Youth Theatre Northwest (YTN) is a theatre dedicated to and for children. In accordance with our organizational values, providing our youth participants with a safe and nurturing environment is of paramount importance to YTN.
YTN recognizes that:
theatre and creative collaborations may be intense emotional and personal experiences
minors are an especially vulnerable group
misconduct and inappropriate interactions with a minor are harmful to the minor, their family, our YTN community, the general society, and the perpetrator
All persons associated with YTN whether employees, independent contractors, volunteers, or visitors shall have no private, one-to-one contact or communications with minor students, actors, work study helpers, interns, or audience members either on or off the YTN premises.
A minor is anyone under the age of 18. Individuals who are 18 years of age but are enrolled in K-12 education and are participating as students in YTN programs are included in this policy.
Conduct with Minors – Best Practices:
Maintain a minimum of three people in a room when a minor is present.
If that ratio is not possible (i.e. private audition coaching, parent late for pick-up, etc.): be in a public area OR have an open door to the public and make sure a YTN supervisor and the parent are aware of the situation.
Copy parents or other YTN staff on emails or texts to students/actors.
Help set-up a carpool between students, never provide a car ride for one student privately.
Ask for, and receive, consent to touch when you need to make contact with a student’s body in appropriate settings (i.e. pinning a costume on a student, helping an actor with a mic pack, the student volunteered to help demonstrate a touch-based game, etc.)
Avoid social media interactions with minors or students 18 years of age currently involved in YTN programming. This includes not being Facebook friends, or following on Instagram or like platforms.
Leave students in Zoom waiting rooms and then let them in as a group. Video conferencing must also comply with the Conduct with Minors Policy. If you’re involved with private coaching via a video call, ensure the parent/guardian is nearby.
Always err on the side of caution, both for you and the student.
1. If you believe this policy has been violated, immediately and confidentially report such violations to the YTN Executive Artistic Director or Executive Education Director* who, with any expert assistance deemed necessary, shall undertake a thorough investigation, and if this policy or the law has been violated, deal appropriately with the violation. Disciplinary actions may take place if you are aware another person has violated this policy and you choose not to report it.
2. If you believe a situation is or may be developing which, if not resolved, could lead you into violating this policy, confidentially discuss the potential problem and resolutions with the Executive Artistic Director or Executive Education Director*. Any person who chooses to discuss a potential problem will not be disciplined for doing so provided the reporting person has not yet violated this policy or the law with regard to conduct with minors.
3. If you are aware of a situation involving another person which could develop into a violation of the law or this policy, confidentially report the situation to the Executive Artistic Director or Executive Education Director*. If the situation is a potential (but not yet actual) violation, the Director, using any expert advice deemed necessary, shall attempt to resolve the potential situation before a violation of this policy or the law actually occurs.
*YTN will provide an anonymous messaging service for concerns regarding these policies, as well as concerns of behaviors you may have of co-workers. Information on this messaging system can be found on the inside of the restroom doors (male, female, and unisex) of the Parish Hall and the YTN office.
In the case that a violation or potential violation of this Code of Conduct is brought to the attention of YTN's leadership, we will do our best to ensure the confidentiality of all involved parties. To that end, communication of said incident will take place via phone call or in-person conversation on a case-by-case basis. These investigations and conversations will not take place via email, where tone is difficult to understand and confidentiality is more difficult to ensure. At the end of the investigation, an incident report will be written by YTN and kept confidential, except in the instance YTN leadership needs to reference them to guide on future incidents.
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We believe the above policy is in the best interest of our institution, students, performers, artisans, employees, independent contractors, audience, participating families, volunteers, visitors, and all other persons associated with YTN. Respect for all people, whether adults or children, is important, as is communication and interaction between people of all ages. We seek to foster such communication and interaction, but will not tolerate inappropriate communications or interactions or any deviation from our Conduct with Minors Policy.
If you have received this policy and do not understand the information or need further clarification, you must speak with your supervisor or staff member prior to the start of your participation at YTN.