If you are working with a minor you are required to upload a Minor Talent Release Form on your Location Safety Form.

Policy Statement

In order to ensure a safe environment and demonstrate best practices for Emerson College’s programs involving Minors (individuals under the age of 18), all members of our College community have a duty to:  

Safeguard Minors who are using our facilities or involved with College programs and activities; and Report Suspected Child Abuse and Neglect in accordance with the Mandated Reporter Statute, Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 119, Section 51A and California Penal Code section 11165.7.  Both state agencies are a part of U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Child Welfare System, which provides federal oversight for child protection services.

This policy further establishes that

All Emerson College employees are Mandated Reporters (as further defined below); and All Emerson College Police Department officers are Designated Agents (as further defined below).

This policy applies to all faculty, staff, students, third parties, and/or volunteers representing Emerson College. 

It is the policy of Emerson College that members of the College community will not engage in Child Abuse and Neglect. 

It is also the policy of Emerson College that all members of the College community, regardless of whether they are Mandated Reporters, will immediately report suspected Child Abuse to the College’s Designated Agent (as further defined below).

If an Emerson College program will be providing housing for Minors at an off-campus location, the Program Administrator must contact the Office of Risk Management for insurance approval. 

Reason for the Policy

Compliance with this policy is a condition of providing Emerson College programs or services to and for Minors who are not registered undergraduate or graduate students at Emerson College. 

This policy outlines required actions for all programs serving, educating, or otherwise involving Minors, including programs held on campus or sponsored by Emerson College at offsite locations. 

Code of Conduct

For all Emerson College’s programs involving Minors, the Program Administrator distributes to all Authorized Adults and Key Personnel a copy of this Policy as well as a Policy and Code of Conduct Acknowledgement Form. The form is used to ensure Authorized Adults and Key Personnel are informed about the policy, informed about the training requirements and acknowledge to adhere to the Code of Conduct outlined below.  The forms are collected by the Program Administrator and submitted to the Office of Risk Management a minimum of fifteen (15) days prior to the start of the program.

Outlined below is Emerson College’s Code of Conduct relating to all programs involving Minors. All staff, faculty, volunteers and student representatives working in programs involving Minors will:

  • Understand and comply with the mandatory regulations and Emerson College’s policies and best practices relating to programs involving Minors;
  • Commit to report suspected child abuse or neglect;
  • Cooperate fully in any investigation of such;
  • Use positive reinforcement rather than criticism, competition, or comparison when working with Minors; 
  • Treat all participants with respect, loyalty, patience, courtesy, dignity and fairness;
  • Maintain appropriate boundaries at all times, both physical and verbal;
  • Never be alone with Minors at College activities without another adult being present;
  • Never be the only adult in a restroom, shower room, locker room, or other dressing or housing area whenever Minors are using such facilities;
  • If monitoring an area or dealing with an emergency or discipline of a Minor, ensure you are in an observable area (not an enclosed, private room) and ensure doors are ajar so that you can signal to another adult for assistance;
  • Adhere to standards where safety is the priority and no physical or emotional abuse is tolerated, including but not limited to, profanity, striking, spanking, slapping, humiliating, ridiculing, threatening or degrading behaviors;
  • Do not exchange personal social media account information with Minors;
  • Do not post photos of Minors on personal social media accounts or personal devices;
  • If permission has been granted for photography, only photograph yourself with Minors in a way that reflects and is used for educational purposes and is intended to be displayed on Emerson College’s official website or social media site;
  • Do not be alone in a vehicle with a Minor and do not use personal vehicle for transporting Minors;
  • Do not use, be under the influence or in possession of tobacco products, alcohol or illegal drugs at any time during programs involving Minors.

Reporting Suspected Child Abuse or Neglect

At Emerson College all employees, including faculty and student employees, are Mandated Reporters.  Reports must be made immediately to Emerson College Police Department, as further outlined below.

State regulations require a Mandated Reporter report suspected child abuse when the Mandated Reporter has “reasonable cause to believe” that a Minor is being or has been abused in some way.  State regulations do not require the Mandated Reporter to provide conclusive proof that abuse occurred. Educators and other school personnel are neither expected to be, nor should they act as, investigators.  The benefit of the doubt is always given to the Minor.  Waiting for conclusive proof may put a Minor at risk.  Failure to make a report can result in criminal penalties.  Failure to make a report may also subject an Emerson employee to discipline up to and including termination of employment.  Filing a mandated oral and written report in good faith protects the Mandated Reporter from civil and criminal action even if the report is deemed unfounded after investigation.

Massachusetts law allows Mandated Reporters who are members of public or private educational institutions to notify a “Designated Agent” at the institution who then becomes responsible for notifying the appropriate governing agency.  Emerson College has designated all Officers of the Emerson College Police Department as our Designated Agent(s), and Mandated Reporters should report suspected Child Abuse and Neglect immediately to the Emerson College Police Department Emergency Line 617-824-8888.  (Note:  Emerson College Dispatchers are not Designated Agents.  Dispatchers immediately notify an Emerson College Officer who will handle the reporting.)

The College will not retaliate or discriminate against any person who, in good faith, suspects and submits a report of Child Abuse or Neglect. 


Failure to report Child Abuse or Neglect is punishable by law; violations may result in civil or criminal liability for the Mandated Reporter(s) and/or the College. This policy will be strictly enforced.  Failure to comply may result in program cancellation or postponement as well as disciplinary action.

Minor Labor Laws

When working with minors (age 17 years or younger), Emerson College mirrors the SAG minor workday rules.

  • Minors may not work before 5:30 a.m or after 12:30 a.m. 
  • A minor’s final work day must be concluded at least 12 hours before the beginning of their next regular school day.
  • On a school day (determined by the school where the child is enrolled), school-age minors must receive three hours of education between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.
  • A parent or guardian must accompany minors through age 15. Minors age 16 and 17 may work without a parent or guardian present. The parent or guardian is entitled to be within the sight and sound of the minor at all times.
  • Minors who are high school graduates are exempt from the child labor laws and may work on the same basis as adults.
  • You should never be alone with the minor. If the guardian has left the set for any reason always make sure there are other crew and/or cast around.