FAQ 1: BU Protection of Minors Policy and Requirements

1a) What is the BU Protection of Minors policy?

POM is a university-wide mandate to ensure the safety and well-being of all minors in BU sponsored programs and activities.

1b) Who does the POM apply to?

POM applies to all BU students who may have unsupervised contact with minors in BU sponsored programs and activities.

1c) How does BU define “minor”?

BU defines “minor” as any person under the age of 18, not a BU or BU Academy student, and unaccompanied by a parent or legal guardian.

  • Note: A person under the age of 18 who is participating in BU Institutional Review Board-approved research is not a minor under this policy.
1d) Does the POM have any requirements?

Yes. POM has two requirements:

  • POM Online Training: a one time, 30 minute training on signs of child neglect and abuse; you will receive a training certificate upon completion.
  • POM Verification Form: proof that you are in compliance with the site’s background check policy and are eligible for fieldwork.

IMPORTANT NOTES:

  • The POM Verification Form needs to be signed by the site AFTER you complete all required site checks and are cleared to begin fieldwork.
    • Only this form (signed by the site) will be accepted.
    • Incorrect forms will be marked Incomplete.
    • Blank forms will be marked Incomplete.
    • If you completed this form last year and the site marked “no check required,” then you need to submit an updated form this year with your current site’s signature.
    • If no minors or background check at your site, you still need to have site administration check the box “no check required/no work with minors” and sign the form (see 1n-1p below for more detail).
  • The POM online training certificate and signed verification form need to be uploaded to the Sonia Field Database when completed (see 1i-1j below).
  • Students in Brookline Public Schools: the verification form is not needed because Brookline Human Resources sends us verification of results each semester.
1e) What is the deadline to complete the POM requirements?

You must be in compliance before field placement begins. No exceptions. As soon as you receive your field placement, you should begin to address these requirements.

1f) I am mostly observing at my site. Does the POM still apply to me?

Yes. It applies to all students who may have unsupervised contact with minors.

1g) How often do I need to complete the POM requirements?

POM Online Training: once only during your time at BU

POM Verification Form: once before your first field placement and every three years after that

NOTE: if you are unsure if you already completed the BU POM for a previous field placement, (a) log-in to the Sonia Field Data System with your Kerberos username/password and (b) click the Checks tab. If you see “cleared” marked in green highlight, then that requirement is all set (no further action needed).

1h) Who should I have sign the POM Verification Form?

Ask the site’s administrative or human resources office who should sign this form. Normally it is the staff member who processes your background check paperwork.

The BU POM Verification Form is a fillable form that can be signed electronically if not in person.

NOTE:

Students in Brookline Public Schools: the verification form is not needed because Brookline Human Resources sends us verification of results each semester;

Students in Higher Ed Placements or Working with Adults Only: see letters 1n-1p below.

1i) What should I do after the Online Training and CORI Verification Form are completed?

Upload the training certificate and signed form to the Sonia Field Data System for review by the Professional Preparation Office.

1j) Why do I need to upload the training certificate and signed verification form to Sonia?

The uploaded documents provide BU Wheelock an official record of your compliance, required under POM policy.

1k) Does the POM apply to job related placements?

Yes. BU requires a record of compliance from all students, even those in job related placements.

1l) Does the POM apply to out-of-state placements?

Yes. As a welcome guest in the field, you are always obligated to abide by all out-of-state site requirements in a timely manner before your placement begins.

Have site administration sign the POM Verification Form. The signed form is proof of your compliance with the site’s state-specific background check.

1m) Does the POM apply to students who study abroad?

Yes. You must complete the process through Boston University Global Programs before you study abroad.  Have your Global Programs Manager sign the POM Verification Form as proof of your compliance.

Note: You also need to adhere to the background check requirements at your study abroad location.

1n) Does the POM apply to students placed in a higher education setting?

In most instances no, but ask your site supervisor if you will be working with college students under 18 years old.

Even if no minors, you still need to have site administration check the box “no minors” on the  POM Verification Form and sign it for you to upload.

1o) Does the POM apply if I am only working with adults?

No, but you still need to have site administration check the box “no minors” on the  POM Verification Form and sign it for you to upload.

1p) I cannot complete the POM Verification Form because my site has no background check. What should I do?

Have site administration check the box “no check was required” on the POM Verification Form and sign it for you to upload.

1q) What is the consequence for students who do not comply?

Notification will be sent to the student, program faculty, BU supervisor, and site supervisor. Students will not be permitted to attend their site until they are in compliance and have written clearance from the Professional Preparation Office.

1r) What is the consequence if I am in a job-related placement and not in compliance?

University supervision will not commence and you cannot count hours toward your BU practicum until you are in full compliance.

1s) The site has not yet signed my POM Verification Form. Will my placement be delayed because of this?

Rule of Thumb: Address the BU POM policy and field site background checks when you receive your field placement (or as soon as the site will allow) and regularly keep the Professional Preparation Office informed and updated about any delay that is beyond your control.

1t) Who do I contact if I have questions about the POM?

Paul Akoury, Associate Director of Field Education and BU Wheelock Protection of Minors Coordinator – Field Placements, at pakoury@bu.edu, 617-353-1578.