Frank Answers Fridays: August 15, 2014

Aug 15, 2014 Written by FIRST Staff

Frank is on vacation this week. You may be able to tell this from the artistic additions some folks made to the traditional graphic above while he was otherwise occupied. 

Before he left, he asked Lee Doucette, Youth Protection Program Manager here at FIRST, to answer a question he received.

This question is from Nate Laverdure, a mentor from FRC Team 2363, Triple Helix, from Newport News, Virginia, USA:


Good afternoon Frank,
Who wrote the YPP?

Thank you!

Nate Laverdure


Thank you, Nate Laverdure, for mentoring a FIRST team and for sending a great question.

The newly expanded Youth Protection Program began with the Strategic Plan developed in 2012.  Youth Protection is one of the key Strategic Initiatives in the 5 year plan.

In February 2013 a Youth Protection Program Development Committee was formed. 

The Committee consisted of: two FIRST Vice Presidents, three Department Managers, Legal Counsel, a Regional Director, an FLL and FTC Partner and a FIRST Robotics Coach.

Surveys were conducted for coaches, mentors, partners, regional directors and staff. Those results gave us good information about what the FIRST community was thinking, feeling and doing about this important topic. We took a lot of best practices from the field to incorporate into the Guidelines.

The Committee utilized the Center for Disease Control’s publication “Preventing Child Sexual Abuse Within Youth-Serving Organizations:  Getting Started on Policies and Proceduresas a guide. Members of the Committee also consulted with other youth serving organizations such as the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, 4H, Boys and Girls Clubs, Little League, Catholic Church, and Big Brother, Big Sisters, who were generous with their time and information.

The Committee then spent hours discussing how to apply the concepts and guidelines uniformly, across FIRST’s 4 programs. Some sections were left deliberately vague to allow for the wide range of activities and team structures and some sections are more detailed in terms of situations that are unique to the FIRST experience.

A pilot was launched in the summer of 2013 with 200+ participants who reviewed the Youth Protection Guide and tested the screening process. 

Additional feedback was collected from a focus group made up of coaches and mentors who met several times in Manchester to review and discuss the Youth Protection Guidelines drafts.

Who wrote the Youth Protection Guidelines?  A couple of thousand individuals contributed to the final product. A Team Effort! 


Training for teams:  Team Safety Meeting Video – September 2014

Next we will be working on a set of focused training modules on different topics that will be linked to a Learning Management System. These modules will allow coaches, mentors, and event volunteers to receive FIRST certification in Youth Protection training.

We are also working on a training guide for Youth Mentors.


Keeping Kids Safe – FIRST Youth Protection Behavioral Boundaries

Back to Blog

Add new comment