Codes of Ethics for Adults in Youth Ministry

Adults working with youth bear a special responsibility in fostering youth spiritual development and modeling healthy behavior.

A code of conduct should address:

  • A statement of the program’s philosophy of shared youth-adult leadership
  • Responsibilities as adult
  • Never being alone with youth
  • No abuse, harassment, and bullying by adults including exploitation of youth once they become adults
  • Appropriate physical boundaries with youth
  • No sexualized or seductive behavior with youth
  • Staying in “adult role”
  • Adult discretion in sharing details of their personal lives
  • Self-care
  • Holding youth confidences and when confidences must be shared with supervising staff
  • Unofficial contact with youth: only in public, and with supervising staff and parental knowledge
  • Following other policies such as electronic communication policies

Sample Codes of Ethics

Next Recommended Practice: Participant Covenant for Youth Events