Learn About the Boy Scouts of America’s Youth Protection Program
The safety of all children is paramount to the Boy Scouts of America. During the last three decades, we strengthened and enhanced the programs and policies that protect children. We believe any occurrence of abuse is unacceptable. We regret there have been times when the BSA's best efforts to protect children were insufficient. For that we are deeply sorry and extend our deepest sympathies to victims. We are committed to helping those who suffered abuse and assisting them through a variety of means.
The Ineligible Volunteer files help us protect those in Scouting and are just one component of our broader Youth Protection program. Scouting has long maintained multiple barriers to abuse, of which the Ineligible Volunteer Files are part. The files alone have limitations and were meant to serve as only one of the barriers to keep unfit individuals from joining the BSA as part of a comprehensive effort to keep kids safe.
In the more than 30 years since these released files were created, we have continuously enhanced our multi-tiered policies and procedures, which now include criminal background checks, comprehensive training programs, safety policies, and mandatory reporting to law enforcement of abuse or suspicion of abuse. We have always cooperated fully with any request from law enforcement and today require our members to report even suspicion of abuse directly to their local authorities.
We are committed to the ongoing enhancement of our program in line with evolving best practices for protecting youth. Even one instance of abuse is too many. Scouting becomes a partner with parents in ensuring the safety of their children. Scouting is a safe place for young people, with policies and procedures to prevent, detect and deter any kind of abuse. Leadership involvement, parent engagement, youth and adult training, and conversations on abuse prevention involving parents and children help create a safer community for young people. This is an example of Scouting teaching young people the skills they need to be prepared for a range of challenges and opportunities that lie ahead throughout their lifetime. We appreciate the efforts of thousands of volunteers who diligently provide safe and healthy activities for our Scouts.
The National Council of the Boy Scouts of America responded to the release of these files. Read the statement here. We encourage you to read and share this information with others. You can also learn more about the Boy Scouts of America's youth protection policies here.
Youth Protection Infographic
Statement of Dr. Janet I. Warren Regarding BSA's Ineligible Volunteer Files
BSA Youth Protection Timeline
Child Sexual Abuse Awareness and Prevention in America Timeline