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YPT Updates from TCC Term Sheet (Bankruptcy)


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I thought this deserved a dedicated topic. See changes below.  Note that this is a long post, but wanted to include all of the changes as they are extensive.

Non-Monetary Commitments. The BSA will not compromise the safety of our youth, volunteers, and employees. We are all responsible and must hold each other accountable to provide a safe environment for all participants. Safety is a value that must be taught and reinforced at every opportunity and nothing is more important than protecting our Scouts from abuse. BSA is dedicated to becoming the Gold Standard in abuse prevention. Because of this commitment, we are and will always seek to bolster our abuse prevention efforts. In furtherance of these efforts, the BSA shall take the following actions to promote healing and reconciliation and to continue the BSA’s efforts to prevent abuse from occurring in Scouting in the future:

1) Hire a Youth Protection Executive (“YPE”): No later than six months from the Effective Date, retain a youth protection executive with extensive expertise in the prevention, recognition, and response to abuse within institutions, whose responsibilities shall include all aspects of youth protection, including:

a) Youth protection policies and training.

b) Monitoring compliance with training requirements.

c) Implementing and monitoring the youth protection champions in Local Councils, as part of an overall effort to adopt best practices and drive standardization of youth protection measures among Local Councils and Chartered Organizations.

d) Advocating for continued, embedded youth protection culture in the BSA, among adults and Scouts.

 

2) On or as soon as practicable following the Effective Date, form a Youth Protection Committee (“YPC”): The BSA shall form a committee including members from the BSA, Local Councils, Chartered Organizations, and nominees of the Tort Claimants’ Committee, and nominees of the Survivors Working Group. Assuming there are a sufficient numbers willing to serve on the YPC, members nominated by the Tort Claimants’ Committee and the Survivors Working Group shall be in equal numbers, respectively, and shall, in combination, be at least half the total membership of the YPC. The YPE will present to the YPC no less than twice per year.

a) The BSA will present to the YPC on the BSA’s current Youth Protection Program (the “Youth Protection Program”), including regarding the implementation of the actions set forth below, as soon as practical, but no later than six months from the Effective Date.

b) The BSA will report annually to the YPC on changes to BSA’s Youth Protection Program, compliance in the field, and trends of abuse identified and addressed during the perio d between meetings. This report shall also be shared with the Organization (defined below) and each Local Council’s Executive Commitee.

c) To the extent reasonably practicable, it is intended that the YPC be involved in all aspects of youth protection at the BSA, through discussion, consultation and review with the YPE.

 

3) Update Existing Policies:

a) Update Scouting’s Barriers to Abuse: All adults staying overnight in connection with a Scouting activity must be registered as a leader or adult program participant.2

b) Update criminal background checks on all registered leaders every two years. All camp staff at long-term overnight camps and day camps will be registered as camp staff so as to receive a criminal background and VSD check annually. Camp staff will also be required to attend BSA’s Understanding and Preventing Youth on Youth Abuse Training during staff training and before they work with youth members at camp.

c) Update policies and procedures related to, and provide additional guidance on, inappropriate physical and verbal interactions, gift-giving and the supervision of bathroom and shower areas.

d) Consolidate all aspects of the BSA’s youth protection materials into a “Youth Protection Manual” and “Adult Leadership Manual” or similar structure to put requirements and resources in a centralized location. These materials should be consolidated and updated within 12 months of the Effective Date, in coordination with the YPE and the YPC.

e) Update the BSA website main menu to specifically highlight BSA’s abuse prevention requirements, policies for conduct with youth, trainings and reporting procedures.

