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SUMMARY TABLE OF CONTENTS:Purpose
EAA Youth Service Standards
Parental and Guardian Involvement in EAA-Related Programs and Events
Contact With Youth
Activities Requiring Special Approval or Consideration
Experimental Aircraft Association, Inc. (“EAA”) is committed to protecting youth who are involved in our many activities, and in EAA-related programs and events that are operated by others. We are committed to providing a safe and secure environment in which youth can participate and learn about aircraft and aviation. This part of EAA’s three-part Youth Protection Policy applies only to youth activities at EAA® AirVenture® Oshkosh™. Our Young Eagles Program, and youth activities in All Other EAA-related Programs, are covered in separate individual parts of the Policy. Our primary goals for this Youth Protection Policy are:
- To inspire and grow a passion for aviation among young people.
- To assure the safety of young participants in EAA-related programs and events.
- To earn and sustain the confidence of parents, guardians, and families whose children participate in EAA-sponsored programs and activities.
- To provide training to inspire wise choices and appropriate care in program design and delivery for the protection of youth, staff and volunteers.
The term “youth” when used this Policy means any person who is not legally an “adult” in his or her home state.
EAA AirVenture Youth Service Standards include two steps, which are described under EAA Youth Service Standards below. These are Training and Criminal History Background Checks.
- Effective Date. This policy is effective as of January 1, 2016, and it will be mandatory for AirVenture 2016 and thereafter for all AirVenture volunteers and staff who work with youth as “Two-Deep Leadership Supervisors” (described under Supervision below) in the KidVenture or Kiddie Kockpit programs.
- Required. If you are a Two-Deep Leadership supervisor in KidVenture or Kiddie Kockpit you must complete both Training and a Criminal History Background Check (U.S. residents only)*, with acceptable results in EAA’s judgment, before you may work with youth in either of those programs, even if you have previously participated in services to youth.
- Please note that parents and legal guardians of youth participants may be volunteers, and then they are subject to the same EAA AirVenture Youth Service Standards as other volunteers.
- If you are a minor and a volunteer, you also are subject to the same EAA AirVenture Youth Service Standards as other volunteers; however, background checks aren’t available for minors. You may cover your Background Check requirement with a credible written character reference delivered to us, until you become an adult under the laws of the state where you live.
- EAA staff who work with youth in KidVenture or Kiddie Kockpit are subject to the same requirements as other AirVenture volunteers in those programs.
- Encouraged. If you work with youth in KidVenture or Kiddie Kockpit, but are not a Two-Deep Leadership supervisor, we still request that you complete at least the Training, in order that all volunteers will have consistent understanding of EAA’s AirVenture Youth Protection Policy.
* At the publication date of this Policy, we are not yet able to provide background checks in Canada because of unique Canadian laws. We will offer background checks covering Canadian residents as soon as possible.
EAA Youth Service Standards
- Training. This is an online Youth Protection Course that takes approximately fifteen minutes to complete, with a final test at the end of the course. If you are an EAA staff member or a “Required” volunteer (See Basic Requirements above) you will also need to complete any orientation or annual or ongoing training that is required by the AirVenture program where you work with youth.
- Criminal History Background Check. This is a confidential criminal history background check, and it requires acceptable results in EAA’s judgment. Certain results – listed under Disqualifying Criteria below – will automatically disqualify you from working with youth. We may only proceed with a background check if you give us permission through a release. The release we use complies with the high standards of the Federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and is designed to inform you of your rights, for your protection (however, please note that this is not a credit report – it is a criminal and employment history report). The background check will be conducted by our third-party background check provider, at our expense. Our policy is to update criminal history background checks for “Required” volunteers at least every three years. Your background check results will be evaluated by an EAA Vice President on a strictly confidential basis to determine whether you meet this requirement for service in AirVenture programs.
- Disqualifying Criteria. You will automatically be ineligible to work with youth in any AirVenture program if you:
- Fail to complete the screening process or provide information required to conduct a criminal history background check or provide that information in a timely fashion if requested to do so.
- Are or ever have been a Registered Sex Offender in any jurisdiction, regardless of the nature or date of the offense.
- Have been convicted of any felony involving force or threat of force against a person, regardless of the date of conviction.
