Policy on UMB-Sponsored Educational Activities Involving Minors

Frequently Asked Questions

In order to create clarity and assist lab supervisors with the oversight of minors participating in University-sponsored educational opportunities, the University implemented the Policy on UMB-Sponsored Education Activities Involving Minors VI - 99.01(A) on September 1, 2013. The University recognizes the benefit of providing educational, work and research opportunities to minors. This policy establishes new protocols and pathways for the creation and approval of these opportunities. It applies to all faculty, staff, post-doctoral fellows and students and at the University campus or any other site where University faculty and staff are assigned and at which minors are present. The guidelines will support sponsors by ensuring the suitability of minors for a position in the lab and their safety as well as enhance the educational experience for the student. The policy will ensure minors do not engage in prohibited or restricted activities, enter prohibited areas or come into contact with hazardous materials while under the supervision of the University.

No minor may be in a lab without a sponsor and without having undergone the approval process, which includes appropriate safety training. The policy also applies to tours involving minors, which have a separate approval process and require advance approval.

All minors who seek a position in a University-sponsored program/lab (and their sponsors) must follow the processes established through UMB Policy VI – 99.01(A). 

This FAQ is meant to be informative but it is not comprehensive. If you have questions, please refer to the policy, which can be found here or contact Youth Activity Coordinator, Dr. Erin Golembewski, PhD, Senior Associate Dean, Graduate School.

Table of Contents

I.    Leadership Roles and Responsibilities
II.   Restrictions
III.  Sponsor Roles and Responsibilities
IV.  Student/Minor Participant Roles and Responsibilities
V.   Tours Involving Minors

I. Leadership Roles and Responsibilities

  1. Who is in charge of implementing this policy?
    The Chief Academic and Research Officer (CARO) will appoint a Youth Activity Coordinator, who will be responsible for implementing and enforcing University policy.
  2. Who is the CARO?
    Dr. Bruce E. Jarrell, MD, FACS, Senior Vice President and Dean of the Graduate School
  3. Who is the Youth Activity Coordinator (YAC)?
    Dr. Erin Golembewski, PhD, Senior Associate Dean, Graduate School
  4. What are Youth Activity Guidelines?
    Youth Activity Guidelines are guidelines developed by the CARO that must be followed by all faculty and staff planning youth programs, tours for minors, or other youth activities.
  5. What is the breakdown of the various roles in the Policy?
    Please click here for a chart with titles and duties of the various roles.
  6. What are the YAC’s responsibilities?
    The YAC will review and approve requests for Youth Programs, review proposed sponsor’s background checks, maintain a list of all Youth Activity Liaisons, Youth Programs and its Sponsors and Youth Program Administrators. The YAC will also conduct periodic reviews of programs for compliance with University policy and update Youth Activity Guidelines as necessary.
  7. What is the Youth Activity Committee (YAComm)?
    The CARO may appoint a Youth Activity Committee composed of members of the University to advise the CARO and the YAC on matters related to this policy.
  8. What are the Youth Activity Liaison’s (YAL) responsibilities?
    The YAL will be the point of contact within a school or administrative unit who will administer the policy in their school or administrative unit by submitting information on their programs to the YAC, obtaining and maintaining parental/guardian consent forms, request criminal background checks of sponsors, report injuries, disruption by or dismissal of minor(s) and approve group tours that include minors. Click here for a list of YALs.
  9. What are the Youth Program Administrator’s (YPA) responsibilities
    The YPA is responsible for collecting and maintaining all required materials for sponsors and minor participants within their program to ensure compliance with the Policy. Click here for a list of YPAs.

