Health and Safety Guidelines

In keeping with Yale’s educational and research mission, its commitment to the local community, and its desire to employ its facilities in a safe and useful manner, the University organizes and accommodates many youth programs.  In order to protect the health and safety of participating minors and to ensure that Yale can continue organizing and accommodating youth programs, adult supervisors in such programs must observe reasonable health and safety guidelines.  Program organizers are responsible for using the following guidelines to assess and minimize risks. These guidelines do not apply to all programs and cannot encompass all possible risks. If you have questions about your program or how to apply these guidelines, please contact the Committee on Programs for Children and Youth (“CPCY”).

A.  Program Management

1.  If your program is sponsored by a Yale Registered Student Organization, comply with all guidelines for the Organization’s department or school (e.g., if organized by a registered undergraduate organization, comply with the Undergraduate Regulations of Yale College).

2.  Provide minors and their parents/guardians with written materials that accurately describe the program, including any risks.

3.  Provide parents/guardians with an opportunity to ask questions and raise concerns to program staff by various methods (e-mail, phone, letter, in person, etc.).

4.  Provide minors and their parents/guardians with written program rules and safety procedures, and require that parents/guardians sign an acknowledgement form accepting the rules.  A set of general Program Rules that you may wish to adopt can be found here.

5. Obtain releases that address legal liability (EnglishSpanish, and student-run) and the use of images and recordings of participants (English and Spanish). If minors will be accompanied by their own supervisors obtain participant supervision agreements.

6.  Ensure that the program has an appropriate ratio of supervising adults (exclusive of cooks, clerical and maintenance personnel) to minors:

  1. Overnight programs:
    • 1:6 for minors 7 to 8 years old
    • 1:8 for minors 9 to 14 years old
    • 1:10 for minors 15 to 17 years old
  2. Day programs:
    • 1:8 for minors 6 to 8 years old
    • 1:10 for minors 9 to 14 years old
    • 1:12 for minors 15 to 17 years old

7.  Minimize minors’ unsupervised, unstructured, or unscheduled time during the program.

8.  Develop plans and procedures for handling health and safety incidents (e.g., intruders, suspicious persons, power outages, major injuries/illnesses, missing minors, emergency evacuations, lightning and other weather events, homesickness).

9.  Hold appropriate orientation sessions for minors and staff before the program begins, including instructions on health and safety rules.

10.  Consult Yale Procurement before negotiating contracts with outside entities.

11.  If a third party requires minors’ parents/guardians to sign forms in relation to the activities of the program, provide a copy of the forms to Yale’s Risk Management Office for review.

12.  Examine equipment and premises with the goal of mitigating safety hazards and maintaining security against unauthorized persons.  Consider stairwells and elevators; tripping hazards (e.g., uneven ground surface or debris); nearby construction or maintenance work; and temporary structures (e.g., tents).

13.  Before the program begins, submit to CPCY the following documents (if applicable): staff background check and training certifications (see below) and staff members’ Code of Conduct acknowledgment forms (see below).  Within one week after the program end date, submit to CPCY the following documents (if applicable):  program rules acknowledgment forms; releases; participant supervision agreements; employment records; participant rosters; complaints and investigation results; contracts; and insurance policies.

B.  Staff

1.  If your program will be staffed fully or partly by volunteers, hire, supervise and train them in the same way that you would employees.  During interviews (preferably in-person), ask how applicants would respond to ambiguous situations and inappropriate interactions between adults and minors or between two minors.

2.  Ensure that program staff have taken required training programs: “Health and Safety for Yale Programs Involving Children and Youth” and “Connecticut Mandated Reporter Training for Community Providers.” Program organizers must certify that this requirement has been met.

3.  If the program involves the establishment of mentoring relationships, ensure that program staff have read and acknowledged Yale’s “Staff Code of Conduct.”

4.  Train program staff and volunteers on other program policies and procedures, including:

  1. emergency procedures;
  2. reporting incidents and accidents;
  3. behavior management, discipline, and bullying. 

C.  Medical/Health

1.  Obtain signed permission slips from parents/guardians giving the program permission to seek emergency medical care for minors.

2.  Ensure that at least one supervisor has current training and certification in CPR and first aid.

3.  Have first aid kits available at all times (including in each vehicle used to transport minors).

4.  Obtain information from parents/guardians about special medical considerations (e.g., allergies; activity restrictions; prior injuries; and possession or use of prescription medication).  Ensure the security and confidentiality of any medical information collected.

5.  Develop procedures for notifying program staff of minors’ specific needs.

6.  Avoid administering or storing minors’ medication, but if it becomes necessary to do so contact the Committee on Programs for Children and Youth.

7.  Develop procedures for notifying parents/guardians of minors’ illnesses or injuries.

8.  Report all injuries involving minors, regardless of severity, to Yale’s Youth Programs.

9.  Maintain proper sanitation and food handling.

D.  Guidelines for Specific Activities

If your program includes any of the following activities, please click on the links provided for additional guidance.

Updated:  June 20, 2023