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UT Tyler Compliance Office

Child Protection Training

What is Child Protection Training and why is it required?
In 2012 the Texas Legislature passed SB1414 into law, now Section 51.976, Texas Education Code, which requires this training pursuant to all "campus programs'' for minors that: (1) are operated by an institution of higher education or conducted on the campus of the institution; (2) offer recreational, athletic, religious or educational activities; and (3) are offered to at least 20 minors who (a) are not enrolled at the institution and (b) attend or temporarily reside at the camp for all or part of at least four (4) days (does not have to be four consecutive days). The Texas Department of State Health Services is the agency responsible for administration of this requirement.

Who must take this training?
Any employees (full-time or part-time) or volunteers who work in a campus program for minors that meets the criteria per 51.976 (outlined above). All budget authorities or managers who operate a campus program for minors ("program operators") are responsible for ensuring these requirement are met in coordination with the office of Compliance and Risk Management.

What form of Child Protection Training does the university utilize?
UT System has developed a Child Protection Training program which has been approved by the Texas Department of State Health Services; the training may be accessed via this link: PowerPoint presentation from UT System. Following completion of this self-directed training an exam must be taken, which is available in Blackboard (the exam can provided manually for volunteers without Blackboard access). The program operator should provide the Office of Compliance and Risk Management with a list of those employees from their area who will need to be enrolled to take the training exam. A certificate of completion will be issued by the Office of Compliance and Risk Management following successful completion of the exam. 

Can I work in a campus program for minors without taking this training?  No , the university may only employ an individual in a campus program position involving contact with minors if (1) it can be verified that the individual successfully completed a sexual abuse/child molestation training and examination program that has been approved by the Texas Department of State Health Services pursuant to Section 51.976 of the Texas Education Code within the last two (2) years, or (2) the individual successfully completes an approved program during the first five (5) days of employment and documents its completion. While not required by law it is university policy that volunteers who are impacted must take this training.

Are criminal background checks required in order for me to work in a campus program for minors, and who will conduct these checks?
Yes. UT System Policy UTS124 "Criminal Background Checks" Section 2.5 (c), states: "Youth camps shall ensure that for all employees and final applicants who will work at the camp, and all volunteers and student observers who will regularly or frequently be at the camp, are subject to a criminal background check each year. The check shall be conducted prior to permitting an individual to work, volunteer or be present. Further, volunteers and student observers who are not subject to a check must not have unsupervised access to campers." The University's Office of Human Resources will conduct the background checks; please provide a list of employees needing background checks to the university's Office of Human Resources.

Who administers this training?
The Office of Compliance and Risk Management is the responsible party for ensuring that training is conducted and that the requirements of 51.976 are met. The university has designated campus programs for minors as High-Risk area with oversight by the Executive Compliance Committee and Compliance Working Group.  

What documentation must be submitted?
The program operator must complete and provide the Campus Programs for Minors information form to the Texas Department of State Health Services; this form will list program information and affirm that employees have received the required training. Instructions on how to submit the form. (Note that our training course name is "University of Texas System Child Protection Training'' and the approval number is CPM12-0073).  

How long is this documentation of training kept on file?
The program operator must maintain documentation of each employee's successful completion of the training and examination program for two (2) years from the date of the examination. Documentation will also be retained by the Office of Compliance and Risk Management.

Do employees of the Innovation Academy need this training since they work with children?
Employees of the university's Innovation Academy are not subject to this requirement as charter schools are generally governed by other statutes that prevail over sec. 51.976.

What about outside groups that rent university facilities?
The law does not impose an obligation on the university to ensure that third-party camp operators who rent facilities on campus comply. However any facility use agreement must contain a clause specifically mentioning the obligation of the third-party to comply with the provisions of 51.976 (i.e. "Licensee shall comply with all laws of the United States and of the State of Texas (including child sexual abuse/molestation awareness training as required by Tex. Educ. Code, sec.51.976), all local ordinances...")

What if I have other questions?
Refer to the Sexual Abuse Prevention FAQ or consult the Office of Compliance and Risk Management at ext. 5805 or ext. 7011.