Actions we’re taking in safeguarding
We’re serious about keeping young people safe.
Our safeguarding actions
Scouts offers fun, challenges and adventure to nearly half a million young people every week. We’re committed to creating safe environments where they can thrive.
We are continually improving what we are doing to keep young people safe, learning from external experts and what we hear from survivors. Here are some of the actions we are taking over the coming months:
- From 1 January 2024, all volunteers must follow our updated Yellow Card code of behaviour, making it mandatory to report concerns directly to our central, professional safeguarding team.
- Over the next couple of months, we'll distribute posters we’ve designed with NSPCC Childline so young people know how to report any concerns they may have. These can be displayed in our 7,000 Scout groups’ meeting places.
- In Spring 2024, we'll roll out updated training following this year’s NSPCC recommendations.
- Ongoing: We continue to contribute to the Independent Inquiry into Child Sex Abuse (IICSA) Changemakers coalition, which is chaired by the NSPCC, to ensure that we deliver the IICSA recommendations. As part of this we are working with partners to ensure survivors experiences inform policy and practice across youth organisations.
What we already do
- Mandatory training that all volunteer leaders renew every three years.
- A clear code of behaviour (also known as the ‘Yellow Card’), which all adults volunteering with Scouts sign up to, encouraging people to report the smallest of concerns.
- Everyone who works with young people has to undertake a disclosure check (also known as a ‘police check’).
- We have systems in place to address non-compliance with safeguarding training, including suspending and excluding volunteers.
- Regular external, independent reviews of our training and processes, by NSPCC this year, then every second year.
- External child protection experts Girling Hughes Associates audit our current practice each month.
- Safeguarding information is shared on our home page explaining how to report concerns, which we also proactively advertise beyond our own website.
- We work with the Police, local authorities and child protection agencies closely, fully supporting any investigations.
- We backed the NSPCC ‘close the loophole’ campaign on positions of trust and today, both Scouts and the Police act as if position of trust is legislation.
- Our Safeguarding Committee and Board of Trustees regularly review how we can further strengthen what we do, most recently at their July 2023 meetings.