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Protection of Minors Policy Appendix C

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Child Protection


Guidelines for Working with Minors

All University community members – faculty, staff, students and Volunteers – associated with Programs or activities involving Minors should familiarize themselves with the following “Dos” and “Don’ts” in order to maintain a safe and positive experience for Program participants, ensure the confidence of the parents and legal guardians of Minors, and avoid mistaken allegations.  University community members should exercise good judgment in determining whether a particular guideline pertains to Minors who are matriculated Lehigh students.  For questions, please consult with the Protection of Minors Committee for guidance.

  • Maintain the highest standard of personal behavior at all times when interacting with Minors.
  • Interact and treat all Minors with respect, dignity and integrity.
  • Be aware of how others may perceive or misinterpret your actions and intentions.
  • Maintain a professional environment with clear expectations and boundaries, preventing and discouraging inappropriate behavior by Minors.
  • Consult and seek guidance and advice from the Program Director regarding situations involving disruptive Minors. Ask for assistance from Program Directors when unsure of situations.
  • Have a roster of Program participants to include emergency information, first aid kit and water.
  • Listen to and interact with Minors and provide appropriate praise and positive reinforcement.
  • Be vigilant in protecting the well-being and safety of Minors.
  • Review the Signs of Abuse and Neglect of Minors included in this Appendix.
  • Watch for signs of Abuse or neglect of Minors and follow appropriate reporting procedures if abuse or neglect is suspected.
  • Be alone with a Minor unless the circumstances are appropriate (e.g., the Minor is a matriculated Lehigh student and/or a private meeting is appropriate due to confidentiality concerns such as when advising a student on academic concerns). If one-on-one interaction is necessary, the interaction should take place in an area visible to others.
  • Have any direct electronic and/or social media contact with a Minor unless the circumstances are appropriate.  Examples of appropriate circumstances may include:  (a) the Minor is a matriculated Lehigh student; (b) the contact is for educational purposes, part of a course, for the purpose of academic or course advising, or related to a Program; or (c) other personnel and/or parents/guardians are included in the communication.
  • Arrange to have contact with a Minor (excluding matriculated Lehigh students) outside of the Program or activity.
  • Enter a facility in use by a Minor such as a bathroom, locker room, residence hall room or similar area without another Adult present unless that Minor is in need of assistance (e.g., a Minor under 5 years of age or with special needs).
  • Sleep or rest in the same accommodations with a Minor unless the Adult is a parent or legal guardian of the Minor.
  • Engage in abusive conduct of any kind toward or in the presence of a Minor.
  • Hit, physically assault, or inappropriately touch a Minor: use language, make suggestions, or offer advice which is inappropriate, offensive or abusive; behave in a manner that is sexually provocative; act in ways intended to shame, humiliate, belittle or degrade a Minor; or otherwise perpetrate any form of emotional abuse.
  • Provide alcohol or illegal substances to a Minor. Program personnel shall not provide prescription or over-the-counter medications to any Minor unless specifically prescribed by a physician, with the Minor’s name, dosage, name of medication, current date, and authorization in writing by Minor’s parent or legal guardian.
  • Distribute, give or make available sexual or pornographic materials in any form to a Minor.
  • Take photos or videos of a Minor without written authorization by Minor’s parent or legal guardian.
  • Give gifts to Minors independent of gifts provided by the Program.


Signs of Abuse and Neglect of Minors

PHYSICAL ABUSE is non-accidental injury of a Minor by parent or caretaker.

Physical signs may include:

1.  Bruises, welts or swelling

2.  Sprains or broken bones

3.  Burns

4.  Lacerations or abrasions

5.  Bite marks

6.  Unexplained or repeated injuries


Behavioral signs may include:

1.  Attempts to hide injuries

2.  Difficulty sitting or walking

3.  Wariness of physical contact with adults

4.  Reluctance to go home

5.  Depression or self-mutilation

6.  Fear of parent(s) or caregiver(s)  


SEXUAL ABUSE is exploitation of a Minor for the sexual gratification of an adult or older Minor.

Physical signs may include:

1.  Difficulty walking or sitting

2.  Torn, stained or bloody clothing

3.  Genital pain or itching

4.  Sexually transmitted diseases

5.  Pregnancy


Behavioral signs may include:

1.  Precocious sexual knowledge or behavior

2.  Extreme – hostile and aggressive or fearful or withdrawn

3.  Self-mutilation

4.  Substance abuse

5.  Running away  


NEGLECT occurs when parents or caretakers do not provide proper supervision, control subsistence, education as required by law, or other care necessary for healthy development. By itself, lack of financial means to provide for a Minor is not neglect.

Physical signs may include:

1.  Poor Hygiene

2.  Inappropriate or ill-fitting clothing

3.  Being left alone or with people unable to provide proper supervision

4.  Obvious lack of necessary medical treatment


Behavioral signs may include:

1.  Chronic hunger or sleepiness

2.  Delayed language development

3.  Clinging behavior or development of indiscriminate attachments

4.  Frequent complaints of feeling unwell

5.  Frequent tardiness or absence from school