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57 minutes ago, ThenNow said:

1) Rumor is, compelling data illustrating the YPT has not been as effective as claimed will be released soon, countering the narrative that the existing program is sufficient and there is no need to address enhanced measures in the Plan. I'm told the data is dispositive. I make no assertion about the effectiveness one way or the other, since I don't know the facts. I do know this is a major issue for many claimants, some of them with positions of influence in the case. If the BSA is unwilling to adopt and implement additional measures, whatever that means, those players will not be supportive of the Plan. Don't shoot the messenger. "I got my news from the Chinese plate!" Another arcane reference and one I use to say, I have it on good authority that this is so.

 I can see where that would have some basis in fact, at least as far as how that data could be a reality. In the BSA YPT system, there is no oversight. COs are supposed to be the overseers on paper, but in reality that often does not happen and there are multiple reasons why Districts, Councils, and the BSA turn a blind eye to that and don't enforce it. There is a lack of clarity in many BSA YPT policies. There is great variation in how different scouters and units interpret YPT.  In those ways I think it is less effective than the YPT programs administered by some of the churches, sports leagues and other youth activities I have encountered. There is a lot more clarity and direct oversight in other youth organizations. That might also be a function of the fact that many of those activities are less fraught with problematic situations than scouting is.   

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This is one of that areas that the BSA can certainly clean up.  They need to be clear what is a YPT rule and what is a program rule.  Mixing the two dilutes the importance of the YPT rules.  It has to

Oh, the humanity!  Hang on to that picture.  If BSA survives the current round of lawsuits, you might be eligible for the next round.  Maybe in 10 years.  This may be your retirement plan.    

I was asking my Webelos aged son yesterday what games they play in PE at school so I would have some Den Meeting ideas.  He asked me if they could play Dodgeball.  Of course I had to explain that it w

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11 minutes ago, yknot said:

In those ways I think it is less effective than the YPT programs administered by some of the churches, sports leagues and other youth activities I have encountered. There is a lot more clarity and direct oversight in other youth organizations.

What organizations and do they have materials available to the public?

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9 minutes ago, yknot said:

 I can see where that would have some basis in fact, at least as far as how that data could be a reality. In the BSA YPT system, there is no oversight. COs are supposed to be the overseers on paper, but in reality that often does not happen and there are multiple reasons why Districts, Councils, and the BSA turn a blind eye to that and don't enforce it. There is a lack of clarity in many BSA YPT policies. There is great variation in how different scouters and units interpret YPT.  In those ways I think it is less effective than the YPT programs administered by some of the churches, sports leagues and other youth activities I have encountered. There is a lot more clarity and direct oversight in other youth organizations. That might also be a function of the fact that many of those activities are less fraught with problematic situations than scouting is.   

I'd bet that, in most current cases of abuse, there are provisions of YPT that were not followed.

That is, BSA relies on the goodwill of us volunteers to enforce YPT.  And, when one of those volunteers does not have good will, and intends to prey on youth, they find the opportunity to ignore YPT policies and wreak their misdeeds.

So the question is, is there any way, realistically, to enforce YPT provisions other than through volunteers?

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19 minutes ago, yknot said:

Here are a few ideas: 

- Don't recharter COs that aren't actively involved in overseeing units and verifying that YPT is being followed.

- Clarify certain vague YPT BSA policies so they are less open to creative interpretation.

- Encourage integration of units to break down insular unit "cultures".

- Streamline volunteer roles/provide better support so units are not so desperate for volunteers that they accept questionable people or are reluctant to confront issues.

    

These are all good ideas.  To this I would add:

- Have the BSA follow a model similar to Scouts UK where units at a CO are integrated.  Have a unified committee led by a single CC.  This will provide for a stronger ability to oversee volunteer activities and ensure good practices.

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14 minutes ago, ThenNow said:

What organizations and do they have materials available to the public?

Almost every church has their own YPT program. I am most familiar with the Catholic Church and Methodist programs. 

Virtus Protecting God's Children program.  

UMCs Safe Sanctuaries program. 

Babe Ruth League child protection program is a youth sports example.

One component that some of these programs have that BSA does not have is a self reporting capability. For example, the Catholic Church thru Virtus offers the STOPit phone app that allows youth to anonymously report abuse of themselves or other children. To my mind, this is a key piece that is missing in BSA.

In the sports programs I've been involved with, and I realize this is anecdotal, management of YPT infractions are dealt with far more swiftly and in a matter of fact way. I attribute this, again anecdotally, to the fact that league organizers routinely need to quickly resolve conflict of all kinds as part of their roles. Yelling at kids on the field, you're out. Repeatedly ignore two deep requirements, you're out. 

