What does it mean to have unsupervised access to youth?

“Unsupervised access” means to be alone with an individual or group of youth without other program personnel supervising your interactions. Employees and volunteers who have unsupervised access to youth are required to pass a criminal background check prior to working with youth.

Many involved in a youth program will have unsupervised access to youth.  Other supervising adults can be present some of the time, but not all of the time. Parents or guardians may be present but not always supervising their own children. There are also unplanned circumstances that need to be accounted for when determining who could potentially be left alone with children or youth.

Typical roles that have unsupervised access to youth include:

  • Program directors, coaches, trainers, principle investigators, or other lead or supervisory staff.
  • Instructors, educators, TA’s, mentors, counselors, researchers, or program assistants who interact with youth regularly.
  • Tour guides who provide tours in the absence of authorized adults.
  • Anyone who may be charged with helping a lost child during an event, e.g., ushers or wayfinding volunteers.
  • Anyone who, though they are not designated as a supervisor of youth, may potentially be left alone with youth. 
  • Anyone who has electronic interactions with youth (via text, social media or e-mail communication, etc.)

For additional questions about whether a certain program role should receive a background screening, contact HR Operations at uwhires@uw.edu or 206-543-2544.