- Have been convicted of any crime characterized as a “sex offense” including, but not limited to, child molestation, rape, sexual assault, sexual battery, prostitution, solicitation, indecent exposure, or possession or distribution of illegal pornography, regardless of the date of conviction.
- Have been convicted of any crime involving cruelty to animals, regardless of the date of conviction.
- Have been convicted of any crime involving contributing to the delinquency of a minor, regardless of the date of conviction.
- Have been convicted of any crime involving controlled substances, within the previous five (5) years.
- Were previously terminated from a paid or volunteer position because of misconduct with a youth.
- Are under pending charges, incarceration, or allegations by law enforcement officials in any jurisdiction involving a sex offense as described above, force or threat of force against a person, cruelty to animals, contributing to the delinquency of a minor, controlled substances, or misconduct with a youth. The period of ineligibility will end if and when the relevant charges, incarceration or allegations are dropped or otherwise terminated by said law enforcement officials without a conviction.
All other criminal convictions will be discretionary disqualifiers, to be evaluated on a case-by-case basis with consideration of the completeness of information and nature and date of the offense.
- Appeal Process. If you are informed that you do not meet our background screening criteria for volunteer service with youth in AirVenture programs, you may do any of the following: Withdraw your application; Dispute the accuracy of the background screening report, subject to verification; or Request a waiver of disqualification.
- Documentation. We will confidentially document any decision regarding disqualification of a volunteer or employee applicant to work with youth. We will maintain a database, which will be accessible by members, that will include volunteers and staff who have qualified to work with youth in AirVenture programs. The database will not include applicants who have not qualified.
We believe that effective supervision is a key to maintaining the highest youth safety standards in AirVenture programs. Our supervision requirements in this policy are designed specifically to protect youth, staff and volunteers.
- Two-Deep Leadership. This term means that at least two adults who have completed both the Training and Background Check described above will be in attendance on the ground as supervisors at the KidVenture and Kiddie Kockpit programs. “Attendance as supervisors” requires that the person must be present and actively circulating through the areas in which services are being provided, in order to monitor all activities for appropriate behavior.
- Open Door Policy. Many claims of molestation or abuse arise from instances when adults are in isolated areas with youth. When using smaller rooms or enclosed areas for a youth activity, ensure that the doors are left open at all times, for the protection of the youth and yourself.
Parental and Guardian Involvement in AirVenture Youth Programs and Events. All references to a “parent” in this Policy will include a legal guardian where appropriate. When volunteering in the KidVenture or Kiddie Kockpit programs, parents are subject to the same AirVenture Youth Service standards as other volunteers. We invite and encourage parents to be involved in or observe AirVenture youth programs and activities if possible.
Contact with Youth
We expect that you, as a volunteer or EAA employee, will have positive relationships with the youth you meet in any AirVenture program. However, in order to maximize youth safety, we must require the following common-sense restrictions in order to ensure that both the youth and you are protected outside of the program.
- Outside Activities. Do not initiate meetings or interactions with youth whom you have met in the KidVenture or Kiddie Kockpit programs, or extend your relationship to other activities (except for supervision in other sponsored and organized youth activities, including both EAA and non-EAA related activities).
- Communications. Do not communicate directly with any youth whom you have met in the KidVenture or Kiddie Kockpit programs. Limit communication to sharing program information through the following:
- Telephone calls or texts to the parent’s telephone (not the youth’s mobile phone);
- E-mails addressed to both the youth and his or her parents; and
- Written information sent to the parents’ home.
Prohibited Activities. In all AirVenture programs and events:
- Physical Force and Abuse. For obvious reasons, the following are strictly prohibited:
- Physical force or violence. Slapping, spanking, hitting, shoving, corporal punishment and similar behaviors, by staff or volunteers or by other youth.
- Sexual communication or contact. Dating or other private contacts; discussing sexual subjects of any kind; and touching in an area typically covered by a bathing suit, by yourself or by other youth; any touching that might cause the youth to feel uncomfortable.
- Neglect. Punishing a youth by withholding food, water, medical assistance, or other needs.
- Bullying. Intentionally harmful behavior directed toward a specific youth or group of youths with the intent or effect of intimidating, causing emotional or psychological harm, or causing isolation or humiliation, by staff, volunteers, or other youth.
