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Interacting with minors

We strive to foster and maintain an environment which fosters trust and safety.

These guidelines are intended to provide information about employees’ conduct when working or engaging with minors so that the university may maintain high standards of professional and moral behavior.

  • Treat all minors with respect.
  • Provide a welcoming, inclusive and safe environment for all children, young people, parents and visitors.
  • Respect cultural differences.
  • Take responsibility for ensuring you are accountable and do not place yourself in positions where your actions may be unwelcome or misinterpreted.
  • Conduct all interactions with children in a public environment.
  • Avoid being alone with a child, particularly in an enclosed space.
  • Ask children to use the buddy system or otherwise encourage them to stay together during their visit.
  • Touching should be age-appropriate and in context with the situation. There should be no physical contact while alone with a minor.

These are examples of physical contact which may be appropriate:

  • High-fives, hand slapping and fist bumps
  • Handshakes
  • Pats on the shoulder or upper back
  • Holding hands while walking with small children
  • Verbal praise

Type of physical contact to be avoided includes but is not limited to:

  • Inappropriate or lengthy embraces
  • Tickling, horseplay, wrestling or roughhousing
  • Piggyback rides
  • Holding minors on the lap
  • Any form of unwanted affection
  • Remarks that refer to physique or body development

If a university employee suspects that a child is either abused or neglected, it must be reported to the Department of Child and Family Services by calling 1-800-25-ABUSE. You must also inform University Police that the situation has been reported to DCFS.