UW System policies aim to keep kids safe during university events

MADISON (WKBT) — The University of Wisconsin System is looking to better keep kids safe while they visit campus for youth activities.

UW System interim President Tommy Thompson announced Friday that the system has implemented a policy requiring all universities to revamp safety standards for minors participating in university-sponsored events. The policy includes requirements for the university to conduct criminal background checks on any adults authorized to interact with kids as well as additional training.

“Thousands of minors, especially during the summer, visit our universities through our many programs and activities,” said Thompson. “We have an obligation to provide the utmost of protection and care when they are here. These additional requirements will add another layer of safety protocols and resources for youth protection.”

There will also be a new youth activity database to document the registration and compliance of youth activities. The database will increase the level of oversight of youth activities at the campus level by tracking the names and contact information of all participants and adults involved in the activities and verifying compliance with background checks and training requirements.

“UW System continues to strengthen its protection of minors participating in youth activities by supporting our precollege liaisons, program directors, and youth program coordinators to establish and promote policies, trainings, and best practices,” said Regent President Edmund Manydeeds III.

All universities will update their policies and practices to adhere to these minimum standards by December 31, 2022. UW System institutions offer hundreds of academic and recreational programs and activities for youth ages 5-18 years old.

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