Youth Protection

The BSA places the greatest importance on creating the most secure environment possible for our youth members. All Cub Scout and Boy Scout adult volunteers should take this course. It covers the BSA's Youth Protection policies, kinds of abuse, signs of abuse, how to respond to disclosure of abuse, and proper reporting procedures. It does so by taking you through situations that require choices and produce consequences. Successful completion of this course requires an 80 percent or higher score.

If you take this test as a registered member of the BSA and designate your local council, your completion will be reported back to your council to adjust your training records. You'll also be offered a certificate of completion.

"Three Rs" of Youth Protection

  1. Recognize that anyone could be a child molester and be aware of situations that could lead to abuse.
  2. Resist advances made by child molesters to avoid being abused.
  3. Report any molestation or attempted molestation to parents or other trusted adults.

BSA Strategy to Guide the Youth Protection Program

The Boy Scouts of America has identified the societal problem of child abuse as one of five unacceptables. We have adopted a strategy to guide our Youth Protection program.

  1. Educating Scouting volunteers, parents, and Scouts to aid in the detection and prevention of child abuse: This training program is a key element in the educational program of the BSA. In addition, information is provided to members and their families through BSA publications and video productions.
  2. Establishing leader—selection procedures to prevent offenders from entering the BSA leadership ranks: The adult leader application form requests relevant information that should be checked by the chartered organization before accepting the applicant into unit leadership. The National Council Registration Service routinely screens applicants against a listing of individuals known to be ineligible for BSA membership.
  3. Establishing policies that create barriers to child abuse within the program: BSA has adopted various policies to guide the interaction of adult and youth members.
  4. Encouraging Scouts to report improper behavior in order to identify offenders quickly: Through stressing the "three Rs" of Youth Protection, members are encouraged to report attempted or actual abuse.
  5. Swift removal and reporting of alleged offenders: Anytime abuse is suspected in Scouting, the alleged offender will not be eligible to participate in the program until completely exonerated of the accusations. The Scout executive is responsible for reporting all suspected abuse to the proper authorities irrespective of whether the person making the allegations to him reports to the authorities.

Youth Protection and the Boy Scouts of America

Because of the great concern the Boy Scouts of America has for the problem of child abuse in our society, the Youth Protection program was developed in 1988 to help safeguard both our youth and adult members. In support of our continued efforts to offer training to as many Scouters as possible and to support the requirement of having at least one youth protection-trained adult, a 30 minute internet version of youth protection training has been developed.

“Youth Protection Guidelines for Adult Leaders and Parents” training course can be completed by online. This resource can ONLY be accessed through the approved BSA local council websites. This new online training course will help ensure that no activities will need to be cancelled because a youth protection-trained leaders is not available. A leader may take either the online course or the regular youth protection course that the council has been offering.

Upon completion of the online training, registered adult members will receive the following: Certificate of Completion, Letter from the Scout Executive, DAC Child Abuse Reporting Requirements and Course Information Handout. The training course is offered to schools, churches, or other youth-serving organizations in the Council. People who do not have access to a computer at home can go to a local library to take the course. Those completing the online training who are not registered adult members will receive all of the above except the certificate of completion.

Also see Guide to Safe Scouting

Online Training:

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