Legal Considerations for Volunteers in a Fab Lab

(Todd Davis) #1


We are interested in starting a volunteer program for young adults ages 15-18 in our lab. Has anyone had any experience with this process? Does anyone have any standard operating guidelines that they are willing to share? And are there any legal considerations we should be aware of? Our lab is located in Ohio/U.S.A.

-Thank you

(Terri Willingham) #2

We accept volunteers ages 16+ but require an onsite (or at least nearby) adult for anyone under 18. Since our Fab Lab is in a mall, with a coffee shop within shouting distance, it’s fairly easy for adults to hang out. We also have generous work spaces and wifi . Once we get to know a student we can look at less parent participation but we always start out with requiring an adult.

Our volunteer page is here: and from there interested volunteers can go to the volunteer registration form. Before they can fill in any fields, they have to agree to our waiver and code of conduct policy:

We’re in the process of registering our nonprofit with the Dept of Children & Families in FL , where we’re located, and getting all our board members, staff, interns and volunteers who work with children properly screened, which will make some of this easier. Right now, most of us have third party screenings from other work or programs, but we want to standardize it for our Fab Lab staff.

We also have a policy that there are always two adults with children at any given time, and any organization bringing children on site, we require there to be 1 adult for every 10 children from the visiting organization or group.

Hope some of this is helpful.
AMRoC Fab Lab
Tampa, FL

(Todd Davis) #3

Terri, thank you so much for responding to this posting. Your information is was very helpful, and gives me much to consider as I move forward on this process. I greatly appreciate your assistance.

-Take care,