4) Review and Enhance Training Materials:

a) Perform a comprehensive review of Youth Protection training to ensure the training is clinically evidence- and research-based and reflective of survivor-informed experiences, including but not limited to:

i) Grooming techniques and case examples that demonstrate the need for early detection and reporting of suspected predatory behavior.

ii) Use of more scenario-based training to help engage the learner and apply the information to “real life” scenarios, including the use of “safety moments” for youth members and adult leaders and parents based upon actual incidents.

iii) Updated content on youth-to-youth abuse prevention, including how to identify and interrupt inappropriate behaviors that can lead to abuse.

iv) The evaluation will be performed by the YPE in consultation with an independent organization (the “Organization”) with experience in evidence-based empirical research on the prevention of childhood abuse and neglect, including sexual abuse of children. The YPC will have the opportunity to interview entities and reasonable consent rights in the BSA’s selection of the Organization. 3

v) The materials shall be evaluated and updated by the YPE, in consultation with the Organization or a successor organization, every two years.

b) Create and implement an annual refresher youth protection course for all leaders and parents who accompany Scouts on Scouting activities. The refresher will include but shall not be limited to reinforcing core content and BSA polices, including Scouting’s Barriers to Abuse requirements, reporting and responding to policy violations and reports of abuse. In addition, the refresher will include advanced information based on recent incident trends and technological advances implicating youth protection issues, including changes in the last year.

5) Conduct Additional Policy Review and Evaluation:

a) The BSA will further work with the Organization to evaluate key issues, including but not limited to:

i) How the BSA’s Youth Protection requirements are implemented at the local level.

ii) Key roles in the organization that need advanced youth protection training.

iii) Strategies to ensure there are no gaps between member registration dates and training expiration dates.

iv) The extent to which monitoring and supervision practices are understood, implemented, and enforced in Scouting programs, including in various Scouts programs (including camps and High Adventure Base programs).

v) Potential risks unique to specific Scouting programs, including programs where youth assume leadership and/or employment positions.

vi) Additional guidelines for overnight activities, including tenting and lodging and cabin accommodations.

vii) Potential risks relating to female Scouts.

viii) Attitudes and behavior towards diverse Scouts and cultures.

ix) How Local Councils and Chartered Organizations can provide a trauma-informed response to individuals who come forward to report abuse and identify necessary resources for this function.

x) Potential additional camp-specific risks and policies and procedures.

b) The evaluation will be provided to the YPE and YPC on the specific issues above, as well as its assessment of the current Youth Protection Program. Specific recommendations for additional reasonable improvements to the Youth Protection Program will be considered and implemented by the BSA.

c) Changes to the Youth Protection Program will be reflected on the BSA’s website and training will be reasonably adjusted to reflect changes.

d) The items recommended and adopted, as well as the items recommended and rejected or modified by the BSA, will be reported to the Organization, the YPC, and each Local Council’s Executive Committee, along with the reasoning behind any rejected or modified recommendations.

6) Further Focus on Youth Protection as Part of Scouting Programming:

a) The BSA will work with subject-matter experts to continue to review, develop and implement youth protection training to help Scouts learn to recognize abuse, react to protect themselves, and tell a trusted adult. This will be embedded and required at every rank in each program of Scouting. Materials will include meeting plans and resources for youth, parents, and leaders. These rank advancement requirements will be age-appropriate and may include opportunities for Scouts to learn about subjects such as smart choices online (cyber bullying/grooming); being an upstander not a bystander; grooming techniques and sexual abuse; safe touch and unsafe touch; sexual peer pressure; sexual abuse in the family; bullying and hazing; and other expert-informed subjects.

b) The BSA will designate one month per year to emphasize the importance of youth protection and preventing child sexual abuse throughout Scouting programs. This annual campaign will be dedicated to raising awareness and preventing child abuse within Scouting and throughout society. This focused campaign will be implemented at the unit, council, and national level.

7) Enhance Incident Reporting:

a) The BSA, together with the YPE, shall provide confidential quarterly summary reports to the NEC, Audit and Risk Management Committee, and YPC (including the Organization), on all child sexual abuse incidents that result in a youth or adult offender being placed on the Volunteer Screening Database.

b) Incidents that result in a youth or adult offender being placed on the Volunteer Screening Database for child sexual abuse must be reported to the affected Troop’s parents, volunteers associated with the affected Troop, and the affected Charter Organization. 4 The Local Council will provide notification to its Executive Committee. Notification will also be provided to the the YPE, YPC, and the Organization as part of the summary reports required by 7(a).

