Youth Protection policies are central to the BSA’s commitment to keep our members safe. Every adult volunteer must complete Youth Protection Training when they register and must retake the training every two years. Youth and adult handbooks also provide information on Youth Protection, as does the BSA website. Still, questions sometimes arise about the rules. Here are answers to some common questions.
THE BARRIERS TO ABUSE SAY THAT THERE MUST BE TWO REGISTERED ADULTS PRESENT FOR ALL SCOUTING ACTIVITIES AND MEETINGS. DOES THAT INCLUDE MERIT BADGE COUNSELING? FUNDRAISING EVENTS?
Yes. However, the parent or legal guardian of the Scout may serve as the second adult. This parent or legal guardian does not have to be a registered leader.
DO LION AND TIGER DEN MEETINGS REQUIRE TWO-DEEP LEADERSHIP SINCE ADULT PARTNERS ARE PRESENT?
Yes. A Lion or Tiger adult partner is not considered a registered leader for meeting two-deep leadership requirements. Lion or Tiger partners, as well as other pack leaders, provide a pool of adults who could be registered as an assistant den leader to meet this requirement.
IF ONLY ONE LEADER SHOWS UP, DOES THAT MEAN WE HAVE TO CANCEL THE MEETING OR ACTIVITY?
Yes. This policy is in place to prevent abuse in and out of Scouting. Adults should never be alone with youth who are not their children.
THE BARRIERS TO ABUSE STATES ‘ONE-ON-ONE CONTACT BETWEEN ADULT LEADERS AND YOUTH MEMBERS IS PROHIBITED BOTH INSIDE AND OUTSIDE OF SCOUTING.’ WHAT DOES ‘INSIDE AND OUTSIDE OF SCOUTING’ MEAN?
The BSA has adopted its youth protection policies for the safety and well-being of its members. These policies primarily protect youth members; however, they also serve to protect adult leaders. All parents and caregivers should understand that our leaders are to abide by these safeguards. Registered leaders must follow these guidelines with all Scouting youth outside of Scouting activities. There are careers that may require one-on-one contact with youth; however, aside from those roles, volunteers must abide by the youth protection policies of the BSA even outside of Scouting activities. This policy is in place to prevent abuse in and out of Scouting. Adults should never be alone with youth who are not their children.
DOES THIS MEAN MY SON CANNOT HAVE A SLEEPOVER IF I AM THE ONLY ADULT PRESENT?
Yes. We strongly encourage all adults to use the Barriers to Abuse in and out of Scouting.
HOW DO THE BARRIERS TO ABUSE APPLY TO TRANSPORTATION?
An adult may not drive or be alone in the car with a Scout unless that Scout is their own child. An adult may drive two or more Scouts.
WHAT DO I DO IF I SUSPECT SOMEONE HAS VIOLATED YOUTH PROTECTION POLICIES?
Contact your local Scout executive immediately. In a serious situation in which the Scout executive cannot be reached, call the Scouts First Helpline: 844-726-8871.
WHERE CAN I LEARN MORE?
Visit go.scoutingmagazine.org/ypfaqs for the full list of FAQs.