Youth Programs: Protecting Minors

The university provides and accommodates many programs for children and youth as part of and related to its academic programs and is dedicated to providing a safe environment for all participants.  Faculty, staff, students, student employees, graduate teaching fellows, and volunteers are expected to hold themselves to the highest standards of conduct when interacting with minors. The university recognizes both its institutional and legal obligations to ensure the safety and wellbeing of minor children that are on campus, in university facilities, participating in university-sponsored events, or involved with university affiliated individuals.

The university’s Protection of Minors Policy establishes clear guidelines and standards for UO youth programs. Required actions, tools and resources for achieving compliance are provided below.

Additionally, Safety and Risk Services hosts an annual Risk Summit Conference and presents the Minors on Campus Policy: Steps to Compliance session for department youth administrators.

What is a Youth Program?

The Protection of Minors policy applies to all youth programs.  Here is helpful information to assess what is a youth program under the policy:

Youth programs are...

  • All events, operations, endeavors, or activities 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.
  • A minor is any person under the age of 18.
  • Typical youth programs include, but are not limited to, instructional programs, day camps, overnight camps, and sports camps.

To better understand what is and what is not considered a youth program, take a look at the descriptions provided on the What is a Youth Program webpage.

The world of virtual youth programing is increasing exponentially due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The university is committed to ensuring the safety and well being of minor children that participate in UO affiliated or UO sponsored virtual youth programing. If you are hosting a virtual youth program review the guidelines to ensure you are in compliance.

 Steps to Compliance

The key to complying with the Protection of Minors Policy is to designate a Youth Program Administrator and following three critical steps.

Youth Program Administrator

The Youth Program Administrator (YPA) is essential to ensuring compliance.  Primary responsibilities include:

  • Registering youth program and certifying compliance with required actions as described below will occur prior to minors being present for a youth program.
  • Confirming the university employees and volunteers have received required training.
  • Retaining records of training, hiring documents, and volunteer forms.
  • Ensuring each program follows the current American Camp Association guidelines for staff ratios.
  • Complete a program summary report in Excel spreadsheet format and email to 
  • Youth Program Administrators and youth program staff that are paid university employees are considered Campus Security Authorities (CSA). CSA’s must complete Campus Security Authority Online Training to understand their reporting responsibilities. This is a onetime training requirement. Temporary hires and student employees can review the Campus Security Authority Online Training here. Additional information about CSA reporting responsibilities is available on the Clery website. If you have difficulty accessing the training please contact

Required Action

  • Notify HR of intent to hire summer camp employees. Visit the Seasonal Employment webpage for more information.
  • Complete background checks for volunteers, employees and students working with minors. Background check clearance is required every two years. Visit the Background Check Guidelines webpage for instructions and form.
  • Complete the volunteer form and submit a copy to the Office of Risk Management. Visit the Volunteers webpage for instructions and form.
  • Retain records, which include hiring documents, background check clearance and volunteer forms, according to UO records retention requirements.

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


Mandatory Reporting of Child Abuse and Neglect

Visit our Mandatory Reporting of Child Abuse and Neglect webpage for information about making a report and to view more resources to help you understand your reporting obligations.

Youth Programs Tool Kit

The Office of Risk Management and the Office of Human Resources work in partnership to ensure compliance with the Protection of Minors Policy. Each department offers tools and resources to assist and support administration of youth programs on campus and compliance with the Protection of Minors policy.

Frequently Asked Questions