Many in-person engagement opportunities with youth and/or K12 students are no longer available and are being changed to virtual engagements. Following the guidelines of the community organization and/or school is the top priority for all university constituents. This page will outline good practices in working with youth in virtual engagement opportunities to supplement any guidelines provided by the community organization/school.
Here is information from the Office of Precollege and Youth Program Compliance – this may or may not be relevant information for your program.
All program staff (UW-Madison employees, volunteers, and contractors) are screened and trained before they are allowed to work with minors in a program. Requirements for program staff include:
- Screening: UW–Madison policy requires criminal background checks for employees, volunteers, and contractors who hold positions of trust. This includes people with direct access to a vulnerable population such as minors. Employees, volunteers, and contractors who work with minors in precollege programs are subject to a criminal background check every two years.
- Training: Program staff are required to complete safety and youth protection training before the start of a precollege or youth program. This training includes courses in CPR, first aid, preventing sexual harassment and sexual violence, mandated reporting of child abuse or neglect, and youth mental health first aid. All precollege programs also conduct staff training in emergency procedures and communications.
- Supervision: UW–Madison policy outlines minimum staff-to-participant ratios that programs must maintain for all age groups. Ratios depend on the age of the participants, whether programming takes place during the day or overnight, and the level of risk associated with specific activities (for example, water-based activities). The policy also prohibits one-on-one contact between an adult and a minor, provides guidelines for privacy, and forbids inappropriate use of technology.
Considerations for virtual engagement