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BSA hosts 23 other organizations at National Youth Protection Symposium

youth-protectionThe Boy Scouts of America is continually working to remain a leader among youth-serving organizations in the fight against child abuse. And kids who are abused outside of Scouting have a better chance of recovering and thriving by joining youth-serving organizations like Scouting.

Those were two of my big takeaways after attending the two-day National Youth Protection Symposium this week in Grapevine, Texas.

The BSA was one of 24 youth-serving organizations at the event. These organizations, which serve a combined 20 million youth, gathered to listen to the top minds in abuse prevention and share best practices. The common goal: keep kids safe from those who might do them harm.

One of the experts who spoke was Victor Vieth, executive director of the Gundersen National Child Protection Training Center.

He said that the majority of abuse cases happen within the home, and the perpetrator is usually someone the boy or girl knows. In other words, throw out the stereotype of the unknown individual we were warned about in those “Stranger Danger” videos.

This revelation puts Scout leaders in a unique position Continue reading

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Youth Protection Champions: Who they are, and why you should care

youth-protectionHave a Youth Protection question you’re not comfortable asking some stranger at the council or national level? Ever feel like Youth Protection is “too national” and doesn’t directly apply to your unit?

I hear you. And so does the BSA’s National Youth Protection committee.

Check out the new Youth Protection Champions program, debuting later this year. Starting with the unit-level Champion and going all the way down to the volunteer who chairs the national YP committee, the program is designed to keep Youth Protection on everyone’s mind by embedding key barriers to abuse into every aspect of the program and every unit in Scouting.

A unit-level Champion’s job is about more than just making sure everyone is Youth Protection trained. (By the way, if your training isn’t up-to-date, fix that immediately.) The Champions fill in that two-year gap between trainings to promote new initiatives, increase awareness, distribute materials, and monitor the unit’s Youth Protection strategy.

The timing’s perfect, because April is Youth Protection Month. Follow the jump for a first look at this important new program, including the Champion’s roles and how someone like you can become a Champion. Continue reading