Program Evaluation & Risk Assessment

Prior to launching a Program involving Minors, Program Administrators and Tub Sponsoring Offices should evaluate the structure of the Program and the suitability of the environment in which the Program will operate. They should assess whether all reasonable steps have been taken to provide for the safety and protection of Minors (for example, specialized staff training). They should also assess the Program’s capacity and associated plans to respond to emergency situations. Every Program must have a grievance process to handle complaints from Program participants, their parents or guardians and others, promptly and equitably.

The evaluation process is helpful in determining the need for specific policies, procedures and training.

Important matters to consider  during this evaluation include the following. This list, while lengthy, is not exhaustive.

People and Facilities

  • Age range, competency and maturity of participants
  • Age range, competency and maturity of supervisors, staff and volunteers
  • Ratio of adults to Minors
  • Supervision of staff and volunteers
  • Special needs/disabled/vulnerable Minors or adults
  • Residential component (see Residential Programs – Recommended Policies and Procedures)
  • Suitability of facilities for proposed age group and activities
  • Multiple mixed-age groups occupying same space

Program Structure and Activities

  • Duration of Program
  • Limitations on one-on-one interactions of Minors and adults
  • Standards of dress/appropriate attire for participants and adults
  • Activities involving locker rooms, disrobing, partial nudity
  • Events taking place in/around water
  • Off-campus field trips/transportation
  • Unscheduled/free time
  • Pickup/drop-off arrangements to promote safety and legal custody
  • Grievance procedures for participants' families, and others

Behavioral Expectations

  • Authorized and unauthorized taking of photos/video of Minors
  • Expectations for electronic communications between adults and Minors
  • Peer-on-peer Minor bullying
  • Guidelines for physical contact between Minors and adults
  • Alcohol, drugs, controlled substances, tobacco products, pornography
  • Disciplinary procedures and guidelines

Health, Safety and Welfare

  • Presence of, use of, or access to, ladders, power tools, kilns,  chemicals, or other dangerous machinery, substances or locations; in the case of any of these and other safety issues, please consult the Minors in Labs Policy
  • Allergies and prescription drug issues
  • Infectious diseases
  • Impact of weather-related issues
  • Response to emergencies, such as missing participant, weather, medical emergency, terrorist attack and facility closure;  relationship between Program emergency protocols and those of Tub-Sponsoring Office
  • Emergency contact information for parents/guardians, Program staff, Tub –Sponsoring Office and other resources.