Skip to main content

Volunteering at Scouts is changing to help us reach more young people

Volunteering is changing to help us reach more young people

Volunteering is changing at Scouts. Read more

Discover what this means

Lesson 4: Knowing how to report concerns

Lesson 4: Knowing how to report concerns

What should I do if I have a safeguarding concern?

First of all, don’t panic. It’s your duty to report safeguarding concerns, whether you’re told about them directly or indirectly, as soon as possible (always within 24 hours). If you’re not sure what to do, or you are not sure if a concern has been reported, contact the Safeguarding Team, who are there to help you.

The Yellow Card also gives you guidance on what to do if a young person tells you they’re being abused.

You must:

  1. Allow them to speak without interruption and accept what they say 
  2. Be understanding and reassuring, but do not give your opinion
  3. Tell them you will try to help but must pass the information on
  4. Write careful notes of what was said using the actual words used. Don’t ask leading questions or try to find out whether the concern is justified.
  5. Make sure that Scout activities do not cause further risk to their welfare.
  6. Contact the Safeguarding Team.


How do I report to the Safeguarding Team? 

There are lots of ways to report to the Safeguarding Team. You can:  

  • use the reporting form on the Scouts website
  • call on +44(0)20 8433 7164 (9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday)
  • email 

If the young person is at immediate risk of significant harm, call 112 or 999 and request the police. Just make sure to let the Safeguarding Team know once you’ve done this. 

In an emergency outside the above times, you can contact the Safeguarding Team by calling the Scouts Support Centre on +44(0)345 300 1818. 

Once you’ve made your report, follow the Safeguarding Team’s advice and take no further action unless they tell you to. Ask questions if you’re not sure what to do.

Remember, all this information – and much more – is on the Yellow Card. Keep it with you – it’s there to help.

What should I do if there is a concern or allegation made about an adult – or about me?

Any concern surrounding an adult who’s involved in Scouts must be reported to the Safeguarding Team as soon as possible, and always within 24 hours. This includes if the concern is about you. 

You must understand as a volunteer in Scouts you’re in a position of trust. This means that you have authority over the young people in the movement. The Yellow Card sets out that you must never abuse this position. 

If there are any areas in your personal life that might affect your role in Scouts, it’s best to talk to the Safeguarding Team. For example, if the police have been called to your home for a potential offence, you’d have to let the Safeguarding Team know. 

If you’re ever contacted by a statutory agency – the police or children’s services, etc. – relating to a matter that concerns your role in the Scouts or a current Scout (even if the matter is not recent) this must be reported to the Safeguarding Team.

Please note: The Wales Safeguarding procedures are not statutory guidance, but good practice. The Scouts current “duty to report” set out in The Yellow card discharges an individual’s expectation to report.

The effects of abuse 

Victims of abuse can be left traumatised and the effects can last throughout their lives, including: 

  • Negative effects on health, relationships and education
  • Adults who were abused as children may find it hard to cope with life’s stresses, get a good job, or be a good parent
  • Mental health problems, drug or alcohol issues, criminal behaviour – or showing signs of harmful behaviour themselves. 

Download the PDF

The Safeguarding workbook is available download and print.

Download the Safeguarding workbook