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On 3/12/2021 at 12:15 PM, Eagle1993 said:

The only specific was releasing the names of everyone on the volunteer ban list. 

I took a look at other settlements and a couple of areas we may see changes (just a guess):

So, imagine opening up scouting.org ... there may be a big button that states report abuse.

The other areas I have seen is requirements for 0 tolerance policies.  If a youth or adult violates any aspect of YPT and its confirmed, they are out,  banned and don't be surprised if made public.  

The third is more public openness about policies and violations that have been reported.

These are some of the non monetary changes I have seen in lawsuits.

 Beyond the kind of program killing requirements like "every group of scouts must be monitored at all times by 2 adults", zero tolerance policies are the only thing I'm actually concerned about, particularly in the area of "no one on one contact".  While I certainly don't mind zero tolerance with regard to violations along the lines of "that adult took a scout off into the woods" or something, it's just TOO easy to briefly run afoul the no one-on-one contact rule when dealing with kids when you are doing something either with or near a scout, only to realize that all the other scouts that were standing around have wandered off to their tents or the bathroom or whatever.  Obviously when that happens you either remove yourself from the situation or find another person to involve, but in a draconian zero tolerance world with even accidental violations requiring reporting to the SE, I think we'd end up in a situation where the functioning of the troop would grind to a near halt over fears of over-zealous enforcement.  

 

On 3/12/2021 at 12:02 PM, CynicalScouter said:

FYI. I ran the statistical analysis I had intended on the abuse claims data vs. the number of youth in BSA.

As I suspected, the  number of claims and number of registered youth were found to be strongly correlated.

In other words, it gives credence to the idea that it wasn't YPT that resulted in the decline in abuse claims; it was the decline in the number of scouts.

Large positive relationship: Pearson r =  0.86, p < .01.
Strong positive relationship: Spearman rho = 0.94. p < .01

 Ok, I get that you have a username to live up to here, but this assertion goes well beyond pessimistic and is more like the kind of spurious reasoning I'd expect to see in a political attack ad.

While I'm not arguing there's no correlation, that single analysis represents such a small piece of the necessary analysis that drawing any conclusion from it beyond "the drop in numbers probably had some impact on claims" is simply laughable.  A quick look at the variance between levels of change in that data-set makes it abundantly clear that FAR more is going on to impact the number of claims than just the reduction in participation.  Outside of the first year, the % reduction in claims doesn't even come close to matching up with the % reduction in participation.  In fact, from 1995 - 1999 participation actually increased 10.6% from 3.40 million to 3.76 million and yet the number of claims still fell 36.2% from 843 to 538.  So if there really is a positive correlation between participation and claims, then clearly there is something far more significant going on to generate a 36% reduction in claims even with the expected increase that should come from a 10.5% increase in participation.

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What is legally right is not always morally right.

I would encourage everyone to not ask @ThenNow to rehash particular circumstances. They can be found by patiently browsing his posts. From what I read, they were far from legal. His claim would have b

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3 hours ago, elitts said:

 it's just TOO easy to briefly run afoul the no one-on-one contact rule

A school principal recently told me that she prefers to employ teachers who live somewhere else, in another town, and commute to work.  It is too easy to accidently run afoul of the rules when you live, work, play and pray in the same town.  

I wouldn't be at all surprised if BSA tried to instituted a YP policy saying that adults cannot volunteer in the same town where they live.  We can't have scout leaders bumping into scouts outside of official scouting activities.

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6 hours ago, elitts said:

it's just TOO easy to briefly run afoul the no one-on-one contact rule when dealing with kids

Agreed.  I do think there is a chance that the non monetary changes could have negative consequences.  They only real way to avoid one on one is adults must be with an adult buddy at all times.  Im not advocating for this, just indicating some possible non monetary impacts of bankruptcy.

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1 hour ago, Eagle1993 said:

I do think there is a chance that the non monetary changes could have negative consequences.  They only real way to avoid one on one is adults must be with an adult buddy at all times.  Im not advocating for this, just indicating some possible non monetary impacts of bankruptcy.

