University Recommended Guidelines for Interacting with Minors
Appropriate Behavior and Boundaries with Minors:
- All program/activity staff should avoid being alone with a minor, particularly in areas that are not part of the regular daily operation of the program/activity, such as vehicles and/or isolated areas or rooms on campus.
- If a meeting with a minor must take place in an office, keep the door open and have another staff member in the room whenever possible.
- Avoid being alone with a child in a dorm room or a staff member’s room, with the exception of undergraduate students hosting minors for programs sponsored by the Admissions Office.
- Avoid showering or changing clothes around minors, or in an area that is accessible to children.
- Avoid any physical contact with minors that could be misinterpreted: an occasional pat on the back, or a touch on the arm to get one’s attention is acceptable; back rubs, massages, tickling, rough-house play, and caressing or intimate touching is inappropriate and unacceptable.
- Do not take photographs of children for personal use.
- If staff is given photographs of children, do not post them on social networking sites or publish them in any other form. Families must give written consent to a program/activity operator before any photographs of their child can be used or published publicly.
Communication with Minors:
- If it is necessary to take a minor aside for a private conversation relating to behavior or some other issue s/he wants to discuss, do so in full view of other people, or in the presence of a second adult.
- During conversation, do not disclose confidential information about yourself or seek to learn confidential information about the minor (particularly about sex, sexual orientation, and physical or emotional intimacy).
- Use words with care: never berate, harass, intimidate, degrade, or belittle a child.
- Issue praise appropriately, and avoid excessive praise or criticism of any minor.
- Do not tell sexually-oriented or off-color jokes to or in the presence of minors.
- Remember that young children interpret information in concrete ways and they typically do not understand idioms or abstract language. Using concrete language will help to avoid any misinterpretations or confusion on the part of the minor
Warning Signs for Child Abuse or Neglect
These materials were taken from Warning Signs of Child Abuse or Neglect;
the Executive Office of Health and Human Services (EOHHS) – Health and Human Services; accessed March 12, 2014
There are often certain recognizable physical and behavioral indicators of child abuse or neglect. The following signs, by themselves, may not be conclusive evidence of a problem, but serve as indicators of the possibility that a problem exists.
Signs of Physical Abuse
- Bruising, welts or burns that cannot be sufficiently explained; particularly bruises on the face, lips, and mouth of infants or on several surface planes at the same time
- Withdrawn, fearful or extreme behavior
- Clusters of bruises, welts or burns, indicating repeated contact with a hand or instrument
- Burns that are insufficiently explained; for example, cigarette burns
- Injuries on children where children don’t usually get injured (e.g., the torso, back, neck, buttocks, or thighs)
Signs of Sexual Abuse
- Difficulty walking or sitting
- Pain or itching in the genital area
- Torn, stained or bloody underclothing
- Frequent complaints of stomachaches or headaches
- Venereal disease
- Bruises or bleeding in external genitalia
- Feeling threatened by physical contact
- Inappropriate sex play or premature understanding of sex
- Frequent urinary or yeast infections
Signs of Emotional Injury
- Speech disorders
- Inability to play as most children do
- Sleeping problems
- Anti-social behavior or behavioral extremes
- Delays in emotional and intellectual growth
Signs of Neglect
- Lack of medical or dental care
- Chronically dirty or unbathed
- Lack of adequate school attendance
- Lack of supervision; for example young children left unattended or with other children too young to protect or care for them
- Lack of proper nutrition
- Lack of adequate shelter
- Self-destructive feelings or behavior
- Alcohol or drug abuse
Each case of child abuse or neglect is individual. The child who has been hurt is always the victim. If you believe a child may be the victim of abuse or neglect, contact the Boston University Police Department at 617-353-2121 or the Child-at-Risk Hotline at 800-792-5200.
Additional Resources Regarding This Policy
Related BU Policies and Procedures
BU Websites and Information
- Protection of Minors Safety Website
- Administrative Policy Review Questions and Answers
- Protection of Minors Sharepoint Site (internal BU website)
- Certification of Training
- POM Policy - Appendix B, Reporting Materials
- POM Policy - Appendix C, Sample Third-Party Program Contract Addendum
- POM Policy - Appendix D, Parental Acknowledgement, Consent, and Release from Liability