Policy amendment: Minors Participating in Research or Clinical Activities

April 10, 2019

Yale’s Policy on the Health and Safety of Children and Youth, which governs most Yale programs for minors, requires background checks for program staff members in several circumstances, including when a program will require one-on-one interaction between a staff member and a minor out of the view of others.  Until now, policy on minors participating in clinical or research activities (“the Labs Policy” ) has included no similar provision, even though many labs are in isolated locations, and it would be difficult to guarantee that minors working in labs would not find themselves alone with adult researchers or other staff members. This presents a risk to minors, to the responsible principal investigators, and to Yale.

In order to mitigate this risk the Labs Policy has been amended to include the following provision: 

Faculty members, trainees, students, and staff members who will be working in the same research, clinical or office space as the minor must undergo a background check before the minor may begin the proposed research or clinical activities. “Research, clinical, or office space,” as used here, refers to facilities that are assigned specifically to the sponsoring faculty member and that the minor will be using regularly.  The sponsoring faculty member is responsible for the cost of the background checks.  The sponsoring faculty member may request an exception to the requirement by writing to youth.programs@yale.edu