Scouts Australia has merged all Branch-based child protection policies into a single National policy to ensure consistency and clarity of our zero-tolerance approach to child protection.
This new National policy describes several areas of child protection including strategies for prevention; dealing with reports of abuse; training of all Scouting adults with regards to child protection; and the ongoing education of both adults and youth members. From all the different State and Territory legal requirements, Scouts Australia has selected the highest standard to apply in our new comprehensive National policy.
All State and Territory Branches agreed on four key child protection principles:
- All adults in Scouting must report incidents to the appropriate authority
- Any report will be responded to quickly and positively
- There will be no delay, and strict steps must be followed
- Investigations are not conducted locally - there is an escalated process
The independent, not-for-profit child protection organisation Child Wise has accredited the policy and has closely assisted Scouts Australia through its development. Child Wise will continue to work with Scouts Australia to ensure the policy and its underlying Scout Branch frameworks remain at best practice levels across Australia.
The new policy was approved by the National Executive Committee (NEC) of Scouts Australia in November 2016. During the next few months all training materials and handbooks across every Branch and Group will be updated. All Leaders, parents, volunteers and participants in Scouting must follow the new National policy.
To ensure that every Scouting member plays their part in providing the safest possible environment for all children, please read the summary page here and download a copy of the full policy here.