8)Enhance Auditing Requirements: Local Councils will be required to submit evidence of compliance with youth protection and membership standard guidelines, including training, incident review and reporting. The evidence will be provided to the YPE, the Organization, and the YPC. The YPE shall work with the Organization to assess this compliance, and shall provide the YPC with its and the Organizations conclusions in that regard.

9) Form Unit Leader Working Groups: In connection with the YPC, Local Councils, and Chartered Organizations establish unit leaders’ working groups to regularly identify, discuss and develop additional ways to protect youth in Scouting, which could include, for example:

a) Improving the implementation of Scouting’s Barriers to Abuse to help prevent incidents in the areas with higher risk potential.

b) Appropriate supervision during nighttime or sleep hours, bathroom and shower facilities.

c) Observed inappropriate youth behavior.

d) How to continuously reinforce youth safety to parents, youth and leaders.

e) Standardization of best practices across Local Councils and Chartered Organizations.

 

10) Expand Survivor Representation:

a) As required by the BSA by-laws, an otherwise qualified survivor of abuse in Scouting shall be nominated to serve and shall be placed on the National Executive Board of the BSA. (The criteria for selecting this Board member will be the same as the criteria for the other Board members.)

b) The BSA and AHCLC will recommend that each Local Council agree to nominate and place an otherwise qualified survivor of abuse in Scouting on their local council board at all times. (The criteria for selecting these Board members will be the same as the criteria for the other board members.)

c) It is the intention of the BSA and the AHCLC that the presence of Survivors on such boards is emblematic of a sincere effort to listen to survivors’ voices. In addition, the BSA and Local Councils will explore with the YPC additional measures to expand survivor representation, including recruiting survivors to the BSA and Local Council boards.

11) Promote Survivor Recognition and Remembrance:

a) In consultation with the YPC, design and install a place of remembrance for all child sexual abuse survivors at a prominent location at each of the BSA’s High Adventure Bases, which will serve as a nationally recognized statement of BSA’s commitment to recognize the abuses of the past and to prevent abuse in the future. The BSA shall encourage Local Councils to consider similar opportunities.

b) Create a Survivor-Focused Path to Eagle Scout, where pursuit of Eagle requirements was not continued because of Abuse-related reasons. Input from the YPC will be solicited.

c) Survivor Scouter Pin: In consultation with the YPC, create a recognition, e.g. the “Phoenix” award, to honor survivors that despite the pain and suffering they endured as a youth, were able to break through the despair and provide value and honor to themselves and their community.

 

12) Support a Youth Protection Seminar: The BSA, under the leadership of the YPE, will coordinate with Local Councils and Chartered Organizations to plan a Youth Protection Seminar for Scout Executives, volunteer leaders and other key constituents, to foster sharing of best practices and information regarding youth protection trends.

 

13) Volunteer Screening Database

a) The BSA will work with the YPC to assess how the names of adult perpetrators of child sexual abuse in Scouting and other information can be made public or used in connection with a database accessible to other youth serving organizations. Specifically, the BSA agrees to work with the YPC on a protocol that makes confirmed past child abusers in Scouting, and future confirmed child abusers in Scouting, publicly known.

b) The protocol will take into account factors including:

(i) the desire to make public adult perpetrators of child sexual abuse in Scouting;

(ii) adequate protections for survivor identities;

(iii) consideration regarding the protection of third parties, including survivor family members and volunteers;

(iv) a notification process regarding any publication;

(v) issues related to privacy and liability related to publication; and

(vi) the potential appointment or retention of an appropriate neutral party to supervise the evaluation and review of the VSD.

c) The BSA will take a leadership role and re-engage with other YSOs and agencies including but not limited to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children to explore the feasibility of and advocate for a shared national database of adults who have been excluded from working with youths for youth protection related offenses.

d) The Trust Agreement shall be modified to provide the Settlement Trustee with the authority to request an order of the Bankruptcy Court relating to the publication of materials included in the VSD, no earlier than one year after the Effective Date. The Plan shall be amended to specifically provide that the Bankruptcy Court retain jurisdiction to adjudicate such request. All parties in interest, including the Reorganized Debtors, shall have the right to object to and contest any request made by the Settlement Trustee.