You guys deal with the application of YPT and have now seen the number of claims filed since it was put in place, such as they are. Do you see/have specific ideas on how it can be improved without choking the life out of programming and the routine interactions with Scouts? Has anyone, National or otherwise, done an assessment and review?

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1 minute ago, ThenNow said:

ou guys deal with the application of YPT and have now seen the number of claims filed since it was put in place, such as they are. Do you see/have specific ideas on how it can be improved without choking the life out programming and the routine interactions with Scouts? Has anyone National or otherwise, done an assessment and review?

The real best way is to look at those 11,000 - 13,000 claims and see where a policy difference could have prevented the issue.  Essentially, find common root causes and see if any are systemic then look at possible policy changes.

I think I have speculated that perhaps greater oversight to ensure COs are doing their job ... but I don't know if that is a systemic root cause of the abuse that is currently occurring.  Perhaps it is more transparency to share with the volunteers incidents and how to avoid them.  I expect there are some changes that could come in that would not negatively impact the program and could help.  Others could either not reduce risk or negatively impact the program.

We need a strong group of scout leaders who understand the program to review proposals from child abuse risk management experts to come up with recommendations.  If that occurs, I think we could be safer without negative impacts.  If proposals just come from risk managers, we will either not see a risk reduction or see the program suffer.

 

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1 hour ago, Eagle1993 said:

Agreed.  I do think there is a chance that the non monetary changes could have negative consequences.  They only real way to avoid one on one is adults must be with an adult buddy at all times.  Im not advocating for this, just indicating some possible non monetary impacts of bankruptcy.

Thats kind of how we do it in our troop. 

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With almost 100,000 claims, it seems that there is a potential wealth of information for critical research to prevent future abuse assuming that (1) researchers would be allowed to access this information within the tight bounds of the confidentiality agreements and (2) the valid claims can be separated from fraudulent claims.  For example, did the abuse occur within a Scouting event or in another setting? Is there a pattern in terms of ages?  Did these tend to be re-occurring episodes or isolated, single events? It seems that we still have much to learn as we attempt to develop more effective youth protection programs. And if we are serious about preventing future abuse, it would be worth attempting to secure feedback from those victims who are willing to share their thoughts on how to prevent abuse.

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7 minutes ago, Eagle1993 said:

We need a strong group of scout leaders who understand the program to review proposals from child abuse risk management experts to come up with recommendations.  If that occurs, I think we could be safer without negative impacts.  If proposals just come from risk managers, we will either not see a risk reduction or see the program suffer.

Yeah. Getting access to a redacted report on each of those claims, assuming they are actually specific enough to see what went wrong, is the start. Agreed on risk managers and theoretical experts. If it looks great on paper but but the weight ratios mean it can't get off the ground, that's a problem. It just seems so doable to present an improvement plan that I'm baffled by what looks from my chair to be denial or disinterested complacency. Maybe these numbers were needed to get off the dime.  

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1 minute ago, gpurlee said:

it seems that there is a potential wealth of information for critical research to prevent future abuse assuming that (1) researchers would be allowed to access this information within the tight bounds of the confidentiality agreements and (2) the valid claims can be separated from fraudulent claims.  For example, did the abuse occur within a Scouting event or in another setting? Is there a pattern in terms of ages?  Did these tend to be re-occurring episodes or isolated, single events? It seems that we still have much to learn as we attempt to develop more effective youth protection programs. And if we are serious about preventing future abuse, it would be worth attempting to secure feedback from those victims who are willing to share their thoughts on how to prevent abuse.

Well said. As to the last sentence, there are many of us who would be more than happy to accommodate. I'm one of them.

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20 minutes ago, Eagle1993 said:

We need a strong group of scout leaders who understand the program to review proposals from child abuse risk management experts to come up with recommendations.

Did this happen during the creation of the program? I'm not poking at the process, I just have no idea.

