YOUTH PROTECTION

YOUTH PROTECTION IS OUR #1 PRIORITY!

While BSA continuously evaluates and strengthens its Youth Protection programs, the organization recognizes that abuse can happen anywhere, even in Scouting. BSA’s safeguards include the following:

Leadership Selection

The Boy Scouts of America takes great pride in the quality of our adult leadership. Being a leader in the BSA is a privilege, not a right. The quality of the program and the safety of our youth members call for high-quality adult leaders. We work closely with our chartered organizations to help recruit the best possible leaders for their units.

The adult application requests background information that should be checked by the unit committee or the chartered organization before accepting an applicant for unit leadership. While no current screening techniques exist that can identify every potential child molester, we can reduce the risk of accepting a child molester by learning all we can about an applicant for a leadership position—his or her experience with children, why he or she wants to be a Scout leader, and what discipline techniques he or she would use.

Required Training

  • Youth Protection training is REQUIRED for all BSA registered volunteers.
  • Youth Protection training must be taken every two (2) years.
    If a volunteer’s Youth Protection training record is not current at the time of recharter, the volunteer will not be registered.

 

DID YOU KNOW?

You do not have to be a registered member of BSA to take Youth Protection training!

Simply go to MyScouting.org  and create an account. You’ll receive an email notification with your account information, including a member ID/reference number. From the My.Scouting.org portal, click Home then My Dashboard from the menu list. The My Training page displays to take Youth Protection training.

Upon completion, you may print a training certificate to submit with a volunteer application. Your training will automatically be updated in our system and associated with the member ID/reference number issued when you created the account.

When your volunteer application is approved, you will receive a BSA membership card that includes your member ID number.

Youth Protection Reporting Procedures for Volunteers

There are two types of Youth Protection–related reporting procedures all volunteers must follow:

  1. When you witness or suspect any child has been abused or neglected
    See “Mandatory Report of Child Abuse” below
  2. When you witness a violation of the BSA’s Youth Protection policies
    See “Reporting Violations of BSA Youth Protection Policies” below

 

Mandatory Report of Child Abuse

All persons involved in Scouting shall report to local authorities any good-faith suspicion or belief that any child is or has been physically or sexually abused, physically or emotionally neglected, exposed to any form of violence or threat, exposed to any form of sexual exploitation, including the possession, manufacture, or distribution of child pornography, online solicitation, enticement, or showing of obscene material. You may not abdicate this reporting responsibility to any other person.

Steps to Reporting Child Abuse

  1. Ensure the child is in a safe environment.
  2. In cases of child abuse or medical emergencies, call 911 immediately.
    In addition, if the suspected abuse is in the Scout’s home or family, you are REQUIRED to contact the local child abuse hotline.
  3. Notify the Scout executive or his/her designee.

Click to find your local Scout Executive.
Click for the Incident Information form.
For more information on incident reporting, CLICK HERE.

Reporting Violations of BSA Youth Protection Policies

If you think any of the BSA’s Youth Protection policies have been violated, including those described within Scouting’s Barriers to Abuse, you must notify your local council Scout executive or his/her designee so appropriate action can be taken for the safety of our Scouts.

Scouting’s Barriers to Abuse

The BSA has adopted the following policies for the safety and well-being of its members. These policies primarily protect youth members; however, they also serve to protect adult leaders. Parents and youth using these safeguards outside the Scouting program further increase the safety of their youth. Scout leaders in positions of youth leadership and supervision outside the Scouting program will find these policies help protect youth in those situations as well.

Digital Privacy

A key ingredient for a safe and healthy Scouting experience is the respect for privacy. Advances in technology are enabling new forms of social interaction that extend beyond the appropriate use of cameras or recording devices (see “Scouting’s Barriers to Abuse”). Sending sexually explicit photographs or videos electronically or “sexting” by cell phones is a form of texting being practiced primarily by young adults and children as young as middle-school age. Sexting is neither safe, nor private, nor an approved form of communication and can lead to severe legal consequences for the sender and the receiver. Although most campers and leaders use digital devices responsibly, educating them about the appropriate use of cell phones and cameras would be a good safety and privacy measure. To address cyber-safety education, the BSA has introduced the age- and grade-specific Cyber Chip program, which addresses topics including cyberbullying, cell-phone use, texting, blogging, gaming, and identity theft.

BSA Social Media Guidelines

The “Three R’s” of Youth Protection

The “three R’s” of Youth Protection convey a simple message for the personal awareness of our youth members:

  • RECOGNIZE that anyone could be a molester.
  • RESPOND when someone is doing something that goes against your gut or against the safety guidelines.
  • REPORT attempted or actual molestation or any activity that you think is wrong to a parent or other trusted adult.

Key Resources