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NancyB

Child abuse registry checks?

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The criminal background checks issue has me wondering - do the boy scouts check to see if the volunteers have anything in their background such as founded child abuse incidents? I have learned that one of our leaders has a founded child abuse against him for injuring his son. This isn't just hearsay. I learned about it from his wife who is divorcing him b/c of it. He is still actively involved in scouting. I am very concerned that he would still be allowed to be around boys. It was my understanding that the scouts are very diligent in checking this to make sure that none of the boys are placed at risk. To me this would be a bigger concern than most things that might be on a criminal record b/c it would show concerns about his temper around children. This would also be a concern b/c someone might be on the child abuse registry for a sexual offense that might not have been prosecuted for whatever reason. so does this get checked?

 

Thanks.

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These kinds of things are supposed to come up in the check, but actual results probably vary by jurisdiction. BSA has issued new adult application forms that all adults must fill out this year which includes a signature block authorizing a background check. Failure to sign the block will result in non-admission or dismissal from Scouting.

 

In this particular case, I'd take the accusation with a grain of salt. Divorces tend to bring out the worst in people, and false accusations of abuse are not uncommon as part of a power play for custody, alimony, and other reasons. If the guy does have this charge on his record, it should show up when they do the background check on him, which everyone is supposed to be getting soon if not already recently. If you believe that it won't show up, or not soon enough, you can report the information you have to you district executive and the unit leaders (Committee Chair, Charter Rep, Institutional Head).

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Thanks for the advice. I tend to believe this mom. She is more in a state of shock than anything else and the divorce is a result of the abuse. She is just struggling to hold herself and her children together. Apparently it had been going on for some time but her child was afraid to tell her due to fear of his father and had been hiding it. It only came out because he didn't hide his most recent injury.

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One wonders why mom is telling you rather than telling the local scout council? And why you are telling us and not telling the local scout council?

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One wonders why mom is telling you rather than telling the local scout council? And why you are telling us and not telling the local scout council?

 

Looking for advise? Questioning why this didn't show up on a background check? And we don't know if this is true or not so reporting it to the local council without all the facts would be irresponsible!

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NancyB...the reality is that it could take a while for the BSA to catch up to the guy. If you are a registered leader, then the proper course of action for you is to call the Council office, and request to "speak to the Scout Executive on a Youth Protection matter". This is the code that the secretaries understand and will put you right through, if he/she is available. Tell him what you've told us. You do not have to be right...you just need to have suspicion. The SE will then take the steps to investigate the matter and take proper action. This is all handled confidentially, so you will not be briefed on the outcome. If the guy has a history of abuse, he needs to be removed from the program sooner rather than later. I would also suggest you go online and take the YP training for your Council, which will outline the proper ways to report.

 

PS to Ed: I've been in the program over 35 years and just found out I've never had a background check. Had to fill out a new app for recharter and I doubt it's made its way through the hoops yet.(This message has been edited by scoutldr)

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Sctledr is correct in that you have the duty to contact the SE immediately! Call the office and mention youth protection, 99.9999% you will get the SE.

 

This may be just my local council's policy, but if a supsected incident happens after office hours, contact the DE immediately and he will call the SE. Yep I had to wake up the SE about a YP issue at 2AM one morning when I was a DE back in the day. NOT FUN :(

 

You do not want to deal with an issue at a scouting event, that is not fun. Nip it in the bud NOW, before anyone else gets hurt.

 

As for legal issues, don't know the exact terminology, but you are protected in most, possible all, states from any false accustaion charges if the accustation is false. Again the youth are the primary concern.

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>>I've been in the program over 35 years and just found out I've never had a background check. Had to fill out a new app for recharter and I doubt it's made its way through the hoops yet.

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As of April, 2003, BSA has required background checks to be done on all new leaders.

 

Starting this past June, BSA contacted leaders by letter who, for whatever reason, had not filled in a new adult application since April 2003, and so had never had a background check done. They were required to give BSA their SS# for a background check. If they declined to give out their SS#, they were dropped from their units recharter list.

 

NancyB, if this abuse was documented, and/or prosecuted, AFTER this man became a leader, and had his background checked, then there would have been no way for this to have shown up.

 

From what you have stated, this abuse has already been reported to the authorities, and acted upon by them. Therefore, there is nothing to "report". What you are concerned about is this man continuing as a leader in your unit.

 

Talk to the head of your Charter Organization - ONLY. You do not need to involve anyone else in the Pack. Tell them what you know, and how you know it. It is THEIR call weather to relieve this man of his leadership or not.

