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 and Reporting of Child Abuse Policy establishes clear guidelines and standards for UO youth programs. The Protection of Minors and Reporting of Child Abuse procedures should be reviewed by all Youth Program Administrators. Required actions, tools and resources for achieving policy compliance are provided in the procedures document and summarized below.

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.

Emergency Planning and Safety

Youth programs must have an emergency preparedness plan in place prior to the start of the program.   The Youth programs must have procedures in place to respond to known health conditions, including medication management and any other reasonable accommodations, and health related emergencies. The offices of Emergency Management and Continuity and Risk Management and Insurance collaborated to create the following template for those departments hosting youth programs to create their emergency preparedness plan: Youth Programs Emergency Management Planning

Air Quality Index (AQI) Wildfire smoke and children

The UO has established guidelines for outdoor activities during times of poor air quality due to wildfire smoke. Per, UO guidance, outdoor youth programs should be curtained or moved indoors when AQI is greater than 100.  University and third party hosted programs on University property are required to follow these guidelines and have plans in place to protect children during smoky conditions.  Youth Program Administrators may register with the office of Risk Management to receive updates on AQI. Safety & Risk Services has established a notification tool to notify supervisors for certain air quality thresholds to meet OHSA requirements for outdoor workers. Youth program leads should ensure that they are included in this notification system, by completing this online form

Thunder or Lightening

Outdoor activities should be curtailed and moved indoors when lightning is in the area. UO guidance is that outdoor activities should pause when lightning is within 8 miles of campus.  For summer 2023, Safety & Risk Services will have a texting system in place to notify programs that register when lightning is in the area and when it has been 30 minutes since the last lightning strike so that outdoor activity can resume. More information on how to sign up for this system will be available soon. 


Youth Program Emergency Management Planning
Emergency Contact and Authorization Form


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