Youth protection is of paramount importance to the Boy Scouts of America. In response to recent media coverage about Boys Scouts of America’s efforts to keep Scouts safe, click here to learn the facts.
The Boy Scouts of America places a great importance on creating the most secure environment possible for our youth members. Recognizing that youth protection requires sustained vigilance, the BSA developed a multi-layered youth protection program and continues to develop and enhance efforts to protect youth through clear policies, as well as training and education programs for scouts, parents, and adult volunteers.
As part of our comprehensive screening and youth protection efforts, prompt reporting of inappropriate conduct with youth is required of all Scout leaders. The BSA records such allegations in the Ineligible Volunteer Files—whether or not the adults involved were Scout leaders or the youth involved were Scouts. By being proactive and acting upon many kinds of information—including tips and hearsay that cannot be proven in a court of law—the BSA has successfully kept dangerous or potentially dangerous individuals, as well as inappropriate role models, out of our organization.
Know the Facts
- Scouts are safer because of the Ineligible Volunteer Files.
- The sole purpose of the files is to prevent those deemed ineligible from registering as Scout leaders.
- It is actually very simple: The Ineligible Volunteer Files links a name with information that led the BSA to determine that the individual was not suitable to lead youth. As part of the membership application process, the names of adult applicants approved by local chartered organizations are cross-referenced with the names included in the Ineligible Volunteer Files. If the individual appears in the files, he or she is not permitted to join Scouting.
- The use of the files at the time of application is a long-standing and well-documented process. While the records maintained by the BSA are confidential, their existence is a well-known component of Scouting’s registration process.
- The confidentiality of the Ineligible Volunteer Files encourages prompt reporting. BSA members are instructed to report any suspicion of abuse to local authorities and Scout executives, but BSA has always believed that victims and their families have the right to choose for themselves whether to share their stories publicly. People are more likely to come forward to report real or perceived misconduct if they can do so confidentially.
You can learn additional details about our youth protection efforts by visiting www.bsayouthprotection.org
Under “Know the Facts” and “Timeline” you will find a full list of BSA policies and procedures for more than 100 years.
Youth Protection is of paramount importance to the BSA and even one incident of abuse is too many.
We are saddened by any incident of abuse and extend our sympathies to the victims. Recognizing that youth protection requires sustained vigilance, BSA has continued to develop and enhance its efforts to protect youth.
BSA has established a multi-tiered Youth Protection approach focused on effective volunteer screening, education and training, and clear policies to protect youth.
Numerous experts have recognized that the education and training programs protecting Scouts today are among the best in the youth serving community.
(See 2012 Associated Press article)
Youth Protection Resource Website
Additional information and resources can be accessed on the BSA dedicated Youth Protection http://www.scouting.org/Training/YouthProtection.aspx.
We encourage you to look through this site and become familiar with all of the efforts Scouting has made to better protect our youth.