Programs for minors are defined as “programs that are sponsored and operated by members or third parties using member property/facilities or not where full supervisory duties of the minor(s) are the member or third party’s responsibility and that are held for more than two consecutive days with the same group of minors without an overnight stay or that involve overnight stays. A program that may have minor(s) involvement ancillary to the intended purpose of the activity and is not specifically for minors does not fall under this regulation.”
These requirements are in place to ensure a safe environment for all. An AgriLife employee must be designated as ‘Program Manager’ and ensure that all requirements are met and that documentation is retained accordingly for each Program for Minors event. The program or event should appear in the employee’s Plan of Work in the TexasData.tamu.edu plans.
Documentation – Program Manager verifies that each item has been addressed and files retained accordingly. Program Manager should securely maintain files and ensure that co-workers and other staff are knowledgeable in the event of Program Manager vacating current position. Files may be requested up to five years post event/program. Click here to document the Program For Minors. For details of each requirement continue reading.
Background Screenings must be completed every three years on all adults involved in the Program for Minors; the screening includes the national sex offender and national criminal history databases. Texas A&M AgriLife Extension employees are screened by Texas A&M AgriLife Human Resources. Volunteers are screened through the Texas 4-H Youth Development Youth Protection Standards. See document for details. It is the program manager’s responsibility to verify the Approved Status of the Volunteer and the Date screened. Access 4HOnline Screenings to search for the volunteer. Documentation can be a screenshot or you may download an Excel spreadsheet.
Documentation verifying screening must be maintained for 2 years in a secure location.
Waiver, Indemnification and Medical Treatment Authorization
forms must be collected from each participant (youth and adult) prior to or at the program. This form may be personalized to the particular program or event and date.
Under Section 2, Indemnity Clause, list potential risks that the program participants will be exposed to during program activities.
IMPORTANT: Make sure the language that is bolded, underlined and/or italicized remains that way in the releases distributed to participants. The font on the waiver should be at least 10-point font to be sufficient (even if the waiver is part of a brochure). Do not make any changes to this form other than inserting the program/event name and date and the risks in Section 2. The Office of General Counsel approval must appear on the form.
Additional waivers may be used per event and event location.
Documentation must be retained for three years in a secure location. *Should an incident/accident be reported for a participant, retention may be longer if advised by Insurance Service or administration.
Child Protection Training must be completed by each adult involved in the Program for Minors every two years and prior to the start of the program. Texas A&M AgriLife employees complete the training in TrainTrac; volunteers complete training through 4HOnline or TrainTrac External Gateway. It is the program manager’s responsibility to verify the training was ‘Complete’ and the Date Completed. Access 4HOnline Trainings to search for the volunteer. Documentation can be a screenshot or you may download an Excel spreadsheet.
Documentation must be retained for 2 years.
Incidents and accidents may involve minor to major physical injuries of participants and/or program staff, behavioral issues, hospital/doctor visits, or over-the-counter medication disbursement. Incident Reports must be submitted to immediate supervisor within 24 hours following the incident. Maintain documentation of any such incident along with Liability Release forms.
Reporting Child Abuse and Other Maltreatment
Texas law requires any person having cause to believe that a child’s physical or mental health or welfare has been adversely affected by abuse, neglect, or other maltreatment to immediately make a report to law enforcement. The law also provides immunity for those who make a good faith report since we are not responsible for verifying whether suspected or alleged abuse has actually occurred. This means that all have a legal responsibility to report abuse whether it is witnessed, known, reported, alleged, suspected, etc.
If you witness, suspect, or receive a report of child abuse regardless of when the abuse occurred:
- Call local law enforcement (local police or sheriff’s office). If it is an emergency situation, call 9-1-1.
- Report the situation to your supervisor and Dr. Montza Williams, Texas 4-H Program Director (unless they are the source of the abuse or neglect)
As Programs for Minors have the full care, custody and/or control of minors during the program, it is of the utmost importance that the programs are taking precautions to ensure the safety of all participants.
Program Managers should complete a Risk Management and Insurance Matrix to explore and list all event activities and identify risks associated with each activity. The matrix involves assigning a level of seriousness and the probability of occurrence. The matrix provides a visual assessment of risks. If necessary, Program Managers may consult the Texas A&M System Office of Risk Management to complete the form or to discuss potential risks identified. The completed form should be filed with other event/program documents.
Documentation must be retained for 3 years.
ADA Accommodation Statement
Programs of Texas A&M AgriLife Extension and the Texas 4-H Youth Development Program are open to all people without regard to race, color, sex, gender, sexual orientation, religion, national origin, age, disability, genetic information, or veteran status. A statement regarding requests for accommodations should appear on all program and/or registration materials. The statement should include a timeline and who to contact. Program Managers are to follow the instructions provided to explore reasonable accommodations to allow participation.
Handling and Dispensing of Medication
Per the Texas 4-H Rules and Guidelines, 4-H members and/or parent/guardians participating in a 4-H event or activity are expected to notify and disclose in detail to the event management any health issues, special needs, or allergies that may prevent them from fully participating or pose a risk to themselves and/or other participants. Parents/guardians of the 4-H member that are taking medication should decide if event management should be notified of their child’s need for assistance when taking the medications.
For each of the items below, these forms may contain information protected by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), and access to that information should be strictly controlled.
A Health Statement on each participant may be collected to ensure program staff are aware of recent injuries, known allergies, current health status. The Program Manager or designee should systematically review all forms and maintain in a secure location during the program and at the conclusion of the program.
All programs must obtain authorization to administer any medication, including prescription and over-the-counter, to a participant from the participant’s parent or guardian using the Authorization to Dispense Medication, ADM.
