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 in the U-M Standard Practice Guide: Policy on Minors Involved in University Sponsored Programs or Programs Held in University Facilities.

Additional questions about managing programs involving children and teens can be directed to Kathleen Rychlinski, assistant director of Risk Management Services: kmrychli@umich.edu.

Information for:


University-sponsored program faculty, staff, students and volunteers

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.
  • Submit to criminal background screening of all staff or volunteers.
  • Use university-provided templates for participant forms.
  • Ensure faculty, staff, students, and volunteers complete required training.
  • Adhere to all reporting obligations.

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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.

Also, the new registry provides parents with the opportunity to search for U-M sponsored programs.

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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, health care providers, faculty, staff, students and volunteers on the Ann Arbor, Dearborn or Flint campuses, including the U-M Health System and U-M Athletics, are expected to follow the established guidelines.

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What type of programs fall under the new policy?

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.

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How far in advance must a program be registered?

Programs must be registered within sufficient time to meet the requirements of this policy, but no later than 60 days before the program start date. Annual registration is required.

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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 will have general oversight with the assistance of a standing oversight committee.

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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.

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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 Kathleen Rychlinski, assistant director, Risk Management Services at kmrychli@umich.edu.

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Who must complete a background check and how often are they required?

Background checks are required for all individuals who participate in programs involving children and teens; the requirement applies to university-sponsored programs 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 Kathleen Rychlinski, assistant director, Risk Management Services at kmrychli@umich.edu or 734-764-2200.

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How do I arrange for background checks for staff and volunteers for university-sponsored programs?

Background checks for university-sponsored programs are conducted by a third party vendor, and are paid for by the university. Risk Management Services in consultation with U-M Human Resources administers the background check.

Click here to request a background check.

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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.

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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. Risk Management Services will then notify the applicant and program administrators once the background check is completed. Estimated turnaround time is two weeks.

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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 Human Resources for evaluation consistent with university policy. Additional information on the notification process and report outcomes is available here.

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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 Kathleen Rychlinski, assistant director, Risk Management Services at kmrychli@umich.edu or 734-764-2200.

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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.

Individuals wishing to report non-emergency information are directed to contact Kathleen Rychlinski, assistant director, Risk Management Services at kmrychli@umich.edu or 734-764-2200.

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.

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

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Parents and Guardians

How do I verify my child/teen’s program is compliant with the policy?

The program registry lists all the university-sponsored programs that have met the policy requirements, including completion of background checks and the required training.

Click here to view the registered university-sponsored programs.

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

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What type of training do university-sponsored program staff and volunteers complete?

We have a variety of tools and training materials focused on health, safety and security, including first-aid and medication management, proper disciplinary procedures, and detecting and reporting abuse or neglect.

See our training materials here.

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How are university-sponsored program staff and volunteers screened?

Background checks are conducted by a third party vendor and are administered by U-M Human Resources.

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.

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Whom do I contact if I have a concern about a program?

We take individuals’ concerns about the care and treatment of children and teens very seriously. Those wishing to report misconduct, abuse or neglect are directed to contact Kathleen Rychlinski, assistant director, Risk Management Services at kmrychli@umich.edu or 734-764-2200.

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

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.

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

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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.

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Has this policy had an impact on the cost of my child’s camp?

No, the university covers the cost for the requirements of the policy.

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Non-university-sponsored program 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.
  • Inform participants that your program or activity is not sponsored by U-M.
  • Provide proof that staff and volunteers 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 between each program participant’s parent or guardian.
  • 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.
  • Provide insurance coverage for the duration of the event, program or activity occurring on university property.

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Can I register my non-university-sponsored program?

No. The U-M program registry only includes university-sponsored programs that are owned and operated by U-M.

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Can I use U-M program training materials for my non-university sponsored program?

Yes, we encourage you to use the available resources for training your program’s staff and volunteers.

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Who must complete a background check and how often are they required?

Background checks are required for all individuals who participate in programs involving children and teens; the requirement applies to university-sponsored programs and non-university-sponsored programs.

Background checks are required before an individual begins working with children and teens, and then every two years thereafter. Administrators of non-university-sponsored programs are required to provide a certificate of background check completion for all individuals involved in their programs.

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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.

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Where do I submit my program’s staff/volunteer background check certificate?

The certification of completion of a background check should be provided to the facility manager.

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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.

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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.

Individuals wishing to report non-emergency information are directed to contact Kathleen Rychlinski, assistant director, Risk Management Services at kmrychli@umich.edu, or 734-764-2200.

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.

Additional ways to report wrongdoing, include contacting: University Compliance anonymously via website at compliancehotline.umich.edu or by calling hotline at 866-990-0111.

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