Troop 845 Youth Protection Policies and Procedures

 

Key Elements of National BSA Youth Protection Policy

·         All adults involved in Scouting shall report to local authorities any good faith suspicion or belief that any scout is or has been physically or sexually abused, physically or emotionally neglected, exposed to any form of violence or threat, exposed to any form of sexual exploitation including the possession, manufacture, or distribution of child pornography, online solicitation, enticement, or showing of obscene material. No adult may abdicate this reporting responsibility to another.

·         All adult leaders are required to take BSA Youth Protection training upon joining the troop and then every two years going forward.

·         Two-deep adult leadership is required for all trips and outings: either two registered adult leaders or one registered adult leader and another adult at least 21 years of age.

·         One-on-one contact between adults and youth members is not permitted. This includes electronic communications such as telephone, texting, email, social media or other similar services. Personal conferences, such as a scoutmaster conference, are to be conducted in the view of other adults and scouts.

·         No scout may sleep in a tent with an adult other than his parent.

·         The complete policy is at http://www.scouting.org/Training/youthprotection.aspx

Troop 845 Youth Protection Culture

To help ensure strict adherence to the BSA Youth Protection policies, Troop 845 is committed to the following procedures and to integrating youth protection into the troop’s culture. Our number one priority is to protect the physical and psychological safety of the scouts.

Adults in Troop 845 are required to adhere to these policies and procedures in all interactions with scouts in the troop as part of official troop activities. Additionally, parents or guardians of scouts are encouraged to consider how all organizations and groups in which their scouts participate manage youth safety.

 

Troop 845 Youth Protection Procedures

The procedures listed below support effective implementation and monitoring of national BSA Youth Protection Standards.

1.      Orientation for new families and scouts

Troop 845 will host a mandatory orientation session for all new scouts and families to review youth protection. This orientation, which does not need to be limited solely to youth protection, will include:

·         Definition and implementation of two-deep leadership with troop examples, including how this applies to trips, travel, advancement, and merit badge work.

·         A discussion of no one-on-one adult scout contact

o   One-on-one conversations between adults and scouts, such as scoutmaster conferences, are to be conducted within view of other scouts and adults.

o   Scouts and adult leaders are not permitted to have one-on-one telephone conversations. In the event that a scout needs to contact an adult leader via telephone, a speakerphone conversation with a parent present is a good option.

o   Scouts cannot sleep in a tent with adult who is not their parent or guardian.

o   Scouts cannot ride alone in a vehicle with an adult who is not their parent or guardian unless permission is granted by the scout’s parent or guardian.

Note: In the event of a serious injury, this rule can be waived if it is necessary to transport the boy for medical care. When this occurs an attempt will be made to contact a parent or guardian in advance. If advance communication is not possible or unsuccessful, parent will be provided with a report of the circumstances and details of the one-on-one contact situation.

o   All rules regarding one-on-one contact also apply to electronic or digital communications. Therefore, there should be no one-on-one adult-scout messages emails, texts, social media communications, or any with other communication platform.

·         The slide presentation for this training is available in the troop’s Google Drive folder.

 

2.      Adult Leader Vetting

National BSA requires troops to establish a vetting process for adult leaders, who are approved by the Troop Committee Chair and the Chartered Organization Representative. The process can include written questions, reference checks and an oral interview. In response, Troop 845 has developed a vetting process.  New Leader Vetting and Leader Reference Check Forms are available in the troop’s Google Drive folder.

 

3.      Youth Training

Scouts receive training on youth protection issues twice per year. One of the trainings will be a facilitated session reviewing grooming behavior of sexual predators and how to Recognize, Resist, and Report risky situations and concerning behaviors. The other training will be a facilitated training on electronic and internet safety. The agenda and goals for youth training are available in the troop’s Google Drive folder.

In order to participate in off-site Troop 845 activities such as weekend trips, summer camps, and service projects, scouts must be up-to-date on their training.

 

4.      Physical Safety

National BSA policy allows for a single adult to drive a vehicle with scouts to a scouting event. Troop 845 will make efforts to ensure that vehicles have two adults and will document in an after-action report where only one adult was available to drive a vehicle, including the reason why there was only one driver. All drivers are expected to follow BSA defensive driving standards (http://www.scouting.org/scoutsource/HealthandSafety/GSS/gss11.aspx).  Adults who do not adhere to this standard will be ineligible to drive.

Adult leaders of weekend and summer trips as well as other troop-related outings, e.g. hiking, climbing, mountain biking, will develop a safety plan for the trip and will hold a safety briefing with scouts and adult participants both in advance of departure and just prior to the event. At the end of the trip the adult leader and Youth Protection Advocate (see section 5) will conduct and after action review and provide a report to the Scoutmaster and Troop Committee Chair.

In the event of a significant injury on a troop outing (laceration requiring stiches, possible broken bone, venomous snake bite, head trauma, 2nd or 3rd degree burn, and the like) the adult leaders are required to make best efforts to utilize 3rd party, experienced medical assistance. This may include calling 911, transporting the scout to the hospital, or utilizing on-site medical staff in locations such as a ski resort or military base. If the troop will be taking an outing on which may make it difficult to reach outside medical resources, national BSA policy requires that at least one adult leader on trip have up-to- date Wilderness First Aid Training.

 

5.      Troop Structure

Troop 845 has created two adult positions to help ensure the successful implementation and execution of this policy:

·         The Youth Protection Advocate (YPA) is a full member of the Troop Committee and will monitor compliance with the requirements of this procedure.

·         The Ombudsman is nominated and approved by the Troop Committee, but will not be a committee member. The Ombudsman will be available for parents or scouts to raise issues within the troop, Youth Protection-related or otherwise, which they either feel that they cannot surface through the Troop Committee or Uniformed Leaders or that they wish to raise anonymously. The Ombudsman will support the parent to resolve the issue, or to bring it to the attention of the Troop Committee or other appropriate adult leader.

 

6.      Policy Reinforcement

This policy will not be effective unless there are specific measures put in place to ensure their implementation and check for their effectiveness. Therefore, it shall be the joint responsibility of the Scoutmaster and Troop Committee Chair to ensure that:

·         Boards of Review include questions about youth protection compliance

·         Scoutmaster conferences address youth protection issues

·         Scoutmaster Minutes address youth protection at least three times per academic year

 

7.      Zero Tolerance Approach

It is the responsibility of all adults associated with Troop 845 to report any and all violations of this procedure to the Youth Protection Advocate. This includes infractions in which the adult is involved, observes, and/or otherwise has knowledge of.   The reporting, investigation, aggregation, and analysis of these infractions will allow Troop 845 to gather the information it needs to continue to improve its youth safety culture. Should an adult affiliated with Troop 845 willfully and/or egregiously violate national BSA or Troop 845 Youth Safety Policies and Procedures, and/or otherwise demonstrate a history of non-compliance in regards to Troop 845 Youth Safety Policies and Procedures, that adult may be removed from Troop 845, his/her leadership position, and/or any role in the troop.

When problems and/or issues are brought to the attention of the YPA, they will be reported to the Troop Committee.  To the extent that issues need to be further elevated they will then be forward to the Chartering Organization, the local Boy Scout Council, and finally Law Enforcement as appropriate.