VCU Safety and Protection of Minors Policy update: Summer 2020
In response to concerns about the COVID-19 (coronavirus) and in support of the wellness and safety of all members of our community, Virginia Commonwealth University has suspended all in-person youth activities on-campus for summer 2020.
Online activities for minors may continue as scheduled. Programs interested in replacing in-person activities with online activities must continue following the Safety and Protection of Minors Policy before starting programs with students. We also recommend that programs review the Guidelines in Online Programs and the Youth Programs Manual. These documents provide policies and resources for creating and running safe and engaging online programs.
Departments and programs considering converting their in-person campus to an online offering should consider the following:
- All policy requirements and expectations apply to online formats.
- Departments or programs will assume all expenses associated with an in-person to online camp program conversion. Additionally, VCU resources may not be available to support camp conversions as resources are currently prioritized to student-faculty support.
- Deans must approve conversion expenses before expenditure to ensure fiscal compliance.
- Publicly available program content must meet all current Americans with Disabilities (ADA) Standards for Accessible Design requirements, including Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0, Level AA and associated social media and digital standards. Details and resources are available online.
For questions, contact the Mary and Frances Youth Center at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Guidelines in Online Programs are available online.
The Youth Programs Manual is available online.
Guidelines for a productive return to VCU are available online.
For the latest VCU return to campus information, actions and resources visit the together.vcu.edu.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I run an online summer camp?
Online programs may be executed as scheduled, and just as in-person programs, must follow the Safety and Protection of Minors Policy. In addition, resources are available for best practices in online programming.
Are there guidelines for running virtual youth programs?
In the resources for Best Practices for Online Programs, you will find information on safety, virtual platforms, engagement and tips for running successful online classes.
What platforms are vetted and approved for use in virtual learning?
The University utilizes the Zoom platform, however, additional resources on alternative virtual platforms can be found in the Best Practices for Online Programs recommendations.
What kind of approval do I need to run virtual youth programming?
Registration through the Safety and Protection of Minors Policy is required.
It also is recommended that you discuss these options with the dean and chair of your department for any programs related to minors.
Can I hire new staff?
Due to the recent hiring freeze for state employees, an exemption is required to hire new personnel. Contact your human resources representative with questions. Another possibility is to utilize and collaborate with other personnel in your department.
When can we start in-person activities for minors again?
At this time, all in-person or on-campus programs with minors are canceled. We anticipate on-campus activities for minors will resume when university students return to campus. Policy updates will be made available online at community.vcu.edu/mfyc/youth-safety/.
Can I run a youth program off campus?
In light of COVID-19 and the health risks associated, if you have an interest in running a program off campus, please contact email@example.com.