Frequently Asked Questions
Programs for Minors provides oversight for all programs, activities, camps and events (PACE) that involve minor participants (under the age of 18), to ensure compliance with local, state and federal regulations. The minor participants are not enrolled at or employed by UT Dallas and are not accompanied by a parent, legal guardian, teacher or chaperone.
PACE is the acronym for program, activity, camp or event. A PACE for minors is a University sponsored or joint-sponsored program, activity, camp or event (PACE) held either on campus or at an off-site location in which the University takes care, custody and control of minor participants.
Are non-paid internships, mentorships and research opportunities offered to minors considered a PACE for minors?
Yes, if the participant is a minor (under 18) and will be participating in a non-paid internship, mentorship or research with a UT Dallas faculty/staff/student, whether it be on campus or at an off-site location, the program must be registered as a PACE for minors and follow the Program for Minors policy and supplemental guidelines.
Prior to registering a PACE for minors with the Programs for Minors Office, the event must be approved by the sponsoring/joint -sponsoring department’s department head or director and the dean or vice president over the sponsoring area. The Programs for Minors policy, guidelines and required forms to register a PACE for minors can be accessed by clicking the Faculty & Staff tab.
If you would like more information about hosting a third party camp or summer program at UT Dallas please contact Residential Camp and Conference Services.
Faculty & Staff
To allow for adequate review and follow-up, Programs for Minors Guidelines require that UT Dallas sponsored and joint-sponsored PACE for minors be registered with the Programs for Minors office at least 30 days in advance of the start date. PACE directors/coordinators may start registering the PACE for minors at any time prior to the 30 day requirement.
Prior to working with minors each Designated Individual must:
- Have an approved criminal background check completed within the last 365 days on file with the University of Texas at Dallas. Annual background checks are required via UTS124 – Criminal Background Checks and UTDSP5015 Programs for Minors.
- Complete a state of Texas approved child protection training module and examination one time, every two years. UT Dallas offers a state of Texas approved child protection training module via eLearning for those affiliated with UT Dallas and the same training via Coursesites for non-affiliated individuals. This module covers identifying and reporting child abuse and neglect and is required by Texas Education Code, Section 51.976.
- Complete UT Dallas Designated Individual training module and examination on an annual-basis. This training module includes UT Dallas’ expectations and responsibilities of designated individuals. It is required by the UT Dallas Programs for Minors Guidelines.
Background checks can be completed as quickly as one business day or could be up to two weeks depending on the number of aliases, number of prior residences and the speed of the reporting agency. For these reasons, please allow at least one to two weeks of processing time for each background check.
Students and non-affiliated individuals are required to have background checks processed by the UT Dallas Police Department. The department requesting the background check must have the applicant complete and sign the application, sign the application form as the requestor and provide a departmental cost center (for tracking purposes only), scan the completed forms and email to [email protected]. The UT Dallas Police Department prefers that all background checks forms be collected, scanned into one file and then submit for processing.
The Office of Human Resources handles background check requests for current faculty, staff and classified temporary employees. The requesting department should submit the Employee Background Check Request Form listing all current faculty, staff and classified temporary employees requiring a background check. The form should be emailed to [email protected]. The employees listed on the form will receive an email from HireRight to initiate the background check process. The requestor and Programs for Minors will be copied on the emails to track completion.
Yes, in certain instances. If individuals will have limited contact with the participating minors (such as test proctoring) or where the only interaction occurs in a group setting (such as in a classroom or auditorium as a guest speaker), a background check for that individual may be waived. Each circumstance will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
Where can staff for UT Dallas sponsored and joint-sponsored PACE for minors access the required online training modules?
UT Dallas faculty, staff and students can self-enroll in the Programs for Minor organization in eLearning to access both Child Protection Training and Designated Individual Training.
Non-affiliated individuals working with a sponsored or joint-sponsored PACE for minors can access the same trainings in Coursesites.
Instructions for self-enrolling are located on the Faculty and Staff tab of the Programs for Minors website.
In our PACE for minors we frequently have guest speakers who present information to the children but do not interact with them. Are guest speakers required to go through a background check and/or training?
No, guest speakers are not required to have a background check or complete training as long as the guest speaker does not have one-to-one contact with the minors.
Yes, every PACE for minors must be reregistered annually.
If each PACE for minors is different (i.e. different topics and/or activities), then yes, each one must be registered separately.
If planning multiple sessions of the exact same program, then no, the additional sessions can be added to the existing registration as long as it is in the same fiscal year.
Each registered PACE for minors must upload the following into the registration system before it will be approved:
- Approval from Dean or Vice President of the sponsoring department.
- Special Event Risk Assessment (unless it is an internship with only one or two minors) signed by the Office of Administration.
- EH&S approved Emergency Plans and Reunification Plan.
- Risk Insurance for Camps and Clinics Involving Minors Certificate from UT System.
