Standards for child and youth development programs

2020 Edition

Child and Youth Development Program Administration (CYD-AM) 5: Ethical Practices

The program engages in honest, truthful, and responsible conduct, transactions, partnerships, and relationships.
2020 Edition




Sound administration and management increase program quality and sustainability; promote financial accountability and viability; support transparency and openness; and reduce risk, loss, and liability exposure.
Related Standards:
The program’s practices fully meet the standard, as indicated by full implementation of the practices outlined in the Practice Standards.
Practices are basically sound but there is room for improvement, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards.
Practice requires significant improvement, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards.
Implementation of the standard is minimal or there is no evidence of implementation at all, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards.
Self-Study EvidenceOn-Site EvidenceOn-Site Activities
  • Publicly available documents/materials (e.g., annual report, Form 990, URL to the programs website, program brochure/literature)
  • Policies and procedures for fundraising practices (CYD-AM 5.02)
  • Policies and procedures for conflicts of interest (CYD-AM 5.03, 5.04)
  • A description of the code(s) of ethics staff use in making decisions and fulfilling their professional responsibilities
  • Mission statement
  • Financial statements/reports
  • Meeting minutes documenting discussions of potential and apparent conflicts of interest, if applicable
  • Interview:
    1. Program Administrator and/or Director
    2. Program Personnel
    3. Person (or representative of entity) responsible for oversight, if applicable
    4. Member(s) of advisory group
    5. Children, youth, families, and other stakeholders

CYD-AM 5.01

The program promotes open, transparent, and ethical operations by:
  1. providing the public with access to clear, timely, and accurate information about the program’s activities and finances; and
  2. accurately conveying its mission in all communications that contain such a representation (e.g., in flyers distributed to community members, or in applications for funding).
Related Standards:


Donors, volunteers, public officials, and family members of program participants are among those for whom access to information should be assured.
When the program is a not-for-profit, the federal Form 990 filing may be used as a source of information. COA recognizes that for-profit and military programs are not required to disclose financial information to the public. 

CYD-AM 5.02

A program that raises funds through grants, contracts, or individual solicitation from the general public:
  1. accurately describes the purpose for which solicitations are being made;
  2. spends funds for the purposes they were solicited, with the exception of reasonable costs for administration of the fundraising program;
  3. maintains accounting segregation for restricted funds; and
  4. respects donor confidentiality requests.


COA recognizes that programs will take direction from their grants or contracts where those grants or contracts have requirements that conflict with the expectations of the standard (e.g., if a grant or contract does not permit any portion of the funds awarded to be spent on the administration of the fundaising program).


 Regarding element (d) of the standard, the program should protect the confidentiality of donors who request anonymity by ensuring that such donors’ names are not published or listed in newsletters, articles, annual reports, or other publicly available documents.
NA The program does not raise funds through grants, contracts, or individual solicitation from the general public.

CYD-AM 5.03

Conflict of interest policies and procedures ensure that contracts and business arrangements serve the program’s and program participants’ best interests, not private interests.

CYD-AM 5.04

Conflict of interest policies and procedures ensure that personnel, members of the entity providing oversight, members of the group providing guidance, and community partners who have a financial interest in the program’s operations, assets, business transactions, or leases:
  1. disclose this information; and
  2. do not participate in any discussion or vote taken with respect to such interests.


If the program is part of an organization that has a governing body, governing body members who are part of the organization’s audit committee cannot receive compensation for professional services they provide as consultants.


Element (b) does not apply to owners in private, for-profit organizations. 

CYD-AM 5.05

Personnel know and follow an appropriate code of ethics in making decisions and fulfilling their professional responsibilities.
The National AfterSchool Association (NAA) developed a Code of Ethics that outlines the ethical responsibilities after school professionals have towards children, families, and communities.  For more information about accessing the NAA Code of Ethics, please see the CYD-AM Reference List.