The first night away from home. The first hike. The first trip abroad.
All of these moments are great for developing young people’s confidence, but we know how daunting it can be the one packing their overnight bag and waving them off at the gates. And we know it doesn’t necessarily get easier as they grow.
Young people thrive in secure surroundings, at home and away. Wherever we go, we’re serious about keeping them safe.
As a parent or carer, you’re bound to have questions about how we do this. Click on a question to find out more.
All our volunteers give their time freely to help young people thrive. Some volunteers lead their group week in and week out. Others call in occasionally to share a specific skill, or provide an extra pair of hands – whether they’re abseiling down mountains, or helping a group of eight year olds build a robot, or expertly remembering how everyone takes their tea.
All of our leaders are interviewed locally and asked to provide references. They undergo the mandatory training they need to be the best they can be, including basic first aid and child protection. Special training is provided for those taking young people away on residential events like camps and sleepovers.
Everyone who works with young people also has to undertake a disclosure check (also known as a ‘police check’).
Yes. As Scouts, we have a clear code of behaviour we expect everyone to abide by, known as the ‘Yellow Card’. This code is shared with all adults who interact with young people – regardless of their role – and is included in the training leaders receive.
If you volunteer to help out with an activity, you’ll be given your own yellow card to keep on hand and refer back to. You can see a digital copy of the Yellow Card, or call us on 0345 300 1818 to discuss it. You can also view our safety policies – which relate to how our leaders run adventurous activities responsibly – in chapter two of POR.
Each Scout Group is comprised of different ‘sections’ – which may include a
A Group Scout Leader (GSL), who is responsible for overseeing and supporting volunteers in each section, should manage the Scout Group.
In Explorer Scout Units, a District Explorer Scout Commissioner (DESC) takes on this role.
Both Group Scout Leaders and District Explorer Scout Commissioners are responsible to a District Commissioner (DC).
This is the volunteer manager responsible for a wider geographical area – such as a town or area of a larger city or county.
If you’d like to contact your GSL, DESC or DC, ask your local leader for their contact details or speak to the Scout Information Centre on 0345 300 1818.
If you’re unhappy with anything relating to your child’s time in The Scouts, you should raise it immediately with your local leaders, no matter how trivial it may seem.
If you’d rather speak to someone else, contact the Scout Information Centre on 0345 300 1818.
All leaders taking young people away will give you notice, ask for your permission and provide you with a way of contacting the group while they’re away.
All residential activities (such as camps and sleepovers) are required to have at least two adults present, unless the young people involved are participating in an expedition or event where adults are not expected to attend at all. We’ll always tell you if there is to be no adult presence for a particular activity, and we’ll never ask to take individual young people away on their own.
No young people under the age of 18 are allowed to consume alcohol while they’re taking part in Scout activities.
The world is constantly changing. Technology is constantly evolving. Society puts pressure on young people to experience new things, but that can also make them feel vulnerable and unsure about the world around them.
Our STAY SAFE leaflets contain information for young people about how to stay safe online and in the real world, and gives them all the age-specific information they need to report anything that makes them feel worried, scared or upset.
We’ve also put together some videos on safeguarding for Beavers and Cubs, and for Scouts and Explorers.
The NSPCC advises parents and carers to be wary of
We agree wholeheartedly with the NSPCC and would not expect any of this behaviour to occur in The Scouts.
As always, if you have any concerns, please raise them immediately with your child’s leaders, or – if you’d rather speak to someone else – contact the Scout Information Centre on 0345 300 1818.
We know if you’ve got a child in your care with additional needs, doing something new can be scary – for both of you! We pride ourselves on our inclusivity and we do our best to make sure all our members can take part. There’s a lot of flexibility within the Scouts programme to meet individual needs.
When you’re first thinking of joining Scouts, your local leader will get in touch to arrange a chat with you to find out more about your child. This isn’t an interview or screening process, it’s simply to make sure we understand your child’s needs and how we can make adjustments to make sure your child will get the most out of Scouts.
This conversation will just be the start of our ongoing partnership with you as a parent or carer. We appreciate things are constantly changing and you’re welcome to speak to your leader at any time.