Building a Safe and Secure Environment For Our Youth
Each year, the Boy Scouts of America recognizes April as Youth Protection Month. As Scout Executive of the Connecticut Yankee Council, I wanted to take this opportunity to make our member families aware of Scouting's policies in regard to Youth Protection and some steps you can take this month to ensure a safe and secure environment for our Scouts.
The Boy Scouts of America has always advocated for parents to become actively involved with their children. In combating child abuse, we stress the importance of parents having ongoing communication with their children. It's always worthwhile to talk to your children every day and take time to listen and observe.
Click here for to view Youth Protection policies and resources
available from Boy Scouts of America.
Leadership & Parent Training
Effective June 1, 2010, the Boy Scouts of America put the following policies in place for our leadership:
- Youth Protection training is required for all BSA registered volunteers, regardless of their position.
- New leaders are required to take Youth Protection training before submitting an application for registration. The certificate of completion for this training must be submitted at the time the application is made and before volunteer service with youth begins.
- Youth protection training must be taken every two years. If a volunteer's Youth Protection training record is not current at the time of recharter, the volunteer will not be re-registered.
One of the reasons Scouting's policies have been so effective over the years boils down to a simple concept: no one-on-one contact between adults and youth members is permitted. Scouting requires that two registered adult leaders, or one registered leader and a parent of a participant, or other adult, one of whom must be 21 years of age or older, is required on all trips and outings. This also applies to unit meetings, merit badge counseling sessions, and even personal meetings such as Scoutmaster conferences. They should all be conducted in a manner with no one-on-one contact between youth and adults.
Additional Resources for Youth & Families
In addition to training for adults, Scouting also has videos available for families and youth of all ages including "It Happened to Me" for Cub Scouts, "A Time to Tell" for Boy Scouts, and "Personal Safety Awareness" for Venturing. Meeting guides and even a Youth Protection quiz are all available online. Contact your Unit Commissioner or District Executive for information on acquiring these resources for your unit.
Suspicion of Abuse or Neglect
If you have a good faith suspicion or belief that a child is being abused or neglected, you are required to report this to the local authorities. If this is happening within any Scouting program, you should notify me at email@example.com of this as well so I may take appropriate action for the safety of our Scouts.
In Scouting, we take the safety and protection of our youth as our highest priority. If you have any questions at all on Scouting's policies, procedures or resources regarding Youth Protection, please contact your District Executive or myself and we will be glad to help.
Thank you for what you do to provide a safe and meaningful program for the youth people we have the privilege to serve.
Louis D. Salute