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Participant Covenant for Youth Events
Participant Covenant for Youth Events
High School-Aged Youth Faith Development, Middle School-Aged Youth Faith Development, Safe Congregations

Each group or event is encouraged to develop its own covenant to respect appropriate safety boundaries. Three forms of covenant are encouraged for programs to consider.

Safety expectations or rules which form a covenant between youth participants, parents, congregation, and insurance company. These should address, at a minimum:

  • Sexual behavior
  • Respecting participant boundaries
  • Possession and use of alcohol, illegal substances, and abuse of other medication
  • Violence, weapons, or dangerous items
  • Staying with the supervising adults and on-site

Covenant of right relationship between participants. The following topics, at a minimum, should be discussed and agreed upon:

  • Inclusion: including all youth, diverse identities, and avoiding exclusive behavior
  • Sexual behavior and language: beyond avoiding sexual touch between participants, creating a space comfortable for youth of a wide spectrum of development and comfort by avoiding erotic, seductive, and arousing behavior and language while balancing youths’ need to talk about the real issues in their lives
  • Respect: including respect for youth of different identities and experiences
  • Consent: how participants communicate consent for non-sexual touch
  • Respect for the physical property and hosting institution of the event

Youth Leader Code of Ethics. When youth are appointed or elected to leadership positions there should be a discussion and agreement with them about the ethics about being in leadership. This can happen with all youth and older youth as well as formal leaders. These topics should include:

  • Special responsibility to uphold covenant and rules
  • Avoiding the possibility of exploitation of peers
  • Relationship to the organization and other leaders
  • Responsibility to report knowledge of youth harm to self or others
  • Self-care

Sample Participant Covenants

Next Best Practice: Age Range

About the Author

  • The regional Congregational Life staff are congregations' local connection to the UUA. All of the program Congregational Life staff have expertise in most aspects of congregational life and each also has a few program areas of expertise. See the UUA Congregational Life Staff...

For more information contact safecongregations@uua.org.

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