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Screening and Selecting Program Staff to Work with Minors

October 30, 2019

The Protection of Minors Standards requires all programs that serve youth (or are attended by minors) to screen and select employees and volunteers based on the type of contact they have with minors. Authorized Adults may work alone with youth. Supervised Adults may not work alone with minors. Supervised Adults work within the sightline and supervision of an Authorized Adult. To choose appropriate staff to work with minors, be sure to carefully review the application, use behaviorally based questions and contact professional and personal references.

Review the application to identify any red flags when screening potential Authorized and Supervised Adults. Look for gaps in dates of employment, education or residence; conflicting, omitted or incorrect information; or an unwillingness to use former supervisors as references.

Behaviorally based interview questions can assist the interview committee with assessment of Authorized Adults. When selecting Authorized Adults, behaviorally based questions identify candidates who have appropriate judgement, boundaries, trainability, policy adherence, supportiveness and patience to work alone with youth. During the interview process the committee should communicate to the applicant that the safety of minors is important, that interactions with minors are monitored and that we, as an institution, fully cooperate with authorities in cases of abuse.

Conduct reference checks for professional and personal contacts when selecting Authorized Adults. Are references current? Is the contact information for the reference correct? Listen and take note of reluctant references, refusal to answer questions, or if the reference didn't know the applicant well.

Contact with questions, for a list of behaviorally based interview questions or to discuss red flags in reviewing an applications or handling references checks.

About the University of Idaho

The University of Idaho, home of the Vandals, is Idaho’s land-grant, national research university. From its residential campus in Moscow, U of I serves the state of Idaho through educational centers in Boise, Coeur d’Alene and Idaho Falls, nine research and Extension centers, plus Extension offices in 42 counties. Home to nearly 12,000 students statewide, U of I is a leader in student-centered learning and excels at interdisciplinary research, service to businesses and communities, and in advancing diversity, citizenship and global outreach. U of I competes in the Big Sky and Western Athletic conferences. Learn more at