Planning underway at Penn State for summer youth programs

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – More than 200,000 kids annually attend Penn State’s Youth Programs, gaining skills in multiple areas from the classroom to the playing field.

The University’s youth programing includes hundreds of programs throughout the University provided through Intercollegiate Athletics, Outreach, Student Affairs, administrative units and academic colleges. These camps range from one day to week-long residential programs. To illustrate the high volume of youth involved on Penn State campuses, University Park Sport Camps alone reached an enrollment of approximately 35,000 young people this past summer.

“The goal of all the programs is to provide youth with enriching experiences, whether they be educational, recreational or athletic, resulting in lasting changes that positively impact the youth who participate,” said Sandy Weaver, Youth Programs compliance specialist. “Penn State Youth Programs are committed to providing fun, quality experiences that encourage a sense of community, where all participants are treated with dignity and respect. Our programs strive for excellence by creating diverse, engaging atmospheres conducive to learning, as well as providing access to state-of-the-art technology, innovation and University expertise -- all in a safe environment.”

Weaver’s position was created last year as part of the ongoing work to implement changes and improvements in many parts of the University, including youth activities.

As planning for the summer lineup of programs intensifies, organizers and staff are reminded of required preparations.

“One piece of the compliance puzzle in helping build a safe Penn State community for youth is to provide education to employees and volunteers who work with minors and equip them with the tools they will need on the job,” said Sue Cromwell, director of workforce learning and performance at Penn State. “We believe this is important knowledge to have and these skills are essential to anyone who works at the University.”

“Timely completion of background checks is an essential element of Penn State’s efforts to provide the safest environment possible,” said Mary Beahm, senior director of recruitment and compensation in Penn State's Office of Human Resources. “Prior to working with minors, volunteers and employees must successfully complete background checks on an annual basis. Individuals will not be allowed to begin work, even in a volunteer capacity, without the appropriate clearance.”

Four required steps to complete before programs begin include registering the program in the youth program inventory, participating in the child abuse training, obtaining the appropriate clearances and self-disclosuring of any arrests or convictions.

-- Penn State Youth Program inventory
To maintain a complete list of all activities that involve minors at Penn State, a centralized database has been created to register all programs, services and events involving youth. The application is available at https://app3.ohr.psu.edu/mr_inventory.

-- Building a Safe Penn State: Reporting Child Abuse training
Anyone involved in University-sponsored youth programs must complete the annual Reporting Child Abuse Training before working with minors. (Completion of the training is required of all University employees each calendar year.) If you are considered an "authorized adult," you also will need to share a copy of the certificate with your program director, manager or supervisor. Those with a Penn State Access Account (WebAccess) can complete the training at http://psuohrlearning.skillport.com. Those who don’t have accounts must register to receive one and access the training through http://ohr.psu.edu/learning/online/volunteers/.

-- Annual background checks for "authorized adults"
Authorized adults are required to complete background checks on an annual basis or provide evidence of completion of Pennsylvania Criminal History Record, Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare Child Abuse Report and FBI Criminal History Summary report clearance annually. This includes current employees who have not previously had a background check completed as well as all other individuals, paid or unpaid.

-- Self-disclosure of arrests and convictions
Employees are required to notify their Human Resources representative of any misdemeanor or felony arrest or conviction within 72 hours. The Penn State Arrest or Conviction self-disclosure form provides the list of arrests and/or convictions that must be disclosed. Employees who regularly drive a University-owned vehicle or other vehicle on University business must also comply with the requirement by notifying Human Resources of any arrests or convictions for driving while under the influence or the loss of driver’s license due to traffic violations or other similar charges/convictions.

For more information about youth programs policies, contact the Youth Programs Compliance Office at 814-865-8785 or go to http://www.universityethics.psu.edu/UniversityEthics/Units/YouthPrograms/

Questions regarding background checks or self-disclosure of arrests and convictions should be directed to the Office of Human Resources, Recruitment and Compensation Division, at 814-865-1387. Questions regarding annual Reporting Child Abuse training may be directed to the Center for Workplace Learning and Performance at  814-865-8216.

A list of the Youth Programs' offerings will be posted in the coming months at http://www.universityethics.psu.edu/UniversityEthics/Units/YouthPrograms....

Contacts: 

Sandy Weaver

Work Phone: 
814-865-8785

Compliance specialist, Youth Programs
 

Last Updated March 18, 2014