- Laboratories must complete additional forms for the Office of Research Compliance – Lab Safety.
I am a UT Dallas student volunteering at a PACE for minors. Am I required to report suspected child abuse or neglect?
Yes. In the state of Texas all Designated Individuals are mandatory reporters. Anyone making a report in good faith is protected from criminal or civil liability even if it turns out no abuse or neglect occurred.
Designated Individuals not reporting suspected abuse or neglect can be held liable for a misdemeanor or felony.
Can I report suspected child abuse or neglect anonymously to the Department of Social and Health Services or to the police?
Reporting child abuse and neglect is primarily governed by the Texas Family Code. Per Texas Center for Public Policy Priorities in the Guide to Texas Child Protective Services:
(Family Code). Under the Family Code, everyone in Texas is required to report suspected abuse or neglect. Anyone making a report in good faith is protected from criminal or civil liability even if it turns out no abuse or neglect occurred. Reports can be made anonymously, and even if a reporter identifies himself, his identity is kept confidential.
In Texas there are two ways to access the child maltreatment reporting system, also called the Abuse Hotline. One way to make a report is to use the phone system managed by the Department of Family and Protective Services. To do this, call 1-800-252-5400. This hotline operates 24-hours a day, 7 days a week. Reports filed through the phone system can be made anonymously, and are processed more quickly than reports filed through the website. Alternatively, https://www.txabusehotline.org.
Remember, though, all reports in Texas are kept confidential according to state law. Using the online system, reporters can receive an email confirmation that their report has been submitted, and can print a copy of the report. If you suspect a child is at risk of serious injury or death, then you should always call 911. Afterwards, you should follow up by making a report with the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services.
Via Agrilife Extension and Texas Department of Family and Protective Services.
Yes, as long as an official Designated Individual from the same group accompanies them and it is not after curfew.
I plan to have food delivered for lunch during the PACE for minors. Are there any restrictions on where I can order food?
Yes. UT Dallas has a contract with Chartwell to provide catering services to the university. Chartwell must approve outside food orders or catering request for groups of 25 individuals or more. All food deliveries for PACE for minors must be authorized by Chartwell prior to ordering regardless of the number of participants.
Departments may order food for delivery for meetings (non-events) of less than 25 individuals without going through Chartwell’s or completing additional forms.
My UT Dallas department is planning to host a PACE for minors in conjunction with a third party company. Are there any special requirements to joint-sponsor a PACE for minors?
Yes, per Regents Rule 80105: Joint Sponsorships of the Use of Property or Buildings, all joint-sponsorships with third party entities must be approved by the president of the institution or his or her delegate. The Executive Vice President as been authorized to approve joint-sponsorships for UT Dallas. All request for approval should be submitted to the Executive Vice President’s, Administrative Assistant.
I am a non-University organization (external group) renting space at the University to host a program involving minors. I do not currently have access to a state approved child protection training course. May I use the UT Dallas approved training module?
Yes, the UT System Child Protection Training module has been approved by the state of Texas and may be accessed in Coursesites by external groups.
I am a non-University organization (external group) renting space at the University to host a program involving minors. What are the requirements for staff of external groups?
External groups hosting a program for minors on the UT Dallas campus must agree to abide by UT Dallas policies. All staff for external groups must complete the following:
- Have an approved criminal background check completed within the last 365 days.
- Complete a state of Texas approved child protection training module and examination one time, every two years. The UT Dallas state approved module is available online in Coursesites, if needed.
- Complete the UT Dallas Emergency Preparedness Training. This training is available online in Coursesites.
- Review the Policy Reminders for External Groups document.
- All parents/legal guardians, independent contractors, volunteers, affiliates, and visitors are required to model appropriate professional behavior at all times in their interactions with or in the presence of minors while on the UT Dallas campus.
Parents and Guardians
Parents and guardians can contact the Programs for Minors office at (972) 883-3815 to inquire on the compliance status of a PACE for minors. All paperwork must be completed prior to the start of the PACE for minors. Background checks and training are verified for all designated individuals.
The Programs for Minors office hours are 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday through Friday. The office may be contacted via phone (972) 883-3815 or e-mail [email protected]. All concerns will be addressed as soon as possible.
The UTD ALERT program sends text message alerts in the event of an emergency or disruption to normal University operations. Parents or guardians are invited to opt into the program by texting ‘UTDALERT’ to 888-777.
Child Abuse HotlineTexas law requires anyone with knowledge of suspected child abuse or neglect to immediately report it to the Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS). Reports can be made at any time to DFPS by phone at 1-800-252-5400 or online at Texas Abuse Hotline.
Carla Garner, CFE
Director, Programs for Minors
800 W. Campbell Rd. SU25
Richardson, TX 75080
Administrative Assistant II
800 W. Campbell Rd. SSA18
Richardson, TX 75080