BU Protection of Minors (POM) AND Field Site Background Checks

TO: All students who will be in field placement next semester including job related and out of state placements
1. Are the BU POM and field site background checks the same thing?

NO! Criminal background checks are state mandated procedures that allow an organization to review an individual’s available criminal history. POM is a University-wide policy and set of requirements that:

  • Educate BU students on signs of child neglect/abuse and reporting obligations;
  • Document BU student compliance with site background check policy and procedure

(SUMMARY CHART: BU POM and FIELD SITE BACKGROUND CHECKS): provides a snapshot of what is required and the order that they normally occur.

2. How do I know if I am all set with the BU POM requirements? 
  • Log-in to the Sonia Field Data System with your Kerberos username/password;
  • Click the Checks tab;
  • If you see “cleared” marked in green highlight, then that requirement is all set (no further action needed).
3. Do I need to complete background checks for my site if I already completed the BU POM?

YES! The POM is a BU policy and, in contrast, background checks are state mandated procedures. As a welcome guest in the field, you are always obligated to abide by all site policies in a timely manner before your placement begins.

NOTE: If you are continuing your field placement at the same organization or if you are not working with minors, you may be all set but just to be sure, double check with your field site.

4. How do I know which field site background checks are needed?

ALWAYS ask your site’s administration, administrative office, or human resources office. Public school placements in Massachusetts require the CORI and fingerprint, but other settings may have different requirements.

TO REITERATE: You are always obligated to abide by all site policies, so please be sure to ask and act in a timely manner.

5. How can I complete these requirements if I don’t have my field placement yet?

You need to wait. Save this information for future reference. When you receive your field placement, you will be well positioned to act in a timely way. The one thing you can and should complete now if you have not done so already is the POM Online Training Module (see FAQ 1d and 1i).

BU Wheelock Field Policies and Placement Standards

Sonia Field Database

Sonia is the data management system that BU uses to manage all field placements.  At Wheelock, we use Sonia to keep track of placement hours.

Further Resources