Society President Clarifies Waiver and Medical Release Policies for Minors

Meg Baron, President of the SCA, has published a clarification of policy on waivers and medical release forms for minors, including those attending events without a parent or guardian present on site. Meg Baron writes:

Unto the members of the Society, greetings:

Lately there have been some questions regarding the minor waivers and medical authorization for minors. I hope this information helps clear up any confusion.

First, let's be very clear - the SCA Minor Waiver DOES NOT authorize any form of medical treatment for the minor. That is not its function. The minor waiver basically states that the minor's parent knows where their child is and what they might be doing, and says that's OK with them.

If a minor (person under the legal age of majority - age 18 in most places) is attending an SCA event without their parent or Court-appointed legal guardian, there's quite a bit more to think about. First, since the parent won't be there to do so at the gate, the minor waiver must be completed IN ADVANCE and brought to the event. In addition, there must be a designated adult who will be responsible for that child or teenager at that event. This requires some kind of "permission slip" signed by the parent. This states the name of the adult(s) into whose care the parent is placing their child, and gives that person (or persons) permission to authorize medical treatment for their child in the event of an emergency. This note should list contact information for the parent. It is very important that the note list any medical conditions or allergies the child has of which medical personnel would need to be aware in case of an emergency.

If preferred, there is a form for medical treatment authorization available. Though there is really no place for it on the form, allergies and medical conditions, as well as contact information for the parent(s), should be noted on this form, or on an attached sheet. The form can be found on the Web at http://www.sca.org/ . Other forms may be available or required in your Kingdom -- consult with your Kingdom Seneschal for more information.

Whether a form or a note is used, a copy should be left with the gate staff. The original must remain in the child's possession at all times, as medical personnel may need to see it at a moment's notice.

It is very important to note that specific Kingdoms or events may have more stringent requirements than those listed above. For example, some Kingdoms or events may require notarization of Medical Authorization forms due to state or local requirements. Some events, such as Pennsic, do not permit minors to attend without their parent or Court-appointed legal guardian under any circumstances. Please be sure you understand the requirements in your Kingdom and for the event in question before you agree to be responsible for another person's child, or before you allow your child to go to an event with someone else. If you have any questions about your Kingdom's requirements, consult your Kingdom Seneschal. If you have questions about a particular event, ask the autocrat.

Please be aware that it is NEVER acceptable for a parent to simply drop their child or teenager off at an event! No minor may attend an SCA event without designated adult supervision. (Please also note that "designated adult supervision" does not mean your 17-year-old daughter's 19-year-old boyfriend. A person over age 21 should be designated.) And that adult, be it the parent or parentally-appointed designee, must actually supervise the minor. Leaving children unattended is grounds for possible removal of the parent or adult guardian from the event. If you are participating in activities at the event that do not involve the children, be sure that there is a responsible party supervising them during the time you are engaged in your activity.

This should all be common-sense information for parents. The SCA is as concerned about your child's safety as you are. With a little forethought and care on the part of adults, children and teenagers can be active, happy participants in the Society.

In service,

Meg Baron
President, SCA Inc.

Comments are strongly encouraged and can be sent to:
SCA Inc.
Box 360789
Milpitas, CA 95036

You may also email comments@sca.org .