Youth Protection 2018
Update Your Training by October 1, 2018
The Boy Scouts of America’s updated youth protection training doesn’t just talk about the dangers of child predators – it shows how they work to gain access to their victims.
In early February, the BSA introduced newly updated youth protection training that is required for all volunteers before October 1, 2018. Even if they took the previous training prior to the February rollout, it will need to be taken it again.
The updated mandatory training, includes three modules and a test that take a little over an hour to complete. The Mandatory and Recommended training modules draw on research from experts and survivors in the field of child abuse and maltreatment to identify the contributing factors and threats across the spectrum of child abuse, including: bullying, neglect, exposure to violence, physical and emotional abuse, and child sexual abuse. Once completed, volunteers will not have to retake the training for two years.
New to this version of the training program are video interviews with psychologists and law enforcement professionals who discuss the known causes of abuse, and how to prevent, recognize, and respond to it.
“There is no substitute for hearing directly from experts who have spent their careers studying child predators and abusers, or the survivors of these forms abuse sharing their experiences. This is life-changing information” said Michael Johnson, the BSA’s director of youth protection. “They shine a new light on the challenges we all face in protecting kids and how parents and volunteers can put barriers in place to keep them away.”
Some of the most impactful aspects of the training are interviews with abuse survivors, who give their first-hand perspectives.
“In developing this training, we discussed whether or not to include survivor videos,” said Johnson. “It was the right decision. Their testimony is powerful and highlights how predators work and the tragic impact abuse can have like nothing else. For these survivors, their hope is that we listen and act.”
In addition to updated training, the BSA recently announced new policies to ensure compliance with mandatory training requirements, including:
- As of January 1, 2018, no new leader can be registered without first completing youth protection training.
- As of January 1, 2018, no council, regional, or national leader will be allowed to renew their registration if they are not current on their Youth Protection Training.
- As of September 1, 2017, 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.
- 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 a leader, including completion of a criminal background check and Youth Protection Training. The 72 hours need not be consecutive.
Altogether, it’s a bold new approach that will serve as just one part of the BSA’s ongoing effort to enroll the entire community in the fight against child abuse both in and out of Scouting.