The following resources are publicly available and listed here to provide the USC community, including minors and their families, information on how to create safe environments and protect minors from abuse. Please note that these resources are only intended as suggestions, and are not endorsed by USC, nor should they be considered an exhaustive list of resources.
Virtual interactions can be a powerful and positive tool, especially for engaging youth and providing meaningful experiences in new and creative ways. However, virtual spaces pose an entirely unique set of risks to a minor’s safety. Below are some resources with tips, advice, and strategies to help keep programming and young people safe online.
- Common sense education – Media and technology resources for parents and educators
- Beau Biden Foundation – Internet safety tips for educators and youth-serving professionals as well as for parents and guardians
- The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children – safety and prevention resources for families and child-serving professionals focusing on real-world safety as well as safety specific to virtual environments through their KidSmartz Personal Safety & NetSmartz Online Safety programs.
Information for parents, guardians, and caretakers
It is critical for parents to talk to children about sexual abuse, but it can be difficult to know what to say or when it’s an appropriate time to have these conversations. The following organizations provide resources that can help parents and caregivers approach these important conversations, empower children to assert their boundaries, and report inappropriate behavior or abuse, all in an age-appropriate way.
- Zero Abuse Project – Provides concepts and information that can help teach children and teens about personal safety
- Committee for Children – A how-to guide for talking to children and empowering them to report and speak up against abuse
- U.S. Center for SafeSport – Free online toolkits and courses for parents and their children to help them understand SafeSport best practices, policies, and how to respond to signs of abuse
- Stop It Now! – Specific resources for parents of children with disabilities
- Beau Biden Foundation – Parent guide to bullying
- Darkness to Light – Talking with children about safety from sexual abuse
Child and adolescent mental health and well-being
Mental health is an essential part of a child’s overall well-being; it affects how they think, feel, develop, how they socially relate and interact with others, and how they cope with stress or problems. The following resources provide important information about promoting awareness and responding to challenges related to child and adolescent mental health.
- National Institute of Mental Health – Provides shareable resources on the topic to promote awareness and information about child and adolescent mental health
- Mental Health America – Information about how to promote children’s mental health
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline – Includes resources related to suicide prevention, warning signs, as well as a crisis line that is available 24/7 for those who may be thinking about suicide, worried about a friend or loved one, or in need of emotional support.
To uphold our commitment to protecting minors and comply with all applicable laws, the university has established mandatory youth protection protocols and reporting responsibilities based on state and federal law to safeguard individuals under the age of 18. These requirements are under the management of USC’s Office of Youth Protection and Programming, in consultation with USC’s Youth Protection Advisory and Working Groups. View policies
USC guidelines for interacting with minors
USC guidelines for interacting with minors
As outlined in USC’s Protecting Minors policy, all members of the university community are expected to be role models for young people and to therefore maintain the highest standards of behavior when interacting with minors. This includes acting in a respectful and responsible manner that is consistent with the university’s Code of Ethics and the behavioral expectations set forth in the Guidelines for Interacting with Minors below.
These guidelines have been developed to help foster safe, welcoming environments that promote the growth and development of minors at USC, help adults avoid exhibiting behaviors that could cause harm or be misinterpreted, and help minors understand what healthy boundaries and appropriate adult-minor interactions should look like.