Activities Requiring Special Approval or Consideration
- Physical Contact. We very strongly discourage demonstrations of affection and physical contact. These should only be given on rare occasions when clearly required to meet a youth’s specific needs, never to meet your needs or desires. Limit any touching to handshakes and brief cross-shoulder hugs, and never touch a youth in areas that are typically covered by a bathing suit. In some situations, you may need to assist the youth participant in a way that requires touching. If possible, encourage the parent to be present and acknowledge that the touching might occur.
- Photography. Copies of all photographs of youth must be made available to parents upon request, and the right of parents to withhold consent for the use of their children’s photographs must always be respected. Parents wishing to withhold consent should inform the person who is in charge of the activity. Don’t give the last names of youth in connection with their photographs.
In order to maximize the safety and well-being of participants in KidVenture and Kiddie Kockpit, all youth must exhibit proper behavior and self-control toward the environment, equipment and other activity participants. Misbehavior includes such conduct as fighting, yelling, verbal abuse, physical violence, disrespectful behaviors, foul language, unsportsmanlike conduct, lying, endangering oneself or another, stealing, and disobeying EAA staff or volunteers. In situations where a youth has acted inappropriately, depending on severity, the following actions may be taken:
- First Offense—the youth’s parents will be notified of the behavior verbally and in writing. Depending on the severity of the misbehavior, the youth may be removed from the activity immediately, in the sole judgment of the volunteer or EAA staff supervisors.
- Second Offense—the youth will be removed from the AirVenture activity and disqualified from future participation.
- Suspected Criminal Conduct—any suspected criminal conduct during AirVenture programs and activities will be reported to the appropriate authorities for investigation and disposition.
Never use physical force on a youth except to temporarily restrain for his or her safety or the safety of surrounding people. In such a case, give prompt notice to the Chapter President or other person in charge of the activity, and to the parents of the youth involved. Remove the youth from the activity if the offense is serious or causes disruption to the activity or the enjoyment of other participants.
All parents will have access to this policy through EAA’s website www.eaa.org, and understand and accept that, by permitting their youth to participate in an AirVenture program or activity, they confirm their agreement to its terms.
You must promptly report all suspected or known child abuse and accidental injury, as described below. During any KidVenture or Kiddie Kockpit activity:
- “Child abuse” means any intentional action, inaction, or event that endangers or injures the physical, psychological, or emotional well-being of a youth.
- “Accidental injury” means a physical, psychological or emotional injury to a youth that does not arise directly or indirectly from the intentional act or inaction of another person.
- Accidental Injury, or Suspected or Known Child Abuse. You must report every suspected or known child abuse and accidental injury as follows:
- First, call 911 immediately, for any child abuse or accidental injury to a youth that requires any attention beyond simple first aid that is fully within the skill of a responsible person on the scene.
- Next, call the youth’s parent immediately, for any known or suspected child abuse, or any injury that required a call to 911.
- Next, contact appropriate law enforcement officials immediately, in the event of known or suspected child abuse.
- Within 24 hours, give an oral report to the program or event operator and EAA’s Director of Risk Management: (o) 920-426-4822; (c) 920-379-4822).
- Violations of Safety Rules. If you know of any serious safety rules violations in KidVenture or Kiddie Kockpit, report the matter to EAA’s Director of Risk Management.
- Further Steps.
- Any alleged perpetrator of child abuse or misconduct will immediately be placed on leave from AirVenture youth programs and activities pending completion of an internal investigation.
- If outside authorities undertake an investigation, we will cooperate fully with any investigation.
We will review all reported suspicions, incidents or suspected rule infractions, even if deemed to be minor, to determine whether further action is needed, and whether current policies and procedures must be revised to prevent similar future occurrences.
Thank you for your support of EAA’s AirVenture Youth Programs! Without your participation they would not be possible.
We sincerely appreciate your taking the time to read and understand this policy. We have read and listened to hundreds of member comments, and we believe that every provision in the current policy is valuable and necessary, but we always welcome your feedback.
Experimental Aircraft Association, Inc. (“EAA”) reserves the right to revise this policy in any manner and to be effective at any time, in EAA’s sole discretion.