 

14) Prospective Reporting:

a) The BSA is committed to working with the YPC to discuss and improve transparency and accountability with respect to any future instances of sexual abuse, including the dissemination of information relating to abuse statistics, consistent with practices of other youth-serving organizations, and what information may be appropriately made available on the BSA’s website.

b) The BSA also agrees to work with the YPC on a protocol to ensure that at the request of a Scout parent or legal guardian, summary information regarding youth or adult offenders being placed on the Volunteer Screening Database for child sexual abuse for a specific Troop or unit is provided. The BSA agrees to finalize this protocol no later than 6 months following the Effective Date.

15) Youth Protection Leadership

a) The BSA will continue to engage with youth protection experts to monitor best practices utilized by youth serving organizations, and will work with the YPC to continue to explore partnership opportunities, including with academic institutions and other youth protection organizations, to collaborate and share data, including consideration of factor-based analysis and other methodologies to prevent abuse. 5

b) The BSA will work with the YPC to take a leadership role in youth protection, including:

i) Supporting federal legislation for certified volunteer programs, unsuitable leader reporting and a database for youth serving organizations or those added into database.

ii) Holding a meeting, at least once every two years, with recognized sexual abuse experts and other similarly situated organizations to discuss best practices and innovations in youth protection.

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Shared this with my wife. She's busy, but the initial reaction was swift and simple. Either or both entities - BSA or an association of YSO's - better insure up and lawyer up. After she said that, my

For all - Be aware that there are substantive footnotes on the filed Term Sheet that don't appear here. You can go to the master doc to see them, if interested.

I think what I will do is basically register most parents every year.  Ask all parents ... hey, do you think you ever want to stay overnight?  If so, let's get you registered now.  Otherwise, you may

Quite a document.  The things that jump out to me are the attempts at transparency and accountability.  I've thought for a while that BSA has for too long only answered to itself, and that lack of accountability has led to insular thinking and poor practices.

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29 minutes ago, Eagle1993 said:

Non-Monetary Commitments.

For all - Be aware that there are substantive footnotes on the filed Term Sheet that don't appear here. You can go to the master doc to see them, if interested.

Edited by ThenNow
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8 minutes ago, ThenNow said:

For all - Be aware that there are substantive footnotes on the filed Term Sheet that don't appear here. You can go to the master doc to see them, if interested.

Agreed.  It was hard enough to copy over the primary language.  I recommend reviewing the entire document.  

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Here is the Cub Scout carve out:

Cub Scout Programs (Overnight): Cub Scout parents or legal guardians taking part in an overnight program with their own child are not required to register as leaders but must review the BSA’s Barriers to Abuse with a unit leader before the activity. Cub Scout youth can only attend with and must be supervised by their own parent or legal guardian at all times, or a registered adult member of the BSA who is attending with their child. A registered leader must be present at any time the parent or legal guardian is with other youth members other than their own. Cub Scout camping is limited to a Local Council’s designated locations with appropriate facilities and Barriers to Abuse materials will be prominently posted at all locations for such programs.

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So I support reporting statistics, trends, findings, etc.  Those convicted in a court of child abuse should be listed.  My concern with what I read above is that someone could be accused of some action in Scouting that gets him or her ejected from the program.  That bar should be relatively low because we are trying to screen out people who might be abusers.  However, for their name to then be reported as such when there was no due process or findings in a court of law would seem to improperly impugn their character and be a reason for Scouting to be sued.  Should we not eject people who were felt to have inappropriate actions, keep them in a file so they cannot join Scouting somewhere else, add them to statistics, use demographic information to learn how to better screen, but do not publish their names until found guilty?

