Child Protection


Child Protection Policy.
Safeguarding the welfare of our youth members.
The Scout Association takes seriously its responsibility to protect and safeguard the welfare of the children and young people in its care.

The Scout Association is committed to:

  • taking into account in all its considerations and activities the interests and well-being of young people.
  • respecting the rights, wishes and feelings of the young people with whom it is working.
  • taking all reasonable practicable steps to protect them from physical, sexual and emotional harm.
  • promoting the welfare of young people within a relationship of trust.

The Associations ˜Young People First™ code of good practice is published in the form of a pocket size yellow card that all adults are asked to keep with them. This contains information about how to report concerns or allegations of abuse and also a code of behaviour that all adults are required to follow.

Anti-Bullying Policy
Children and young people have the right to protection from all forms of violence - physical or mental. (UN Convention on the Rights of the Child)

The Scout Association is committed to ensuring, as far as is reasonably practicable, the prevention of all forms of bullying among Members.

It is the responsibility of all adults in Scouting to help develop a caring and supportive atmosphere, where bullying in any form is unacceptable. To this end, all Scouting activities should have rigorous anti-bullying strategies in place.
For more information about our anti-bullying guide and poster - click here.

Contacts for parents:
Should you have any concerns regarding the welfare or protection of Scout members, you should contact the local Scout District Commissioner. Alternatively please call the Scout Information Centre 0845 300 1818 and say that you wish to discuss a child protection issue.

Other useful contacts:
NSPCC Child Protection Helpline free, at any time, for reporting concerns about the safety of a child. Call 0800 800 5000

Concerned about the safety of your child on the Internet?

Parentline Plus is a free, confidential 24-hour helpline for parents concerned about a wide range of issues. Call 0808 800 2222 or visit

Anti-Bullying Campaign operates a helpline for parents and counselling for children who are being bullied. Call 020 7378 1446

Kidscape produces leaflets and booklets on bullying and runs a helpline Monday to Friday on 08451 205204, or visit


'Young People First' Code of good practice for adults.

(Yellow Card)

To give positive guidance, the 'Young People First' code of good practice (also known as the Yellow Card) sets out a code of behaviour. It is essential that all adults follow this code to ensure that:

The welfare of young people for whom you have a duty of care is safeguarded.
You avoid compromising situations or opportunites for misunderstandings or allegations.
Every adult should have a copy of the Yellow Card 'Young People First' code of good practice. It is designed for you to keep - carry it.

Check that:

You have your own copy.
All other adults involved in working with young people have a copy.
You have a copy (A3, available from the Information Centre) displayed in your HQ or meeting place.
Parents/carers are made aware of the Yellow Card and our Child Protection policy.

Code of behaviour.
DO put this code into practice at all times.

DO treat everyone with dignity and respect.

DO set an example you would wish others to follow.

DO treat all young people equally – show no favouritism.

DO plan activities that involve more than one other person being present, or at least are within sight and hearing of others.

DO follow the recommended adult/young people ratios for meetings and activities.

DO respect a young person’s right to personal privacy.

DO avoid unacceptable situations within a relationship of trust; for example, a sexual relationship with a youth Member over the age of consent.

DO have separate sleeping accommodation for young people, adults and Young Leaders working with a younger section.

DO allow young people to talk about any concerns they may have.

DO encourage others to challenge any attitudes or behaviours they do not like.

DO avoid being drawn into inappropriate attention seeking behaviour such as tantrums and crushes.

DO ensure a no alcohol policy when young people are in your care – adults and young people.

DO make everyone aware of the Association’s child protection procedures – young people, parents/carers, Young Leaders and other helpers.

DO remember this code even at sensitive moments. (when responding to bullying, bereavement, abuse and so on)

DO keep other leaders informed of where you are and what you are doing.
DO remember someone else might misinterpret your actions, no matter how well-intentioned.

DO take any allegations or concerns of abuse seriously and refer immediately.

DO NOT trivialise abuse.

DO NOT form a relationship with a young person that is an abuse of trust.

DO NOT permit abusive peer activities such as initiation ceremonies or bullying.

DO NOT engage in inappropriate behaviour or contact – physical, verbal, or sexual.

DO NOT play physical contact games with young people.

DO NOT make suggestive remarks or threats to a young person, even in fun.

DO NOT use inappropriate language – writing, phoning, email or internet.

DO NOT let allegations, suspicions, or concerns about abuse go unreported.

DO NOT just rely on your good name to protect you.