Youth Programs: Frequently Asked Questions

Why has the University of Oregon adopted this policy?

The primary purpose of the policy is to promote the well-being and safety of minors who participate in programs run by or associated with the University of Oregon and to implement procedures and that reflect best practices.

I’m not involved in any programs involving minors. Does the policy apply to me?

Yes. All employees are subject to mandatory child abuse reporting under state law and, under the minors on campus policy, are required to report known violations of the policy and procedures to their supervisor, a youth program administrator or to the university’s anonymous reporting hotline. . For more information regarding mandatory reporting obligation, please visit the Mandatory Reporting webpage.

What is a Youth Program?

A youth program is an event, operation, endeavor, or activity designed for participation by minors and organized by the University of Oregon in which university employees or volunteers are responsible for the care, custody, or control of minors. Youth programs includes but are not limited to day camps, overnight camps, clinics, instructional programs, and sports camps. For more information, visit the What is a Youth Program? webpage.

Are there any exceptions to the policy?

Yes. Certain exceptions are outlined on the What is a Youth Program? webpage.

My youth program frequently has guest speakers or coaches who present information to the children and interact with them. Will this policy require our guest speakers or coaches to go through a background check and/or training?

Employees and volunteers “working in youth programs” are required to go through the training and obtain a background check. An employee is working in a youth program: “when the university employee or volunteer, as a part of their duties in the youth program, is present with minors who are participating in a youth program, but the adult does not necessarily have care, custody or control for the minors because another adult has care custody or control.” Employees and volunteers do not have to obtain background checks if they only have incidental contact with minors. This means that if the coach or employee is only a guest speaker and will not be present with minors on a consistent basis throughout the program, they are not required to get a background check. However, if they have regular duties associated with the youth program and/or if they take care custody or control of a minor, they are required to get a background check.

I teach private lessons in University facilities. Will this policy apply to me?

Unless the student is an enrolled student and the private lesson is being taught as a part of an academic program, class or activity or another relevant exception applies, you must comply with this policy.

Do annual events need to be registered and approved every year?

Yes. All events must be registered and approved annually to ensure the requirements of the Protection of Minors on Campus policy are being followed and implemented. Register here

Youth programs hosted by third-party contractors must be registered by the university entity facilitating the contract.

What training is required to participate in youth program?

Employees and volunteer working in youth programs are required to complete one time online training on the practices and conduct requirements of this policy, on protecting minors from abusive emotional and physical treatment, and on appropriate or required reporting of incidents of improper conduct (including, but not limited to, appropriate law enforcement authorities).Youth Program Administrators and sponsoring departments are responsible to maintain records of completion of training. Online training is located on the Youth Programs: Training Staff webpage.

Will volunteers, including but not limited to chaperones, be required to get background check certifications?

See question above regarding guest speakers. Employees and volunteers, including chaperones, “working in youth programs” are required to get background checks and complete youth program training.  Human Resources oversees the processing of criminal background checks for university programs and activities. More information concerning how to request background checks and their cost can be found on the Background Check Guidelines webpage at their website.

My program has unique circumstances and I’m not sure how to implement the policy. What should I do?

We are committed to working with programs with unique circumstances to help them identify how best to comply with the policy. Those with questions are encouraged to contact the Office of Risk Management at or by calling 541-346-8316.