Youth Safety Guidelines
UUA Youth Safety Guidelines

Pandemic resources: Guidance for online programs

Immersion experiences for UU youth can be transformative and deeply spiritual. Youth who participate in UUA-sponsored programs like Summer Seminary, Thrive, and GA Youth; Regional programs like Cons, River Rising and Goldmine; UU Summer Camps and Conferences and Learning trips organized through the Colleague of Social Justice and the UU-United Nations Office report that they make lasting friendships, deepen their faith, and leave such experiences feeling empowered and inspired.  

Youth safety policies are key to providing the containers that allow youth to have these transformative and even life-saving experiences. Safety policies allow diverse youth to be included, respected, and given the space in which to grow and thrive. The policies and sample procedures presented here represent wisdom that has been gathered and carefully curated. We have been informed by our UU values at every stage of building these policies and guidelines. Rooted in covenant, and given wings by shared experience, we are grateful to be able to provide clear guidance for all UUA-endorsed youth events.

These guidelines are not intended for adoption for individual congregational youth programs, but we hope they will inspire congregations in their own safety work. They are required for UUA events.

For more information, contact us at youthsafety [at] uua [dot] org



  • During the COVID-19 pandemic our congregational, regional and national youth programs are being quickly shifted to on-line spaces. This is important and life-giving. Here is the current guidance from UUA staff on youth safety.
  • This page contains links to and descriptions of all levels of this document to help users access the pages they need quickly.
  • We seek to create welcoming communities of trust and must take steps to ensure that appropriate policies, procedures and safeguards are in place for relationships of trust to grow.
  • The UUA is committed to all of its youth programs and activities being safe and inclusive of youth of any race, color, national origin, sex, affectional or sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, or religion, or other protected classes. This commitment is realized through specific recommended policies.
  • Philosophy include around inclusion, sexuality, non-sexual conduct and boundaries, exclusive behavior, and restorative practice. Provides particular details around inclusion around gender, sexual orientation, caucusing, and youth with disabilities,
  • Policies describing the qualities, approval process, and accountability process for adult and youth staff and volunteers including adult attendees at youth events.
  • The UUA Youth Safety Guidelines includes training in recommended practices that is adapted to and covers the age and role of the person participating in youth events.
  • The essential structures and processes to creating safe space for youth at events fall into 6 categories. Knowing these structures and processes allows the freedom in which nurturing, life affirming, and empowering exploration can happen for youth as they grow into healthy adults.
  • Mandatory reporting of harm or potential harm to youth is not optional—it must be done. The UUA Youth Safety Policy recognizes the potential worries youth, parents, and congregations may have and implements procedures to ensure the safety of youth as well an appropriate regard for the privacy of the involved parties.
  • There are specific practices Adult Supervisors must follow onsite, offsite, and overnight adapted for a variety of locations. These include having at least 2 adults present and 1 adult for every 7 youth. Find these details here.
  • There are specific policies to prepare describing what to do in case of medical emergency, follow up steps, providing non-emergency medical care, and handling medication. This includes what kind of first aid staff to have present.
  • Transporting youth exposes them to particular risks, and protecting them from those risks requires considerations specific to the risks. Who can transport youth? In what vehicle? What if youth are traveling alone? Find the policies to answer to those questions here.
  • The Youth Safety Guidelines include recommended practices for less typical situations including sex education, service work, and outdoor adventures.
  • What are the documents youth need to participate safely, what documents does a program need, and how to manage them?
  • How to protect the privacy of youth who participate in programs, alignment for endorsed events, and handle media inquires.
  • These supportive documents are provided to help UUA programs implement these policies and as a resource to other UU programs.
  • By Ted Resnikoff
    Video recording of the webinar conducted on March 10, 2020 with links to additional content.

For more information contact

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