October is Youth Protection Awareness Month
Welcome to Youth Protection Awareness Month!
While keeping our Scouts safe is year-round business, a few actions now will help make your unit a safe haven all year long.
Youth Protection Policy and Training (updated 11/22/16)
**Please note** Chester County Council has stricter Youth Protection Training (YPT) requirements, which supersede the national policy. Click here for the executive board resolution.
Child Abuse Prevention training for Scouts - As new Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts join your unit, make sure they complete the front section of their handbook dealing with child abuse with an adult as part of the joining or Bobcat requirements. If your unit hasn’t already, now is a good time to schedule a viewing of “A Time to Tell” for Boy Scouts and “It Happened to Me” for Cub Scouts. Remember, for Cub Scouts, a parent should be present during the video. Boy Scouts over 15 may find the topics covered in “Personal Safety Awareness” for Venturers to be more relevant. The Council Service Center Staff can assist you with finding the videos and discussion guides.
New Volunteer Requirements - In Chester County Council, all new volunteers (aka Leaders) must take Youth Protection Training (YPT) in order to be registered. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania requires that all volunteers working with youth provide 3 background clearances to the organizations where they volunteer. Click here for more information. The Boy Scouts of America also runs national background checks on all new registered leaders. Please note that it is the unit’s responsibility to check the references that are listed on the adult application. Is it clear in your unit who has this responsibility?
Renewing Volunteer Requirements - In Chester County Council, Youth Protection Training must be kept current during the entire charter period (January 1st through December 31st, 2017). This, in effect requires the training to be taken each year. Please keep these council requirements in mind as you proceed to the National BSA website for additional information and to take the online training.
Now is the time to make sure all registered volunteers have taken Youth Protection Training during 2016 so each unit's annual charter process goes smoothly. Each unit's leader (Cubmaster, Scoutmaster, or Crew Advisor), committee chair and chartered organization representative can log in to their my.Scouting account and get online access to the training records for their unit. Individuals can also view their own training records and take training courses (including YPT) on my.Scouting.org.
Taking Youth Protection Training - YPT
- If you have never taken online Youth Protection Training (YPT):
Go to my.Scouting.org and click on the Create Account button. Follow the instructions to set up your my.Scouting account.
- If you've taken online training in the past:
Please follow these steps to verify that your BSA ID# is linked with your my.Scouting account. That way, any future training courses completed in the my.Scouting portal will automatically update in council records.
1. Navigate to my.Scouting.org and login with your username and password
2. In the upper left corner, click on Menu, and select 'Legacy Web Tools' in the drop down menu, then click on 'Manage Member ID'.
3. Under 'Manage Member ID', select Chester County Council - West Chester, PA - #539 in the drop down 'Council Name' menu.
4. Enter BSA ID# (contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you do not know this) and click on the 'Add' button.
5. Click on the 'Save' button and then 'Close'.
- Take Training:
Log in to your my.Scouting account, click on 'Menu' in the upper left corner and select 'My Dashboard'. The YPT training portal will be the default page. Use the submenu (YPT - Training Center - Requirements - Completions) to view your training records, requirements, status as well as to take the course. You may save (or print) your training certificates through the training portal.
The training can also be done in person with a video and discussion guide – it could be done at the end of a leaders' meeting. Just be sure to submit a readable training roster to the council so that each person's record can be updated. Contact the council service center to request a YPT dvd.
Taking these steps now can help ensure Scouting remains a safe haven for our Scouts. It will also help to make sure all of your leaders are “on the same page” when it comes to Youth Protection policies and procedures - how to follow them and how to enforce them.
Frequently Asked Questions about Youth Protection Policies
Online Youth Protection Training Instructions (pdf file)
The Need for Annual Youth Protection Training
The BSA Youth Protection Plan is recognized as an example to follow in the youth serving industry. As adult leaders, we must be diligent, vigilant and aware of the National policy and plan to protect our youth.
There are 15 Barriers to Abuse that were developed primarily for the protection of BSA youth. Ask yourself how many you know by heart or could write down. Being familiar with these barriers and the things to look for is important. An annual reminder can only help us keep our protection awareness sharp.
This annual renewal policy should reduce, or eliminate, time and effort by volunteers and staff to manage the process of assuring that all of our leaders are current in their Youth Protection Training. It might seem that this change in policy is a hardship. We know that your time is valuable. Spending 30-40 minutes annually may help insure our Scouts are safer. How can that not be time well spent? Training does not prevent a person from abusing kids. Training helps the rest of us to eliminate their opportunities to abuse kids.
YOUth Protection, it begins with you!
Youth Protection Champion
Chester County Council, BSA
Thank you for your commitment to our nation’s young people and to Scouting.