Policy on Health and Safety of Children and Youth


This policy applies to all Yale faculty members, staff members, students, trainees, and volunteers (“members of the Yale community”) who participate in programs that (i) include minors and (ii) are organized by Yale or use Yale facilities.  This policy does not apply to medical or therapeutic programs conducted by Yale clinicians.

Policy Statement

Yale is committed to protecting minors who participate in on-campus or Yale-organized programs by requiring that they be supervised by adults who follow Yale’s health and safety guidelines.

Reason for the Policy

In keeping with its educational and research mission, its commitment to the local community, and its desire to employ its facilities in a safe and useful manner, Yale organizes and accommodates many programs for children and youth.  In order to protect the health and safety of participating minors and to ensure that Yale can continue organizing and accommodating these programs, adult supervisors must follow reasonable health and safety guidelines.  The purpose of this policy is to help members of the Yale community understand and follow those guidelines.


Minor: a person under 18 years of age, who is not a full-time Yale student.

Program: a program that includes minors and is organized by a member of the Yale community in his or her Yale capacity.

Non-Yale Program: a program that includes minors and uses Yale facilities but is not organized by a member of the Yale community in his or her Yale capacity.

Field Trip: a program that (i) involves elementary, middle, or secondary school students visiting Yale, under the supervision of their teachers, during a single business day and (ii) is organized by a Yale staff member charged with organizing such visits on a regular basis.

Organizer: the member of the Yale community responsible for a program.

Program Staff Member: a person 18 years of age or older who supervises, teaches, counsels, or otherwise works with minors participating in a program.  The term program staff member does not include a person whose only role is to make a presentation to a group of minors who are under the supervision of another adult at the time of the presentation.

Policy Sections

I.Program Registration and Permission

Members of the Yale community who, in their Yale capacity, wish to organize a program, other than a Field Trip, must register their program no fewer than 60 days before the program is scheduled to begin by submitting a Program Registration Form to the Committee on Programs for Children and Youth (“CPCY”).  Continuing programs must re-register annually.  CPCY may deny permission for a program if its organizer cannot demonstrate the capacity to follow the guidelines set out in this Policy and related procedures.

Yale staff members charged with organizing Field Trips must be familiar with these guidelines.

Non-Yale programs are forbidden unless they have signed a Yale use agreement for their Yale venue.

If you are not certain whether this Policy applies to a particular program, or you would like to request a waiver of Policy requirements, you may contact CPCY.

II.  Background Checks of Employees and Volunteers

For the purpose of identifying past behavior that may disqualify a person from working closely with minors, the following persons must pass criminal and sex offender background checks before they begin or continue work with a program, unless they have already passed a background check in relation to their Yale employment:

  • Organizers and program staff members of athletic or non-Yale programs;
  • Organizers and program staff members responsible for supervising overnight programs;
  • Yale faculty and staff members who work with minors in a program as part of their responsibilities as Yale employees; and
  • Members of the Yale community whose service as organizers or program staff members is likely to involve interaction with individual minors, out of the view of others.

Further background checks, such as a motor vehicle record check, may be required based on the person’s responsibilities.  Persons who have been absent from Yale for a period of six months or longer may not participate in a program until a background check has been repeated. Organizers are responsible for ensuring that all required background checks have been performed. You can request background checks here.

III.  Program Health and Safety Guidelines

Yale has developed minimum health and safety guidelines for all programs and for specific types of programs.  All organizers must submit their guidelines to CPCY for approval before their programs may begin or continue, and they must provide copies of the approved guidelines to all program staff members.  Failure to follow approved health and safety guidelines may result in the immediate termination of a program.

IV.  Training

All organizers and program staff members must complete Yale’s training on Health and Safety of Children and Youth and the Connecticut Department of Children and Families’ training on Reporting Suspected Child Abuse and Neglect.

V.  Programs Requiring Special Review

CPCY will consider approving the following programs only after the organizer has presented specific safety guidelines:

(i)  programs that involve minors under six years of age; and

(ii)  programs that involve the presence of minors in

  • laboratories;
  • studios;
  • boats or vehicles;
  • workshops or any other areas containing power tools or machinery with exposed moving parts;
  • mechanical rooms, power plants, or garages;
  • animal facilities;
  • food preparation areas;
  • the vicinity of grounds equipment or farm equipment; or
  • any other high-risk areas, such as rooftops or construction zones.

Persons organizing programs that involve the presence of minors in research or clinical facilities must also comply with Yale’s Minors in Laboratories Policy.

VI.  Documentation of Parent or Guardian Approval

Organizers must obtain appropriate releases and/or acknowledgments of risk from the parents or legal guardians of minors participating in their programs.  A model form can be found here, and organizers must receive approval for forms appropriate to their programs from CPCY.

VII.  Violations and Disciplinary Procedures

Programs in violation of this policy may be denied permission to continue operating at Yale.

Alleged violations of this Policy by faculty or staff members may be pursued in accordance with the appropriate disciplinary procedures, as outlined in the Faculty Handbook and the Staff Personnel Policies and Practices Manual and other applicable materials, and discipline may be imposed, up to and including termination.  Staff members who are members of University-recognized bargaining units may be disciplined for violations of this Policy, up to and including termination, in accordance with the relevant disciplinary provisions set forth in the agreements covering their bargaining units.  Alleged violations of this Policy by students or trainees may be pursued in accordance with the appropriate disciplinary procedures of their schools or programs, and discipline may be imposed, up to and including withdrawal from the University.

Updated:  May 5, 2017