The Office of Overseas Study at Indiana University recognizes that, as part of the educational mission of Indiana University, some programs abroad may include outreach to and activities with children. Additionally, the safety of children who take part in university-sponsored programs must be our highest priority.
These policies apply to all overseas study programs that involve activities with children, for any length of time – short or long; ongoing or one-time. Examples of activities include playing sports with children, reading to children, doing arts/crafts work with children, running camps, workshops, or clubs involving children, assisting in orphanages or schools, and doing research or work in clinical settings involving children. Health-related clinics that are not specifically intended for children/minors and are open to attendance by individuals of any age from the general public are exempt unless a specific component of the program targets children/minors.
Background Checks. Programs must ensure that all faculty, staff, students, volunteers, or other personnel who will have contact with children have, within the last five years, been subject to a criminal background check which includes a sex offender registry check. Organizing units will be responsible to initiate background checks for all program participants.
Restrictions on Program Participation. A program may not allow the participation in the program of any academic, faculty, staff, hourly employee, student, volunteer or other person whose criminal background check and/or sex offender registry check includes a record of sexually based offenses or crimes against children. If criminal background checks include a record of other offenses, programs should consult the appropriate office (campus Human Resources office, academic affairs, or the University Superintendent of Public Safety) to determine if those offenses should preclude participation.
Related Program Policies and Procedures. In addition to the other policy requirements, it is important for programs to thoroughly think through their program activities and ensure they are providing a safe environment for children and others with appropriate rules and procedures. Further guidance and examples in formulating rules and procedures for your program are available on the Protect IU website.
Program Registration. As is the case for all programs involving children, overseas study programs that will include activities with children must register details of the program (dates, times, locations, attendance, and a program contact) at least 14 days prior to the start of the program; the responsible university unit must register this information with the University Superintendent of Public Safety by filling out the online form located on One.IU, search for Programs Involving Children. Recurring programs must submit/update the form at least once each year.
Sanctions. Programs in violation of this policy may be denied permission to continue operation at Indiana University. Any violations of university policies by an individual will be dealt with in accordance with applicable university policies and procedures, which may include disciplinary actions up to and including termination from the university. Suspected violations of law will be referred to law enforcement and may result in criminal penalties.
Please see IU's policy on Programs Involving Children for additional information and resources.
Approved by the Overseas Study Advisory Council, upon the recommendation of its Committee on Safety and Responsibility, on August 21, 2015.