Online Interactions

All University of Florida-affiliated online programs or events (as defined in the OYCS Scope) engaging minors under the age of 18 must register with the Office of Youth Compliance Services prior to commencing program operations. Online Programs or events who fail to register with the Office of Youth Compliance Services may be denied permission to continue operations at UF. Click here for guidance on your whether your event needs to be registered

Annual training is required if you will engage with youth in online environments. For training information please visit our Training Page

Supervision of Minors

Online/Virtual Interactions: Staff-to-Participant Ratios

Below are minimum staff-to-participant ratios for UF-Affiliated youth activities in online or virtual environments. All aspects of the activity should also be taken into account, including the number and age of participants, the location of the activity, the risks associated with the activity, whether audio or video is involved, breakout rooms for smaller groups, and the age and experience of the responsible adults.

Online Sessions. For each age group, by adding an additional amount of online participants, you will need to at least one additional staff member. Ex. Online program with ages 9-14 yrs has 40 participants, you would need 4 staff.
Online Sessions with Break Out Rooms. For each age group, you need at least two staff in each break out room. Ex. 100 participants in 5 Break out rooms for ages 15-17 years would require: 5 rooms+2 staff per room= 10 staff total would be best practice. A floating staff member may be utilized to jump in rooms in order to have the proper ratio as needed. This would be based on the program arrangements.

Additionally, UF-Affiliated youth activities are responsible for providing more than two authorized adults to help ensure appropriate levels of supervision during all online or virtual interactions and communications with minors.

Programs should also establish procedures for registration, waiting rooms, sign-on, chats/communications, recording, monitoring, or removal of participants in online or virtual activities. More information related to the supervision of minors, including standards for programs with online interactions can be found in UF’s annual Youth Protection Training (YCS800). Program employees, volunteers, and other individuals working with minors must successfully complete this training prior to the start of program activities.

Best Practices and Resources

For check lists and step by step directions for various platforms visit our Online Resources page. 

For additional information please view the Scope of Registration.

The OYCS online registration process has been structured into 5 simple steps.

Children’s Online Activities and Programs

University Web sites are operated by the University of Florida and affiliated entities. In general, the websites are intended for use by adults, unless they are specifically labeled for children.  UF does not knowingly collect Personal Information from children under the age of 13.  If we learn that we have collected Personal Information of a child under the age of 13 that was not supplied to us voluntarily, we will delete that data from our systems.

Children – Some internet sites may ask you to share information about yourself. Before sending any information about yourself over the Internet to us or anyone else, be sure to ask your parents for permission.

Parents/Guardians – the University recommends that parents/guardians take an active role in their children’s use of the Internet. We encourage you to talk to your children about safe and responsible use of their personal information while using the Internet.  Here are some tips:

  • Teach children never to give Personal Information (such as name, address, phone number, school name, etc.) unless supervised by a parent, guardian or responsible adult.
  • Know the sites your children are visiting and which sites are appropriate.
  • Look for website privacy policies and know how your child’s information is treated.

Some UF Web sites present UF-sponsored information or activities that are specifically designed for children.  However, the Web sites are intended to be used only by adults to voluntarily share information online, so that a child who is under the age of 13 can participate in these activities (e.g., summer camps, classes, programs) or so that the child can receive information mailed or e-mailed from UF (newsletters, class schedules, recruitment information). When a parent or legal guardian voluntarily signs their child up for one of these programs, the parent may be asked to provide:

  • The child’s full name
  • Full home mailing address
  • Phone number
  • Birth date
  • School, current grade level
  • Email address
  • Parent or legal guardian’s name and e-mail address

The parent or legal guardian supplying the child’s information will be asked to acknowledge that they are, in fact, the parent or guardian who is legally authorized to disclose this information about the child.  UF, through its Web sites, does not condition participation in any of our online activities on the disclosure of more information than is reasonably necessary to participate in the activity.  This information will not be transferred, disclosed or shared with a third party and will not be used for other purposes.

Parents or guardians have the right:

  • To review personal information that has been recorded by a UF Web site about their child,
  • To refuse to allow further collection of the information,
  • To be given the choice of consenting to the collection and internal use of information, but prohibiting the disclosure of that information to third parties (unless disclosure is integral to the site or service, in which case, this will be clearly stated), and
  • To require the deletion of any information that has been recorded.

For information regarding the UF Online/Internet Privacy Statement visit https://privacy.ufl.edu/privacy-policies-and-procedures/onlineinternet-privacy-statement/