FAQs

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.

Who is the CARO?

Bruce E. Jarrell, MD, FACS, Executive Vice President, Provost, and Dean of the Graduate School

Who is the Youth Activity Coordinator (YAC)?

Erin Golembewski, PhD, Senior Associate Dean, Graduate School

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.

What are the YAC’s responsibilities?

The YAC will review and approve requests for Youth Programs, review proposed sponsor’s background checks, and maintain a list of all Youth Activity Liaisons, Youth Programs and their Sponsors, and Youth Program Administrators. The YAC also will conduct periodic reviews of programs for compliance with University policy and update Youth Activity Guidelines as necessary.

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.

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, requesting criminal background checks of sponsors, reporting injuries, disruption by, or dismissal of minor(s), and approving group tours that include minors.

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.

How old must a minor be to participate in University-sponsored programs?

The minor must be at least 14 to work in an office and 16 to work in a laboratory. 

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.

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.

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.

To whom does the sponsor report?

The sponsor is overseen by the YAL.

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.

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.

Who can be a sponsor?

Any faculty or staff member, both regular and CC2, can be a sponsor.

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 their responsibilities in writing.

What documentation must a minor provide 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.

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.

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.

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.

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 also must adhere to Maryland law regarding work hour restrictions.

How do I obtain a work permit?

An explanation of the process and application can be found on the Maryland Department of Labor website.

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.

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 13 years old.

Are there prohibited areas for tours?

Yes. If the minor is less than 13 years old, no tour of prohibited areas, wet laboratories, or hazardous locations, as defined by the policy, will be allowed.

What about tours of those areas for minors over 13 years old?

Tours of prohibited areas, wet laboratories, and hazardous locations may be approved for minors 13 years old or more only upon satisfaction of requirements set forth in the policy.

What requirements must be met before the YAL can approve a group tour that includes minors 13 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 the tour.