Does this guidance apply to off campus programs?
Yes, it applies to all programs that MIT runs or sponsors, including those off campus. However, this guidance does not apply to MIT students/faculty/staff who participate in non-Institute programs as visitors.
Does this guidance apply to events open to the general public where minors may be in attendance?
No, this guidance does not apply to public events that are not targeted toward children (e.g. athletic competitions, concerts, lectures) or to functions, including tours, attended by children who are accompanied by a parent or guardian.
How far in advance must a program be registered?
Programs must be registered at least one month prior to the commencement of the program. If your program requires MIT Housing, please contact the Housing office at least three months prior to the program.
Why is MIT requiring criminal background checks prior to participating in activities involving minors?
MIT is committed to promoting the well-being and safety of children who participate in Institute programs or activities and in programs that outside organizations deliver on campus. Criminal background checks may reveal prior convictions that would make it inappropriate for someone to participate in a program or activity with minors.
Can background checks be waived?
Yes, in certain instances. For example, in cases where an MIT faculty/staff/student has successfully completed a background check within a four-year timeframe, a new background check may not necessary. A record of the past background check must be provided and verified before the individual can interact with children or teens. However, certain programs do require annual background checks – please check with the program administrator.
If a minor is working or interning in a lab, do all members of the lab need to be background checked?
No, only the Primary Supervisor and Alternate Supervisor must be background checked. The supervisors are responsible for the minor's safety throughout the work or internship experience.
How does MIT handle medical issues involving minors participating in Institute programs, including mental health issues?
Day programs lasting more than two weeks, and all residential programs, should make arrangements for access to medical and mental health services for participants. Please check with the program administrator of your specific program to see what arrangements have been made for medical and/or mental health services. MIT Health has also compiled this resource on local hospitals and urgent care centers.
If there is an emergency involving a child, who will reach out to the parent/guardian?
Each program should establish a protocol for notifying parents/guardians in case of emergency.
Can a program arrange transportation of minors using an outside vendor?
Yes, programs can enter into contracts with outside vendors such as bus or van services to transport minors. Program administrators may want to have such contracts reviewed by the Office of General Counsel and/or the Office of Insurance prior to signing them.
Reporting of Abuse or Neglect
What if I’m not sure whether a minor I’m working with has been abused or neglected?
If you encounter a situation in which you are uncertain or feel uncomfortable, please email email@example.com, where MIT staff can assist you and your supervisor/program administrator in determining what to do. If you have any suspicion that a child has been abused or neglected, report it - even when you have doubts, it is better to report your suspicions to MIT Police rather than ignore them.
Who would I call if the suspected abuse or neglect happens in a program off campus?
If you witness abuse or neglect of a minor at a program taking place away from MIT's campus, you should dial 911 (in an emergency) or the Department of Children & Families "Child-at-Risk Hotline" at 800-792-5200.
Immigration and Visa Issues
Does MIT sponsor visas for minors from other countries to participate in Institute programs?
No. However, MIT does sponsor visas for enrolled MIT students who are under the age of 18. Please contact the International Students Office for more information.
Does MIT allow international minors, including students who are sponsored for visas by other U.S. academic institutions, to participate in MIT programs?
Any DLC that is considering hosting an international minor student should consult with the International Students Office and Office of the General Counsel before permitting the minor to participate in the program.
Should staff interact with minors on social media?
No, MIT staff should not interact directly or privately with minors through social media. However, many programs use social media to communicate with program participants as a group (such as a Facebook group), which is acceptable.
Where should forms be submitted?
All forms should be submitted to the administrator of the individual program. Each program is responsible for retaining the forms in their custody for a period of three years after the program has ended.