 

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39 minutes ago, InquisitiveScouter said:

I'd bet that, in most current cases of abuse, there are provisions of YPT that were not followed.

That is, BSA relies on the goodwill of us volunteers to enforce YPT.  And, when one of those volunteers does not have good will, and intends to prey on youth, they find the opportunity to ignore YPT policies and wreak their misdeeds.

So the question is, is there any way, realistically, to enforce YPT provisions other than through volunteers?

Isn't the real truth here that regardless of whether it's the BSA or any other activity, no activity can ever ensure 100% safety.  

1. YPT is a has best practices an individual should follow.  But, it cannot make the individual follow them.

2. YPT has built in checks and balances - but it relies on volunteers to follow them and report concerns.

Yet, no parent should ever assume that their child is 100% safe from risk.  Don't drop your kid off and assume nothing can happen.  Don't place blind trust in the leaders of the unit.  Don't neglect to ask probing questions of your child.

I would suggest that one of the best things the BSA could do is to have a mandatory 30 minute parent YPT training as well.  Just as a volunteer needs YPT to volunteer, so too should a Scout's parent need to sign off that they have completed mandatory parent abuse awareness training.  No parent training, no Scout participation in the program.

 

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3 minutes ago, ParkMan said:

I would suggest that one of the best things the BSA could do is to have a mandatory 30 minute parent YPT training as well.  Just as a volunteer needs YPT to volunteer, so too should a Scout's parent need to sign off that they have completed mandatory parent abuse awareness training.  No parent training, no Scout participation in the program.

This is a great point and almost assumed it was happening, at least to some degree. Seems right, good and fair, ensuring all parties sign up and on the dotted line.

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3 minutes ago, ThenNow said:

This is a great point and almost assumed it was happening, at least to some degree. Seems right, good and fair, ensuring all parties sign up and on the dotted line.

I agree. I was not aware that was not comprehensive BSA policy. Every parent in our units have to take YPT in order to register their scout. They have to include their YPT certificate in their registration packet or we won't accept it. 

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20 minutes ago, yknot said:

One component that some of these programs have that BSA does not have is a self reporting capability. For example, the Catholic Church thru Virtus offers the STOPit phone app that allows youth to anonymously report abuse of themselves or other children. To my mind, this is a key piece that is missing in BSA.

Seems like an easy ask and a fairly simple app build and rollout. How is it monitored, by whom and with what impact? Just wondering, again, if it's a good exemplar with proven results. I can research, as well.

Update: From the App Store reviews, it falls down in the implementation. Kids are frequently told they need to report in person. Also, lots of false reports to get alleged abusers/bullies in trouble. Seems to have the potential to be a nightmare for the abused, accused and administrators.

Edited by ThenNow
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28 minutes ago, ParkMan said:

I would suggest that one of the best things the BSA could do is to have a mandatory 30 minute parent YPT training as well. 

Is this not the entire purpose of requirement 6 of the Scout Rank?

Quote

6. With your parent or guardian, complete the exercises in the pamphlet How to Protect Your Children From Child Abuse: A Parent’s Guide and earn the Cyber Chip Award for your grade.1

 

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19 minutes ago, walk in the woods said:

Is this not the entire purpose of requirement 6 of the Scout Rank?

 

Fair.  But it's relegated to a requirement for a rank and it's a handout pamphlet in the Scout book.

For leaders, we've got an extensive online training with talks by professionals in the field.  It's very sobering and thought provoking.  For parents, it's a pamphlet that a youth does with his/her rank advancement.  I think for most parents it's a check-box item.

I think this is typical:

  • Scout to parent: I need you to sign off on this requirement for my badge.  
  • Parent to scout: What is it?
  • Scout to parent:  It says we need to talk about abuse of kids.
  • Parent to scout: Ok.  You know abuse is bad - correct?   
  • Scout to parent: Yes
  • Parent to scout: You'll tell us if anyone does anything bad to you - correct?
  • Scout to parent: Yes, I will
  • Parent to scout: Ok, I'll sign off on it.

It's in the category of - no one thinks it will happen to their child.

YPT for leaders really makes you think if you are paying attention.  I would believe a very sobering version that parents take every year or two would be a good idea.  Make parents aware of the signs that they go over in YPT.  Give parents steps that they can follow to increase the likelihood of catching a problem.