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18 minutes ago, ThenNow said:

You guys deal with the application of YPT and have now seen the number of claims filed since it was put in place, such as they are. Do you see/have specific ideas on how it can be improved without choking the life out of programming and the routine interactions with Scouts? Has anyone, National or otherwise, done an assessment and review?

Personally, I don't think there is much left to do on the "active protections" level of things.  I think "no one-on-one" is the only tool necessary to protect children as long as it's really being used.  At that point, the only way I can see issues coming up are with scout on scout abuse, or with an adult that is looking for opportunities to break the rules.  Unfortunately, those are both going to be essentially impossible to shut down entirely. 

The one thing I can see being useful would be a little more emphasis with the Scouts on their responsibility to help with maintaining "no one-on-one" contact.  Right now the "review with a parent" information is aimed mostly at "how to keep yourself safe" and I think it would help to have some additional emphasis on how pointing out situations that might result in a violation help to keep everyone safe.  (getting them to speak up to say "No, you can't go to your tent because that would leave only one scout with an adult")

I do think requiring annual reporting of incident totals and responses should also be required, though I don't think the BSA should be releasing any incident details or names to the public.  They should simply inform the police about anything that could be considered an accusation of abuse and let the police release any details from that point on.

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1 hour ago, ThenNow said:

Has anyone, National or otherwise, done an assessment and review?

As far as anyone from National is concerned, YPT is a smashing success. Therefore no, they are not going to review it until they are forced to.

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The other issue that I think is less obvious, but still fairly important is to revise the G2SS.  The existence of vague, contradictory, and stupid rules goes a long way towards decreasing observance of the rules overall and I think this can't help but to water down some of the impact of the YP policies as well.  Not because people consciously think the YP is unnecessary, but because the pervasive idea of "BSA rules are just stupid and inconsistent" can't help but to permeate your thinking.

There are two major issues with the Guide at this point that I think need addressing. 

The first is that the BSA needs to actually implement "Rules" as opposed to calling everything a guideline and then they need to get rid of the word "Guide" anywhere where it isn't applicable.  And then we would have rules that must be followed at all times, full stop.  And guidelines that should be considered the SOP and followed whenever there isn't some overriding reason making it unworkable. 

So for example:

"No one on one contact" is clearly called a RULE; and

"Use the buddy system at all times" is clearly called a GUIDELINE.

The nice thing about this type of system is that it allows you to layer protections in a way that people can actually understand.

So you have a RULE that says, Every scout function must have 2 registered adults unless every scout in attendance has a parent/guardian accompanying them, in which case only one registered adult is required;

and a GUIDELINE that says: Ideally, every group-based scout function will have 4 registered adults to enable a split while still maintaining 2-Deep Leadership.

And of course, having someone outside the organization review the wording of rules and guidelines should be SOP since sometimes it's clear that the guidelines have been written with the idea of "They'll know what we're talking about" mentality.

The second major issue is that the BSA needs to actually go through the rules and guidelines and get rid of those rules and guidelines that are either patently stupid or completely unworkable with real life.  Examples include:

  • Most of the "Guide for tool use".  While I don't think anyone is going to argue about restricting a bandsaw or circular saw or table saw to adults, restricting the use of things like a power drill or 4-wheeled cart does nothing except make people roll their eyes and discount the importance of rules in general.
  • YP rules telling people they need 2 adults present to allow their child to have a friend visit their house.

 

 

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38 minutes ago, elitts said:

I do think requiring annual reporting of incident totals and responses should also be required, though I don't think the BSA should be releasing any incident details or names to the public. 

No, but they can do Clery Act style reports:

Number and types of incidents in last year (sexual abuse, breach of no one-on-one), etc.

Result of incidents (adult removed, adult removed and arrested, no action, remedial YPT education)

 

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11 minutes ago, CynicalScouter said:

As far as anyone from National is concerned, YPT is a smashing success. Therefore no, they are not going to review it until they are forced to.

That is simply not accurate.  The BSA had the nation's thought leaders actively help to develop the current youth protection program using the best ideas available to protect children from all kinds of abuse.  They continue to monitor claims and other information sources to look for problems that can be corrected.

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