The BSA has announced bold, wide-ranging updates to its Youth Protection program as part of an ongoing effort to protect young people from child abuse.
This starts with an enhanced online Youth Protection training course all volunteers and professionals must complete.
Even those Scout leaders who took the previous version of Youth Protection training must log into My.Scouting.org and complete the updated Youth Protection course. You have until Oct. 1, 2018, to do so.
The updated course will take about an hour to complete. It includes cutting-edge research from the top experts in the field of child abuse prevention. It covers topics like bullying, neglect, exposure to violence, physical and emotional abuse, and child sexual abuse.
“There is no substitute for hearing directly from experts who have spent their careers studying child predators and abusers,” said Michael Johnson, the BSA’s director of Youth Protection. “They shine a new light on the challenge we all face in protecting kids and how parents and volunteers can put barriers in place to keep them away.”
Next, the BSA has made it impossible for an individual to register as a new volunteer without first completing Youth Protection training. Unit rechartering is affected, too. Packs, troops, posts, ships and crews cannot recharter until all leaders — 100 percent of them — are current on their Youth Protection training.
Finally, beginning June 1, 2018, all adults who will be present at a Scouting activity for 72 hours or more must register as volunteers and complete a background check and Youth Protection training. This includes parents, merit badge counselors and any other adult who will be there for an extended time.
The BSA is serious about fighting child abuse, and you’re an important part of that fight. Thanks for your vigilance and dedication.
Who must complete the updated Youth Protection course?
All registered Scouters (volunteers and professionals), including any adult who will be present at a Scouting activity for 72 total hours or more.
The updated course debuted in February 2018; if you took Youth Protection training prior to that, you’ll need to complete the updated course by Oct. 1, 2018.
How do I take the updated Youth Protection course?
Here’s a PDF that outlines the steps.
What’s updated in this Youth Protection course?
- Videos from survivors of abuse. “In developing this training, we discussed whether or not to include survivor videos,” Johnson said. “It was the right decision. Their testimony is powerful and highlights how predators work and the tragic impact like nothing else.”
- Video interviews with psychologists and law enforcement professionals who discuss the root causes of abuse, how to recognize it and how to respond.
- Three all-new training modules and a test.
What are the latest Youth Protection training requirements?
Youth Protection training must be taken every two years.
Effective Sept. 1, 2017:
- No unit may recharter without all leaders being current on their Youth Protection training.
Effective Jan. 1, 2018:
- No new adult volunteer can be registered without first completing Youth Protection training.
- No council, region or national leader will be allowed to renew his or her registration if their Youth Protection training is not current.
Effective June 1, 2018:
- Adults accompanying a Scouting unit who are present at the activity for 72 total hours or more must be registered as leaders. This includes completing a criminal background check and Youth Protection training. The 72 hours need not be consecutive.