Adult and Youth Leader Code of Ethics

UUA Youth and Adult Leaders Code of Ethics 2019

Adults and youth in leadership roles are in a position of stewardship and play a key role in fostering spiritual development of both individuals and the community. It is, therefore, especially important that leaders be well qualified to provide the special nurture, care, and support that will enable youth to develop a positive sense of self and a spirit of independence and responsibility.

Leaders shall be informed of the code of ethics and agree to it before assuming their role. In cases of violation of this code, UUA staff may remove or restrict, temporarily or permanently, the leader from the leadership role and/or from UUA event participation.

As either an adult or youth leader I agree to:

  • Serve as a role model to other youth and adults in my program including modeling affirmative consent following all site rules, UUA Behavioral Expectations, and UUA policies.

  • Respect any information that must be kept in confidence. I understand that as a youth, this information need not be held secret from my parents. And as a leader, I understand I have the freedom to seek the counsel and support of my local religious professional.

  • Report to UUA Staff any unsafe behavior, threats or thoughts of harm to self or others, violations of UUA behavioral expectations, poor adult boundaries, and any possible child abuse or other ways youth are in danger including substance abuse and suicidal thoughts.

  • Communicate with UUA staff about anything which threatens the well-being of any program or youth community

  • Engage in conflict and disagreement directly, creatively, and honestly while holding others with dignity and compassion. Listen to others with openness and a willingness to receive feedback. Seek mediation when needed.

  • Remain an active participant and in covenant in a UU Congregation or Covenanting Community

  • Engage in the emotional and physical self-care, ongoing training, and spiritual development needed to bring my best self to my community.

  • Respect the full range of human difference including race/ethnicity, age, sexual orientation, gender/gender expression, socioeconomic status, physical and mental ability, theology/belief, and primary language among my community and seek to build a community inclusive of all.

As a youth leader I agree to:

  • Refrain from engaging in any form of sexual, seductive, or erotic conduct with other youth at events and; outside events, to be conscious of my power as a youth leader when sexually or romantically interested in a peer I met through UU youth events.

  • Empower other youth as part of my leadership.

  • Be attentive to ways current or potential youth leaders’ behavior may be damaging to the trust the community puts in them and seek both youth and adult assistance.

  • Where I am older than other youth, recognize the greater influence my age gives me and the greater responsibility I have to maintaining healthy relationships with younger youth. This includes keeping appropriate emotional, sexual, and physical boundaries with youth who are still minors after I bridge.

  • Seek the assistance of other adults in leadership or UUA staff when I have discomfort with any adult, especially one in leadership.

  • If I am a driver, I will not drive other youth to events.

As an adult leader I agree to:

  • Commit to following, modeling, and mentoring other adults in the ethics described in the Code of Ethics for Adults attending UUA Youth Events

  • Refrain from all behaviors at youth events, with youth from youth events, and in view of youth online, both verbal and physical, that are in any way erotic, seductive or sexual in nature.

  • Consciously engage with youth in ways that seeks to meet their needs rather than mine. Refrain from any behavior that takes advantage of youth and adult attendees.

  • Understand that it is primarily my responsibility to maintain appropriate boundaries with youth and youth leaders and to cultivate an atmosphere of health and trust with them.


Adults and youth in leadership positions who work with youth under the aegis of the UUA are responsible not only to the youth, but to the UUA as well. Remember: you are acting as a representative of the Unitarian Universalist Association.

I have read this form in its entirety and I understand the ethical responsibilities of both youth and adults in leadership. I commit to following this code of ethics in my own actions and to support my co-leaders, both youth and adults, in living in covenant with each other, the UUA, our congregations, parents and our youth community.

_______________________ ________________________ _____________

Name Signature Date

Sample Training Addendum

I have received training in the following areas :

Program social media posting, photo, and electronic communication policies

Program driving policy for youth and adults

Program mandated reporting and “harm to self or others” procedures

Program medication policy and medical response procedures

Program incident reporting