 

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6 minutes ago, Eagle1993 said:

Here is the Cub Scout carve out:

Cub Scout Programs (Overnight): Cub Scout parents or legal guardians taking part in an overnight program with their own child are not required to register as leaders but must review the BSA’s Barriers to Abuse with a unit leader before the activity. Cub Scout youth can only attend with and must be supervised by their own parent or legal guardian at all times, or a registered adult member of the BSA who is attending with their child. A registered leader must be present at any time the parent or legal guardian is with other youth members other than their own. Cub Scout camping is limited to a Local Council’s designated locations with appropriate facilities and Barriers to Abuse materials will be prominently posted at all locations for such programs.

This was the area that really concerned me when talking about the 72 hour rule changing to full registration/backgrounding.  

I hope they're able to develop a way for adults to be registered more quickly and inexpensively.  My troop can handle having to register and background anybody camping with the troop, but I know that smaller and less well resourced troops will struggle with this, especially if the process remains as cumbersome and costly as it currently is.  

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Just now, T2Eagle said:

This was the area that really concerned me when talking about the 72 hour rule changing to full registration/backgrounding.  

I hope they're able to develop a way for adults to be registered more quickly and inexpensively.  My troop can handle having to register and background anybody camping with the troop, but I know that smaller and less well resourced troops will struggle with this, especially if the process remains as cumbersome and costly as it currently is.  

Its not clear to me if the language about adult program participant is a new category, or is a 18-21 venture scout or is the same thing as a Cub Scout parent. I would hope that they have a cheaper/easier route for parents going on a campout but are not leaders.

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3 minutes ago, T2Eagle said:

This was the area that really concerned me when talking about the 72 hour rule changing to full registration/backgrounding.  

I hope they're able to develop a way for adults to be registered more quickly and inexpensively.  My troop can handle having to register and background anybody camping with the troop, but I know that smaller and less well resourced troops will struggle with this, especially if the process remains as cumbersome and costly as it currently is.  

Perhaps if we volunteers were to treat it more as an expectation of everyone and not as a burden as coaches seem to do, it will be better accepted.  

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10 minutes ago, vol_scouter said:

My concern with what I read above is that someone could be accused of some action in Scouting that gets him or her ejected from the program.

In P13(a), note the word "confirmed." That has to be fleshed out and defined, and the process is TBD. I'm sure there will be much discussion and lawyering involved for backside protection, as well as protection of the accused. Accused vs confirmed is a key difference. 

the BSA agrees to work with the YPC on a protocol that makes confirmed past child abusers in Scouting, and future confirmed child abusers in Scouting, publicly known.

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23 minutes ago, T2Eagle said:

I hope they're able to develop a way for adults to be registered more quickly and inexpensively. 

What would that look like? I know nothing about these processes and fees.

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29 minutes ago, ThenNow said:

What would that look like? I know nothing about these processes and fees.

Perhaps there is a leader registration (Scoutmaster, Cubmaster, etc.) that requires specific training and unit leadership.   That could come with higher fees and perhaps more process.

Then, perhaps, you can have a registered adult.  They cannot sign off on rank, etc.  However, they are registered, go through YPT and a background check.

Perhaps the fees for registered adult could be kept very low ($10) to cover background check.

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24 minutes ago, ThenNow said:

What would that look like? I know nothing about these processes and fees.

Current process is 1) completing a full application, 2)getting it signed/approved by Committee Chair, 3) get it signed and approved by Chartered Organization Rep., 4) Get it to council office along with printed copy of YP training certificate, 5) pay $45 registration fee, 6) council has to obtain background check, 7)  Scout Exec has to review application & background check, 8 approved application has to be entered into council system, 9) unit has to be notified that volunteer now approved and registered.

Often times, when we're talking about a previously unregistered parent attending camp for the first time, it can either be a last minute decision where we need more leaders to drive and cover the activity, or at best it's maybe two weeks out when plans for both troop and volunteer family are finalized.

 

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1 minute ago, T2Eagle said:

Often times, when we're talking about a previously unregistered parent attending camp for the first time, it can either be a last minute decision where we need more leaders to drive and cover the activity, or at best it's maybe two weeks out when plans for both troop and volunteer family are finalized.

I don't think any process would be last minute.  There is probably going to need to be some lead time to allow a background check.

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