Child abuse is an increasingly serious, widespread problem in society, affecting every ethnic group, socioeconomic level, and geographic area. The significance of this problem is revealed by the nearly 3 million cases of child abuse reported each year in the United States. The Boy Scouts of America has developed a comprehensive Youth Protection training program to establish barriers to abuse and to prepare its leaders to help children who have been, or are being, abused.
The training program includes information for parents and Scouts that is required to be reviewed upon joining, as well as the video It Happened to Me for Cub Scouts, A Time to Tell for Boy Scouts and Personal Safety Awareness for Venturers. Materials are for use in youth meetings to show youth members and their parents what they should do to recognize, resist and report all forms of abuse.
In addition, the BSA has adopted a comprehensive set of policies and procedures to help ensure that Scouting continues to be safe for all participants. Background checks are required for all new leaders as of April 2003, and the Boy Scouts of America will not tolerate any form of child abuse in its program and will take all necessary steps to remove any offenders from membership in the BSA and report all cases of suspected abuse to the proper legal authorities.
Every leader in Scouting must complete Youth Protection training upon joining and must renew this training every two years. Parents will also find this training valuable. In addition to a thorough review of BSA Youth Protection policies, the training develops an increased awareness of Youth Protection issues.
Your unit trainer, unit leaders, unit commissioner, district training chair, or district executive can provide information on how to receive this important training.
Child Abuse Reporting Requirements
Leaders are encouraged to be familiar with child abuse reporting requirements. If you suspect child abuse, follow the instructions provided in the Child Abuse Reporting Requirements document. Click here for Pennsylvania. Click here for Maryland.
Important Changes to the Boy Scouts of America’s Youth Protection Training Policies
Youth safety is the No. 1 concern of the BSA. To increase awareness of this societal problem and to create even greater barriers to abuse than already exist today in Scouting, the Boy Scouts of America is implementing several important changes to further enhance its Youth Protection policies:
Effective June 1, 2010:
- Youth Protection Training is required for all registered volunteers.
- New leaders are required to take Youth Protection Training before they submit their application for registration. The certificate of completion for this training must be submitted at the time 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.
To ensure these policies are fully implemented, please take the following steps:
- If you have not taken Youth Protection Training within the past two years, please log on to MyScouting and take the training. Be sure to have your member ID number. The number can be found on your Boy Scouts of America membership card.
- If you do not know your member ID number, contact your unit leader or committee chairman. Your council can also assist you.
- If you have taken Youth Protection Training online but did not input your member ID number, please log back on to the Training section of MyScouting and input your member ID so the training will be linked with your records.
- If you have taken Youth Protection Training within the past two years but did not take the course online, log on to MyScouting to ensure your records are up to date, or contact your council and have them verify that your Youth Protection Training records are accurate.
- Finally, please share these important changes with other Scouters.
Youth Protection Training is available online at
To find out more about the Youth Protection policies of the Boy Scouts of America and how to help Scouting keep your family safe, see the information available in any of the Cub Scouting or Boy Scouting handbooks, or go to http://www.scouting.org/Training/YouthProtection.aspx.
Thank you for your commitment to our nation’s young people and to Scouting.
Frequently Asked Questions about Youth Protection policies
For a list of FAQs about Youth Protection, click here.