Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Original Date


Date of Submission

May 2018


The first year implementing a new policy on campus comes with unique opportunities as well as challenges in ensuring appropriate controls and protections for minors. A decentralized policy can often highlight these barriers, but can also create space for innovation. When a policy is located in departments like human resources and risk management infrastructures designed to bolster policies and manage liability are present. For policies in non-traditional areas of higher education, the journey to a sustainable policy model requires a different approach. Virginia Commonwealth University’s policy, Safety and Protection of Minors, is located under the Division of Community Engagement, within the Mary and Frances Youth Center. The Center directly facilitates youth programs while also serving as a hub for youth development best practices through our policy work and training programs. We will share our experience implementing this policy during its’ first year and the ways in which we strengthened through key modifications. Identifying and orienting policy advocates, designing processes for background checks and non-compliance, incorporating multiple campuses, and creating partnerships with campus departments can help provide a strong foundation on which to rely. We will also share long term goals for year two of a new policy. This includes creating a process for auditing, developing a database of university youth programs and establishing a plan for policy assessment. The second half of the session will incorporate critical group discussions aimed at identifying key issues in policy implementation with opportunities for feedback and networking. By analyzing hurdles, identifying solutions and offering opportunities for in depth discussion and networking, we hope attendees will leave with strategies to overcome policy challenges.

Is Part Of

VCU Division of Community Engagement