II.  Restrictions

  1. How old must a minor be to participate in University-sponsored programs?
    The minor must be at least 14-years old. Or, in the case of tours, 13-years old.
  2. The policy says tours of hazardous location cannot be approved without meeting certain conditions. What does the University consider a “Hazardous Location?”
    A hazardous location is any one containing radiation-producing machines, nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) machines, autoclaves, industrial equipment or high-voltage equipment.
  3. The policy says no Youth Program or tour can include prohibited areas. What are the prohibited areas?
    Prohibited areas include the following: all patient care areas, animal care facilities, laboratories using Risk Group 3 human etiological agents, human anatomical labs (except for approved tours) and participation in human subjects research. Additional areas may become included in this category as the Youth Activity Guidelines proscribe.
  4. Can minors who are not involved in an approved Youth Program or tour be in these areas?
    Minors not involved in an approved Youth Program or tour may not be in a Prohibited Area or Wet Laboratory. Minors not involved in an approved Youth Program or tour are discouraged from being in other areas and may be prohibited from them under School or unit policies.

III.  Sponsor Roles and Responsibilities

  1. To whom does the sponsor report?
    The sponsor is overseen by the YAL.
  2. What is the sponsor’s primary responsibility?
    The sponsor’s primary responsibility is to ensure the safety, supervision and good conduct of the minor. This is done by the sponsor having authority over the area where the minor will work, by providing instruction to the minor and by ensuring the minor does not enter a prohibited area or engage in restricted or prohibited activities.
  3. How do the sponsor’s responsibilities differ from practice before implementation of this policy?
    Sponsors must now have undergone a background check and signed a written agreement accepting their role and responsibilities as a sponsor.
  4. Who can be a sponsor?
    Any faculty or staff member, both regular and CC2, can be a sponsor.
  5. How does one become a sponsor?
    To become a sponsor, one must undergo a criminal background check, have the result reviewed and signed off on by the YAC and review and accept his/her responsibilities in writing.

IV.  Minor Participant Roles and Responsibilities

  1. What documentation must a minor provide in order to participate in University sponsored programs?
    All minors must have a signed parental consent form, proof of identity and age, proof of health insurance coverage, emergency contact information and a completed work permit if activity is to be compensated.
  2. What is considered Restricted Activity?
    Restricted activities are only open to minors at least 16-years old and include working in wet laboratories, hazardous locations and other activities listed in the Activity Guidelines.
  3. Is there any required training?
    Training will be specific to each program. However, all participants must complete safety training through the Office of Environmental Health Safety, where appropriate.
  4. How can I find out what programs the University offers?
    The Youth Activity Coordinator maintains an annually updated list of University programs. Please click here for a list of programs and contact information.
  5. Is it possible to receive compensation for your work?
    The opportunities for paid employment vary depending on funding and the placement. Also, Maryland law requires anyone aged 14-17 to obtain a valid work permit before they begin work for pay.  Any compensated minor must also adhere to Maryland law regarding work hour restrictions.
  6. How do I obtain a work permit?
    An explanation of the process and application can be found on the Maryland Department of Labor website here.

V.  Tours Involving Minors

  1. Who is in charge of approving tours of minors?
    All tours involving minors must first be approved by the Youth Activity Liaison according to procedures that will be set forth in the Youth Activity Guidelines.
  2. How old must minors be for tours?
    Tours can be approved for all ages, but there are restrictions on the areas that can be toured for minors under thirteen-years old.
  3. Are there Prohibited Areas for tours?
    Yes. If the minor is less than thirteen-years old no tour of Prohibited Areas, Wet Laboratories or Hazardous Locations, as defined by the Policy, will be allowed.
  4. What about tours of those areas for minors over thirteen-years old?
    Tours of Prohibited Areas, Wet Laboratories and Hazardous Locations may be approved for minors thirteen-years old or more only upon satisfaction of requirements set forth in the policy.
  5. What requirements must be met before the YAL can approve a group tour that includes minors thirteen or older?
    The tour sponsor must be identified, the sponsor must have agreement for the Principal Investigator (PI) or administrator of the area to be toured, all safety gear and instruction must be provided, if necessary and minors must follow rules regarding behavior during tour.