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29 minutes ago, ThenNow said:

Seems like an easy ask and a fairly simple app build and rollout. How is it monitored, by whom and with what impact? Just wondering, again, if it's a good exemplar with proven results. I can research, as well.

Update: From the App Store reviews, it falls down in the implementation. Kids are frequently told they need to report in person. Also, lots of false reports to get alleged abusers/bullies in trouble. Seems to have the potential to be a nightmare for the abused, accused and administrators.

STOPit is utilized by a number of school districts in my area. Some have been hesitant to sign on with it for those reasons -- the implementation is not perfect. However, it does give kids an access point and a voice. It's been out several years now and the districts keep renewing it so it can't be that useless. I just used that as an example though. More than any specific app, there doesn't seem to be a clear communications channel for scouts to self report in BSA and given the history and the scope of the issue, I think it's a missing piece. All I've ever seen is "tell a trusted adult" or language like that. I know there is a national reporting hotline that is publicized to adults, but I have not seen where that is also made clear to scouts. Something like that could suffice.

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23 minutes ago, ParkMan said:

Fair.  But it's relegated to a requirement for a rank and it's a handout pamphlet in the Scout book.

For leaders, we've got an extensive online training with talks by professionals in the field.  It's very sobering and thought provoking.  For parents, it's a pamphlet that a youth does with his/her rank advancement.  I think for most parents it's a check-box item.

I think this is typical:

  • Scout to parent: I need you to sign off on this requirement for my badge.  
  • Parent to scout: What is it?
  • Scout to parent:  It says we need to talk about abuse of kids.
  • Parent to scout: Ok.  You know abuse is bad - correct?   
  • Scout to parent: Yes
  • Parent to scout: You'll tell us if anyone does anything bad to you - correct?
  • Scout to parent: Yes, I will
  • Parent to scout: Ok, I'll sign off on it.

It's in the category of - no one thinks it will happen to their child.

YPT for leaders really makes you think if you are paying attention.  I would believe a very sobering version that parents take every year or two would be a good idea.  Make parents aware of the signs that they go over in YPT.  Give parents steps that they can follow to increase the likelihood of catching a problem.

Agreed, I encourage parents to read the entire pamphlet.  But, ask them to focus on the five "exercises" in the back of the pamphlet (per the requirement).  I suspect this is often "pencil-whipped"

And none of the exercises really discuss our YPT measures.  To this day, some parents are surprised when I ask them to stay a bit until the second leader arrives for an activity, for two-deep.

I like @yknot's approach...every parent completes the BSA adult training as a pre-requisite for registering their youth.

Edited by InquisitiveScouter
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4 hours ago, ThenNow said:

1) Rumor is, compelling data illustrating the YPT has not been as effective as claimed will be released soon, countering the narrative that the existing program is sufficient and there is no need to address enhanced measures in the Plan. [....] I do know this is a major issue for many claimants, some of them with positions of influence in the case. If the BSA is unwilling to adopt and implement additional measures, whatever that means, those players will not be supportive of the Plan.

I was going to bring up this topic pages ago but y'all seemed pretty busy as it were.

Anyway, I have to agree with at least the possibility that YPT is not as effective as everyone makes it out to be ( I haven't seen the numbers but the fact that the BSA does not print them makes me nervous.) Not only do I believe that the claimants would want this fixed (or else just end the BSA to protect other kids) but it's part of the key issue the BSA must address in order to grow again. The key issue is quality control. It's obvious why this is important for YP; if the BSA is not constantly pushing for zero, then it's failing,  The other side of this is that the BSA should also always be pushing for better units.

Every district has at least one unit that would rather go on their own because they feel they know better. Maybe they do and maybe they don't. Think about that with respect to YP and it's chilling. There is no control over these units. Most are probably fine but how many need to fail before it impacts all the other units? How many units consist of 10 scouts and two parents that go camping. How many of these units have one parent that shows up late or goes home early because they're stretched thin, busy at work, etc? There is opportunity for a pedophile. For the same reason, there is also opportunity for a bad program.

What got us to this point? The trust between units and council is poor. Therefore the interaction is poor. Council pushes numbers which doesn't help quality. Quality has always been an afterthought. Training has been cut shorter for a long time. JTE was supposed to help but it was written by a committee and it can easily be ignored.

It requires something more than throwing a video, pamphlet, or form over the fence. These are all one way. Quality requires humans working together to improve something. Unfortunately, this would require real leadership, the kind I just don't see. If Mosby was thinking of this he'd have already been pushing this and using YP as the reason.

I'm not saying I know the answer, but I do see the problem.

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