigan.
  • Children involved in research in compliance with Institutional Review Board (IRB) guidelines.
  • Children employed by the University of Michigan.
  • Events open to the public and which children attend at the sole discretion of their parents/guardians.
  • Children receiving direct patient care.

How far in advance must a program be registered?
Programs must be registered within sufficient time to meet the requirements of this policy. We recommend allowing at least 60 days before the program start date. Annual registration is required.


How is the policy enforced?
Each U-M Executive Officer, Dean, Director and Department Head has responsibility for ensuring that their units implement the policy. Risk Management Services serves as a resource to assist units with achieving full policy compliance.


Will implementation of the policy require additional staff responsibility or administrative resources?
No, it shouldn’t. The policy builds on the great work already in place at the university. It is intended to provide additional support and resources to programs, not create barriers for people to continue to do good work.


My program has unique circumstances, and I’m not sure how to implement the policy. What should I do?
We are committed to working with programs with unique circumstances to help them identify how best to comply with the policy. Those with questions are encouraged to contact Risk Management Services at childrenoncampus@umich.edu.


Who must complete a background check and how often are they required?
Background checks are required for all adults who participate in programs involving children and teens; the requirement applies to university-sponsored programs, events and non-university-sponsored programs.

Background checks are required before an individual begins working with children and teens, and then every two years thereafter.

Screening for specific groups may require alternative, or additional review processes. To find out if this type of screening applies to your program, contact Risk Management Services at childrenoncampus@umich.edu or 734-764-2200.


How do I arrange for background checks for staff and volunteers for university-sponsored programs and events?
Background checks for university-sponsored programs and events are conducted by a third party vendor, at no cost to sponsoring units. U-M Human Resources administers the background check.

Click here to request a background check.


What does the background check include?
The background screening consists of a review of criminal records for the past seven years in counties where credit was established (limited to a total of seven counties), Social Security verification and the National Sex Offender Registry. Foreign nationals undergo screening through the Visa screening process conducted by the State Department.


How are the checks administered, and what is the notification process?
After a request for a background check has been submitted by a program administrator, applicants receive an email invitation from a third party vendor to submit their information on a secured website. The administrator will receive notification once the background check is completed. Estimated turnaround time is five to seven business days but this is dependent upon the responsiveness of the jurisdictions contacted. We recommend allowing 60 days for processing requests.


If a background check reveals a criminal record history, will the applicant be immediately denied?
No. If a background check reveals a criminal record history, the applicant will be notified and their application will be referred to Risk Management Services for evaluation consistent with federal guidelines. Read additional information on the notification process and report outcomes.


Can background checks be waived?
Yes, in certain instances. For example, many of the professional school students submit to criminal background checks as part of their field placement, clinical experience, etc. If a check is already required for that experience, meets university requirements and is within a two-year timeframe, then a second background check is not necessary.

Record of the background check must be provided and verified before the individual can interact with children or teens.

For additional information about waivers of background checks contact Risk Management Services at childrenoncampus@umich.edu or 734-764-2200.


Why does the policy include reporting obligations?
Each member of the university community and those participating in children and teen programing shares a responsibility to report suspicions of misconduct, abuse or neglect.

All information reported will be handled in a sensitive and confidential manner.

If emergency assistance is needed, please contact the police by dialing 9-1-1, and then Risk Management Services at childrenoncampus@umich.edu or 734-764-2200.

Individuals wishing to report non-emergency information or concerns should contact Risk Management Services at childrenoncampus@umich.edu or 734-764-2200.

To report concerns about potential wrongdoing anonymously, contact the U-M Compliance Hotline at 866-990-0111 or visit the hotline website.


Parents and Guardians

How do I verify my child/teen’s program or event is compliant with the policy?
The program registry lists publicly available university-sponsored programs and events that have met the policy requirements, including completion of background checks and the required training.

Search for your child’s program here.

***Non-university-sponsored programs and events are not included in the program registry.***


What type of training do university-sponsored program and event staff and volunteers complete?
We have a variety of tools and training materials focused on health, safety and security, including medication management, proper disciplinary procedures and detecting and reporting abuse or neglect.

Read our training materials here.


How are university-sponsored program and event staff and volunteers screened?
Background checks are conducted by a third party vendor.

The background screening consists of a review of criminal records for the past seven years in counties where credit was established (limited to a total of seven counties), Social Security verification and the National Sex Offender Registry. Foreign nationals undergo screening through the Visa screening process conducted by the State Department.


Whom do I contact if I have a concern about a program or event?
We take individuals’ concerns about the care and treatment of children and teens very seriously.

If immediate emergency assistance is needed, please contact the police by dialing 9-1-1, and then contact Risk Management to alert them to the situation.

Those wishing to report misconduct, abuse or neglect are directed to contact Risk Management Services at childrenoncampus@umich.edu or 734-764-2200.

To report wrongdoing anonymously, contact the U-M Compliance Hotline by calling 866-990-0111, or via their website at compliancehotline.umich.edu.

All information reported will be handled in a sensitive and confidential manner.


