For Students, Staff, Volunteers & Visitors

It's on all Harvard community members, including faculty, students, staff, visitors, vendor/contractors and volunteers, to create a safe & supportive environment for youth and to report any suspicion of abuse or neglect or inappropriate activity involving minors.

If you meet the Policy's definition of a Responsible Adult (see below), you will need to take steps to be prepared before you begin work with youth in Harvard Programs.  Here, you can:

  • Get training
  • Learn more about background screens.  For vendors and lessees, you can also learn how to conduct required background screens for your own staff before working in a Harvard facility
  • For minors participating in laboratory activities during a Harvard program, learn about the University's efforts and what you can do to promote safety for minors in labs

Below are some forms that your Program Administrator may ask you to complete before working in a youth-serving Program.

Finally, you can review the resource links below to learn more about Harvard and and our efforts to create a safe and supportive environment for youth.

Definition and Responsibilities

From the Policy:

Responsible  Adult – An individual, age 18 and older[1], paid or unpaid, who participates in:


  • A Program where the individual may have one-on-one contact with a Minor, or contact with a group of Minors without another adult present, in a non-public setting; or
  • A Program that has a residential component and the individual has access to the residence(s); or
  • A Program that involves physical contact and / or disrobing; or
  • Any Athletics Program.

[1] Harvard students under 18 years of age can be Responsible Adults.

Environmental Health and Safety Review Checklist (minors in labs)

A helpful checklist for Program Administrators and Principal Investigators seeking to conduct work or research in labs or other instructional facilities with minors.

Application for Student Minors to Enter Harvard University Laboratories

Program Administrator or Principal Investigator seeking to conduct work or research in labs or other instructional facilities with minors should fill out this form and return it to Environmental Health & Safety at