Hiring for Safety in Youth Ministry

Adults working with youth must be at least twenty­-five years old to participate in youth events organized by the UUA, and most regions and congregations have a similar policy. This has been the practice in youth programs for decades because it helps clarify the different roles of youth and adults and makes it more likely that advisors have appropriate emotional distance from their own youth experiences.

Adults working with youth should:

  • be on the staff or members of the congregation
  • have attended for more than 6 months
  • have a current criminal background check done by the congregation
  • have personal references checked when they begin working with youth
  • have a confirmed valid driver's license and record clear of violations (if driving youth)


Competencies for Ministry to/with Youth: Religious professionals can use this tool as a guideline for healthy recommended practices in hiring volunteers and staff and evaluating existing teams. We know religious professionals aspire to hire the best volunteers and staff to work with youth, and this tool can help religious professionals hire and mentor the right adults.

Next Recommended Practice: Screening