I’d like to stay updated on campus safety and security. How do I do that?
For current information on campus safety and security, we recommend visiting the Department of Public Safety and Security website.


Non-university-sponsored program and event staff and volunteers

I understand there’s a new policy for children and teen programming. What do I do first?
This quick and easy checklist will walk you through the policy for using U-M facilities. See Third parties –use of facilities guidelines.

We require programs to meet all of the following guidelines and provide documentation to the facility manager:

  • Complete a Third Party Acknowledgment of Responsibility form.
  • Demonstrate proof of insurance for the duration of the program, event or activity occurring on university property.
  • Inform participants that your program or activity is not sponsored by U-M.
  • Provide proof that program or event authorized adults have completed background checks.
  • Train staff and volunteers on policies and issues related to health, wellness, safety and security of children/teens, and document their completion.
  • Obtain Liability Waiver agreements.
  • Immediately report information indicating that a child or teen has, or is suspected to have been, abused or neglected, or other misconduct affecting the safety of children or teens.

Can I register my non-university-sponsored program?
No. The U-M program registry only includes university-sponsored programs or events that are owned and sponsored by U-M.


Can I use U-M program training materials for my non-university sponsored program?
Yes, in keeping with the mission of the university to serve the people of Michigan and the world, you are welcome to use the available resources for training your program’s staff and volunteers.


Who must complete a background check and how often are they required?
Background checks are required for all individuals who participate in programs or events involving children and teens; the requirement applies to university-sponsored programs and events and non-university-sponsored programs.

Background checks are required before an individual begins working with children and teens, and then every two years thereafter.


Can you provide recommendations for vendors to do background checks?
Background checks should include (at a minimum), a review of the county criminal records for the past seven years of residence, Social Security verification and the National Sex Offender Registry. ICHAT (state of Michigan) checks are not sufficient. While we don’t recommend specific providers, we encourage vendors to seek a reputable company offering these services.


Where do I submit my program’s staff/volunteer background check certificate?
Administrators of non-university-sponsored programs or events are required to retain and be able to produce evidence of background check completion for all adults involved in their programs.


Whom can I contact for help locating a facility to host my program?
Conference Services at the University of Michigan is a full-service conference and event-planning group that can assist groups looking for space on the university’s campus. Individuals wishing to inquire about their services should contact Conference Services directly at 734-764-5297, via email at conferences@umich.edu, or visit their website.


Why does the policy include reporting obligations?
Each member of the university community and those participating in children and teen programing shares a responsibility to report suspicions of misconduct, abuse or neglect.

If immediate emergency assistance is needed, please contact the police by dialing 9-1-1, and then contact Risk Management to alert them to the situation.

Individuals wishing to report non-emergency concerns or information are directed to contact Risk Management Services at childrenoncampus@umich.edu or 734-764-2200.

To report wrongdoing anonymously, contact the U-M Compliance Hotline at 866-990-0111 or visit the hotline website.

All information reported will be handled in a sensitive and confidential manner.


With the Center for Educational Outreach, Risk Management is piloting forms that may be completed electronically by registered programs.

Can the participant forms be completed electronically?
At the end of the registration form, programs may elect participate in the pilot of electronic forms. Within hours of completing the registration form, program contacts will receive a link to electronic forms tailored to the program. This link can be shared with parents/guardians of program participants. Parents/guardians can complete and sign the forms electronically. Health/medical forms may not be completed electronically. See additional information below regarding these forms.


Which forms can be completed electronically?
The following forms may be completed electronically during the pilot.

  • Participant Conduct Agreement*
  • Participation Agreement and Waiver* (w/Chaperones and/or Transportation, if applicable)
  • Pick-Up Authorization*
  • Media, Photo & Video Release (if applicable)
  • State of Michigan Concussion Form (if applicable)

Are there additional forms that cannot be completed electronically?
The following forms contain Protected Health Information (PHI). With the pilot electronic forms, parents/guardians will be prompted to download, complete and return applicable forms to the program’s public contact as identified on the registration form. These forms must be returned in person, mailed or uploaded securely via M+Box. Completed forms with PHI must not be exchanged via email.

  • Medical Authorization to Treat*
  • Over-the-Counter Medication Authorization
  • Self-Administration of Prescription Medication

It is the responsibility of the program to make sure that all necessary forms are complete for all program participants. Programs must communicate with parents/guardians and participants as to the preferred method for returning health/medical forms.

*Required for all programs


What are the benefits of using the electronic forms?

  • Forms are tailored to each program’s needs through the program registration form, ensuring that a program has parents/guardians completing all necessary forms.
  • Programs need only collect the “Medical Authorization to Treat” and, when required for a participant, the “Over-the-Counter Medical Authorization” and “Self-Administration of Prescription Medication” forms. Parents/Guardians will be prompted to download, complete and return required health forms based on their participant’s needs.
  • Most forms can be completed by parents/guardians via computer or mobile devices.
  • When completing the forms, parents/guardians can elect to receive and/or have their child receive additional communications regarding academic or other enrichment opportunities for youth at the University of Michigan.