- The participant’s parent/guardian may not authorize administering medication in excess of the medication’s label instructions or the directions of the participant’s healthcare professional.
- Note: Parent/guardian authorization is NOT required for administering a medication to a participant in a medical emergency to prevent the death or serious bodily injury of the participants, provided that the medication is administered as prescribed, directed, or intended.
For participants 15 years of age and older, programs may use the Permission for Self-Medication Form, SAP.
The Parent/Guardian Authorization, Waiver, and Consent for Over-the-Counter Medication Form, OTC may be used to allow parents to provide permission for administration of over-the-counter medications.
When a program has a nurse/designated first aid person, the medication(s) will be turned over to the nurse/first aid person, who will be responsible for providing the medication to the minor as required and documented.
When a program does NOT have a nurse/designated first aid person, the medication(s) will be distributed by the parent/guardian or, through prior arrangements, may be turned over to the Program Manager of their designee, who will be responsible for providing the medication(s) to the minor as directed by the label or parent/guardian. Program Manager uses the Authorization to Dispense Medication, ADM to document distribution.
When the medication is dispensed by the program, all medication must be stored:
- Out of reach of all participants,
- Locked in storage in a manner that does not contaminate food, or
- Refrigerated, if required, separate from food.
General Liability and Accident Medical Insurance
The Texas 4-H Youth Development Program holds a general liability policy through Texas 4-H Inc. This policy provides liability coverage and defense for the Texas 4-H Inc. entity, officers and directors, employees, chartered 4-H clubs and groups, and registered volunteers performing duties within the scope of their responsibilities.
All ACTIVE Texas 4-H youth and volunteers are covered by a limited accident/medical insurance policy through American Income Life Insurance. The policy covers only enrolled and active 4-H members in activities and events associated and sponsored by a chartered 4-H club/group. If any accident/medical situation occurs at or during a 4-H event, the incident must be reported to the County Extension Agent and/or volunteer in charge. All claims must be filed with the Texas 4-H Youth Development State Office within ten (10) days of the occurrence.
If a 4-H club/group is hosting or sponsoring an event or activity where non-4-H members and/or adults are present, it is recommended the 4-H club/group purchase a separate accident/medical policy to cover those participants. This insurance can be purchased from a variety of insurance providers such as American Income Life (http://www.americanincomelife.com/who-we-serve/4-h-insurance) or other local vendors.
It is important to have supervision ratios in place that help ensure the safety of all participants. Texas 4-H Youth Development follows the guidelines and recommendations of the American Camp Association. Please note for overnight programs, the ratio is per gender.
|Participant Age||Number of Staff/Volunteers||Day Only Participants||Overnight Participants*|
|5 years and younger||1||6||5|
A Roster of all participants, youth and adults, must be maintained for two years. Adults should be designated as AgriLife Employee or Volunteer.
Chaperone Position Descriptions
A Volunteer Camp/Program Chaperone and/or Overnight Chaperone position description should be distributed to all individuals serving in that role. An example of each can be found below personalize the descriptions to suit the program/event.
- Overnight Chaperone Volunteer Sample Position Description
- Camp Chaperone Volunteer Sample Position Description
To ensure that all paid and volunteer staff are aware of their responsibilities the Program Manager should conduct a Chaperone Orientation, document attendance and maintain documentation for three years. Items to include:
- code of conduct and expectations of youth participants
- behavior management
- consequences of misbehavior
- agenda/schedule, specifically noting ‘lights out’ for overnight programs
- overview of facilities
- emergency procedures
Communication between Staff and Participants
Procedures should be in place to prohibit communication, including by means of social media, between minors and program staff, outside the official program communications. Communication to youth via social media and other outlets is allowed to promote the program, while participating in the program and in follow-up efforts to evaluate the program. Casual and/or social communication between youth and adults is prohibited.
Programs that host twenty (20) or more youth and are conducted for any part of four or more consecutive days must submit the Texas Department of State Health Services (TDSHS) Form EEH-28 (link to form) within five days of the start of the program/event. The form requires listing all adult staff and volunteers and record of their completion of the Child Protection Training. Please complete the form as outlined below:
- Institution of Higher Education: Texas A&M AgriLife Extension
- Check the ‘holding the off-site program’ unless you are conducting program at Texas A&M University, College Station
- Address: use your AgriLife Extension Office address
- Program Operator: Your Name
- Employee Name – list all AgriLife Employees and Volunteers
- Date Employed – leave blank
- Training Course Name – Child Protection Training
- Course Approval # – CPM12-0066 (the number is the same for the Employees in TrainTrac and Volunteers in 4HOnline)
- Date Training Completed – this must be obtained for each individual. AgriLife Employees must login to their transcript on TrainTrac. Volunteers will find completion date on the Certificate generated by 4HOnline.
Thank you for completing the documentation required for AgriLife Extension Programs for Minors. Your efforts to continually ensure the safety of all youth participants, volunteers and AgriLife personnel are appreciated. If you have questions or need additional information, please contact Darlene Locke at firstname.lastname@example.org
Inclusion and ADA
Fact Sheets on Disabilities
Youth Protection Standards – Volunteer Screening
- Volunteer Screening Rules/Guidelines (YPS) Youth Protection Standards
- YPS County Transmittal Form – Master Gardener
- Volunteer Application – 4-H Volunteers should use 4HOnline Only!
Who To Contact
- Program For Minors: Darlene Locke: email@example.com
- Volunteer Development: Laura Huebinger: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Volunteer Screening: Lauren Bowman: email@example.com