One-on-One Interactions with Youth

Individual Contact

Purdue requires that Programs have a policy to limit one-on-one interactions between youth and adults. The goal of such a policy is to prevent the isolation of one adult and one youth, a situation that elevates the risk for child sexual abuse. The scope of each Program's policy will depend on the nature of the Program. Here are some steps you can take to make sure you do not give anyone the wrong idea:

  • Check with your Program Director to understand your Program's policy. Most Programs will prohibit Program Staff from engaging in private interactions with children. 
  • Even if your Program allows one-on-one interactions, do you best to minimize their frequency and duration, and take extra precautions to minimize the risk. 
  • If your program allows one-on-one interactions and such interaction is necessary, meet in open, well illuminated spaces or rooms with windows observable by other adults from the program. Keeps doors open. 
  • Never accompany children into the bathroom, locker room, or changing room. 
  • Invite Program Directors, other Program Staff or parents to observe a program activity at any time.
  • Remember that electronic communication can be a form of one-on-one interactions.  Include Program Directors, other Program Staff or parents on any electronic communications with children.
  • If your Program requires you to transport children, have a second adult with you in the car. 

Peer Interactions

Most instances of child sexual abuse occur when a predator has private access to a vulnerable individual. Remember older children can also be predators. Notice and report instances in which adults or older children seek individual connections with children. 

  • Watch for older children or adults who take younger children away from areas where the program is taking place.
  • Watch for older children or adults who have younger favorites with whom they want to spend time exclusively.