Over the decades, the Boy Scouts of America has been a leader in developing training and policies designed to keep young people safe. These comprehensive policies were considered groundbreaking when they were developed and soon became the standard used by other organizations for safeguarding youth. But when it comes to the safety of children, our goal is to continually improve.
Get Started - How to Take Youth Protection Training
You do not have to be a registered member of the Boy Scouts of America to take Youth Protection training.
A Continued Commitment to Youth Protection
The Boy Scouts of America has worked with experts in the field of child abuse, child sexual abuse and maltreatment to develop training and resources that will further strengthen our ability to protect youth. These include:
- Fully updated and revised Youth Protection Training developed with leaders in the field of child abuse prevention and includes insights from experts, survivors and the latest strategies for recognizing and preventing major forms of abuse. This is the designated Youth Protection training for all adults. There is no longer separate Youth Protection training for Venturing and Exploring Leaders and Adults.
- Expanded youth protection content across all our communications channels will inform and engage our volunteers and parents.
- An expanded ScoutsFirst Helpline to aid volunteers and families in addressing potentially dangerous situations.
- The BSA also provides unlimited counseling and support for healing to anyone who has ever been abused in Scouting.
- Under Barriers to Abuse there must be two registered adults present for all Scouting activities and meetings. SEE FAQ
- There must be a registered female adult leader over 21 in every unit serving females. A registered female adult leader over 21 must be present for any activity involving female youth.
- All adults accompanying a Scouting unit who are present at the activity for 72 total hours or more must be registered as leaders. The 72 hours need not be consecutive.
- One-on-one contact between adult leaders and youth members is prohibited both inside and outside of Scouting.
Who must complete Youth Protection Training
Policies to ensure compliance with mandatory training requirements:
- No new leader can be registered without first completing youth protection training.
- No council, regional or national leader will be allowed to renew their registration if they are not current on their youth protection training.
- No unit may re-charter without all leaders being current on their youth protection training. Registrars no longer have the ability to approve charters without full compliance.
- Adults accompanying units on activities who are present at the activity for 72 hours or more, must also take Youth Protection Training. The 72 hours need not be consecutive.
- Adult Youth Protection Training is required for adult program participants 18 years or older. Adult program participants (Venturing, Order of the Arrow, Exploring) must complete adult Youth Protection Training before submitting their adult application
- Youth Protection Training in the Cascade Pacific Council is required every two years.
District Leaders and Merit Badge Counselors: District volunteer renewals are effective July 1st each year. When registering or renewing registration, adults registered within districts (including Merit Badge Counselors) need to demonstrate completion of standard youth protection training (Y01) within the previous period of July 1 to June 30.
We understand that we are asking more of already-busy volunteers, and appreciate your patience as we all work together to provide the safest possible atmosphere for our young members and valued Scouting volunteers.
Additional Training and Resources:
Training is a critical part of our strategy, but it’s only one part. Our ultimate goal is make sure the safety of our youth, adults and families is top of mind at all times. So, along with fully updated and revised youth protection training, the Boy Scouts of America is also implementing a comprehensive communications strategy that will provide ongoing information, training and resources across every aspect of Scouting. This includes even more content in ScoutingWire, regular youth protection webinars, a youth protection newsletter, and Safety Moments to bring safety into all of our meetings with youth and adults alike. This information will continue to ensure that youth protection is always top of mind and that our parents and leaders are prepared to be proactive and decisive in recognizing, responding and reporting all forms of child abuse.
ScoutsFirst for Help with Questions, Concerns and Reporting. The ScoutsFirst Helpline also makes it easier for volunteers and families to address dangerous situations. If a leader or parent has a question about a situation, or something they’ve seen or if they want to report a possible incident, they can contact the Helpline for assistance. In cases of abuse, they should also notify the local authorities. ScoutsFirst Helpline (844)-Scouts1 or (844)726-8871.
ScoutsFirst for Counseling and Support. The Boy Scouts of America is committed to providing ongoing support to victims and their families, including counseling. We want to help victims heal, on their own terms, with a professional counselor of their choice. Through the ScoutsFirst Helpline, the Boy Scouts of America offers assistance with counseling to any youth member, former youth member, or the family of any youth member who suffered abuse during their time in Scouting. To reach the ScoutsFirst Helpline, call (844)-Scouts1 or (844)726-8871, or email email@example.com. Support is available 24-hours a day, seven days a week.
Guide to Safe Scouting
The purpose of the Guide to Safe Scouting is to prepare adult leaders to conduct Scouting activities in a safe and prudent manner.
A Time To Tell: Troop Meeting Guide
A Time to Tell: Troop Meeting Guide is available in English and Spanish and intended for facilitators to use when showing the age-appropriate sexual abuse prevention video.
To help families and volunteers keep youth safe while online, the BSA introduces the Cyber Chip. The Scouting portal showcasing Cyber Chip resources includes grade-specific videos for each level.
These bullying awareness fact sheets address bullying and direct you to resources provided by the BSA and other entities we work with to protect children.
Youth Protection Champions
To address the need for Youth Protection–specific volunteers at all levels, the BSA has implemented its new Youth Protection Champions program. These volunteer champions will be the key drivers of Youth Protection at their assigned levels.
National Youth Protection page
On the National Youth Protection page, read more about Scouting's Barriers to Abuse