Minors on Campus

The University of West Florida, as part of its educational mission, hosts a variety of events and facilities that attract Minors, whether sponsored by the University, student groups, or by third parties. Minors require special consideration due to their vulnerability and the safety of minors on campus is a high priority for UWF.

UWF Policy on Minors

UWF has established a Policy on Minors to provide guidance to members of the University community who work or otherwise interact with minors. Additional procedures have been established to facilitate appropriate engagement with minors on campus.

Reporting Child Abuse

Any UWF faculty, staff, student, or volunteer must report the knowledge or suspicion of child abuse, neglect, or abandonment as required under Florida Statute 39.201. If you suspect or know of any child who is being harmed, call the Florida Abuse Hotline at (800) 962-2873 or TDD (800) 453-5145.

If you see a child in immediate danger, call 911. For non-emergency situations you may also report via https://reportabuse.dcf.state.fl.us/. In addition to mandatory reporting to the Department of Children and Families, you should contact Campus Police at (850)474-2911. Faculty and staff should also notify a supervisor of the situation.

General Guidelines for Faculty and Staff Related to Dealing with Minors

Program directors and supervisors shall train their staff in, and adhere to, the following behavioral guidelines and standards for all volunteers and employees participating in University sponsored programs and activities attended by minors:

a. While it may be impossible to avoid all circumstances where an adult has one-to-one time with a Minor, all programs and activities shall strive to avoid situations and circumstances where an adult has one-to-one contact with a Minor, especially where that access also presents opportunities for secrecy or privacy.

b. Supervisors, staff, and volunteers may not, strike, hit, administer corporal punishment to, or touch in an inappropriate or illegal manner any Minor.

c. Supervisors, staff, and volunteers shall not transport Minors to or from their homes.

d. Supervisors, staff, and volunteers shall not engage in the use of alcohol or illegal drugs or be under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs while supervising Minors during such programs or activities.

e. Supervisors, staff, and volunteers shall learn the signs of abuse and exploitation of Minors by abusers and molesters.

f. Supervisors, staff, and volunteers shall not engage in personal communications not related to the program or activity, including but not limited to social media contact, with Minor participants.

g. Supervisors, staff, and volunteers shall follow the University’s established procedures (see above) to report suspected or known child abuse.

Camp and Youth Programs

UWF has established a policy on Camp and Youth Programs Administration and a detailed procedure manual  for the operation of camps and related youth programs.