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Los Padres CouncilThe Safety ZoneApril Is Youth Protection Month

BSA's Youth Protection Policies

Youth Protection Resources

April is Youth Protection Month. Youth Protection is a year-round topic, so please always spread the word, aim to gain more awareness of how to protect youth from abuse, and acknowledge all of your efforts to keep our programs safe for youth and leaders. Please take some time this month to discover and review these updates, revisions, and opportunities.

  • New Chapter 13, Personal Safety Awareness, within the recently released Boy Scout Handbook (13th edition)
    • It includes helpful information on a number of different topics such as child abuse and neglect, bullying and hazing, and staying safe online.
  • How to Protect Your Children from Child Abuse: A Parent’s Guide
  • These guides were updated regularly and are available in versions for Cub Scout and Boy Scout Rank Advancement Handbooks.  They are required discussions between Scout and parent for rank advancement..
  • Be sure to complete the “Exercises on Personal Safety Awareness” with your child.

For those attending the National Jamboree, check out the Youth Protection Booth!

Youth Protection depends upon the shared involvement of everyone in Scouting. We all have a critical role in keeping youth safe. Remember…

Youth Protection Begins With YOU!


Mandatory Reporting of Child Abuse

All persons involved in Scouting shall report to local authorities any good faith suspicion or belief that any child is or has been physcially or sexually abused, physically or emotionally neglected, exposed to any form of violence or threat, exposed to any form sexual exploitation including the possession, manufacture, or distribution of child pornography, online solicitation, enticement, or showing of obscene material. No person may abdicate this reporting responsibility to any other person.

Notify your Scout Executive of this report, or of any violation of BSA's Youth Protection policies, so he or she may take appropriate action for the safety of our Scouts, make appropriate notifications, and follow-up with investigating agencies.

Reports in Los Padres Council should be made to Council Scout Executive Carlos Cortez by phone at (805) 967-0105 or by email at carlos.cortez@scouting.org.  Civil reports should be made to either your local Child Protective Services Office or your County Sheriff's Office. 


April is National Youth Protection Month

Youth Protection Begins with YOUEach April schools, youth organizations, and governmental associations observe the month of April as a time for protecting our youth. Units are asked to schedule a meeting or a series of sessions to share with their Scouts the "3 R's" of Youth Protection - Recognize, Resist, and Report. The BSA has developed a series of age appropriate videos to assist the leader with this task. If you have any questions regarding the videos or would like assistance in their presentation, contact your District Executive. Copies for loan and for sale are available at your local Scout office/retail unit.

April is also a good time for all Scout Committees to check on the status of Youth Protection Training for all adults.  The appropriate session (Venturing has its own requirement and program) can be taken online through the Youth Protection Online Training Program at www.myscouting.org.  Participants should have available for entry their annual membership card which lists their individual identification number. Youth Protection Training must be taken every two years. Failure to have a current YPT certificate on file could deny a unit a Tour Plan for an outing.


National Scouting Youth Protection Resource Page

Scouting.org the official website of the National Office of the Boy Scouts of America, has multiple resources available for Youth Protection.  Follow these links to gain more information and material on this most important subject in Scouting - the protection of our youth.

Key Resources

Know the Facts:
A BSA prepared fact sheet on what every Scout Leader and Parent should minimally know about Youth Protection for their child.

State Statutes on Child Welfare
Reporting requirements for child abuse differ from state to state. The Child Welfare Information Gateway provides access to information and resources on a variety of topics, including state statutes on child abuse. This site is not operated by the Boy Scouts of America.

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.

It Happened to Me: Cub Scout Meeting Guide
Video Facilitator Guides. A sample letter to parents and guardians as well as English and Spanish meeting guides for facilitators' use when showing the age-appropriate sexual abuse prevention video.

A Time to Tell: Troop Meeting GuideA Time to Tell Video Cover
Video Facilitator Guides. English and Spanish meeting guides for facilitators' use when showing the age-appropriate sexual abuse prevention video.

Personal Safety Awareness Meeting Guide (Venturing Program)
Video Facilitator Guides. A sample letter to parents and guardians as well as English and Spanish meeting guides for facilitators' use when showing the age-appropriate sexual abuse prevention video.

Youth Protection Training Facilitators Guide
Video Facilitator Guides.

Camp Leadership ... A Guide for Camp Staff and Unit Leaders
Brochure for unit leaders and camp staff who are responsible for providing a safe and healthy camp setting where Scouts are free from the worries of child abuse.