 

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Thanks for the advice. I am new to scouting and didn't know where to go with it and wanted to get to the right person and make the right type of statement. I have yet to understand all the different titles and functions of the different people. I wanted to make sure my concern got to the right person who would be able to check it out and take any action if necessary for the safety of the boys. My understanding is that it was investigated by the child abuse agency and it was founded and he was placed on the child abuse registry.

 

And even if the information is not correct, isn't it better to be safe than sorry where children are concerned? What if he were to lose his cool at a scout event and injure another boy? My own conscience couldn't live with that if I had known something and not passed along the information to those that could have checked it out.

 

thanks again.

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I'm gonna wear a couple different hats right now...

 

as a divorcee- before you do ANYthing regarding this father, get confirmation. Divorces can get reeeeal ugly. Check.

 

As a mom- do NOT let this father alone with ANY boy, including his own. Even in sight but out of earshot. Just because scouting hasn't caught up with him doesn't mean he isn't under a restraining order from his own kid, which he would be if he is even under investigation.

 

As a social worker- at any rate, this kid is going thru hell, phisically abused or not, there is some serious emotional stuff going on. Be there, listen to him, give him lots of 1:1 time.

 

finally, Mom WILL have paperwork with SOMEthing to back up what she says, ask for it. there should be a restraining order if there is documented abuse, I'm sure mom will be happy to give it too you if it means keeping her kid safe. the police station might be able to help you too, although i don't know what kind of info they could give you- take a copy of the application with his info. Your council could also hopefully expidite the background check, or run it again. But definatly get some sort of proof before you jump in the middle of a nasty divorce.

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I understand what you mean, gcan, but be aware that the BSA does not permit "1:1 time"...for this very reason. PLEASE take the Youth Protection training on-line which will explain the BSA policies. And as a parent or volunteer, it is not our job to "confirm" anything. That could make things worse for the kid and send the offender underground knowing that people are watching him. If you have a "reasonable suspicion", just report that. Nothing more, nothing less. Then you've done all you can do. Do not engage in gossip or rumor-mongering, because that can be construed as slander if it turns out to be untrue. If you perceive that nothing happens, and you are still uncomfortable with the situation, then all you can do is vote with your feet and find another unit.

 

The "Scout Executive" is the paid professsional Scouter in charge of a Council. He is the only one you should report to, unless he is out of town or something and the #2 guy is acting.

 

http://www.scouting.org/YouthProtection.aspx

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"My understanding is that it was investigated by the child abuse agency and it was founded and he was placed on the child abuse registry."

 

This is easily verified as most states have online registries that anyone can check. Usually if the abuse is against their own child, the abuser is denied access to the child by the authorities.

 

IF this is true, why has the mother left her son under her husband's care in Scouting? Why have the authorities?

 

 

I can't help but wonder - Is this, by any chance, the same man who you wrote about in September? The one who you were trying to have removed from the Troop for having a "romantic relationship" with another married leader?

 

 

 

 

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I'll relate an experience that we had within our Pack were I was a DL. A mom wished to be a DL for her son and filled out the adult registration. A background check showed she was living with a man who had a prior Sexual conviction. (When he was a minor!)This man was a father of the same boy and attended Den meetings from time to time and the Pack events. He was not a leader, just a parent who dropped off his boy then hung out until the meeting was over then took his boy home.

 

Needless to say this caused concern. Because all of the events occurred at a public school we felt out of place to ask him not to be there. What we did was ask that he drop his son off and pick up during den meetings but not hang around. He could attend the Pack meetings with no problem. He agreed and it all worked out. All the parents involved had knowledge and agreed to the solution. Our DE was also aware.

 

Bottom line is that a parent was convicted of a sex crime when he was a youth and the stigma will follow to his dying days. Its not just leaders. Our troop has a policy that ANY parent who attends our campouts is registered.

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I wasn't actually suggesting you go off in the woods alone with a kid; you can very easily give some 1:1 sitting around a campfire, or while on a hike. I guess I should clarify for the literal-minded among us! Spend some time talking to the boy, asking him how he's doing, take a personal interest in his life. *ahem* within site of others, of course. The G2SS is, by definition, a GUIDE. It doesn't mention anything about going above and beyond when you know a kid is having trouble at home, but I personally am in this to help kids, not shut them out.

 

Besides, if dad has an RO against him and you allow him to be around his child KNOWING you shouldn't, you could very well find yourself up a creek, KWIM? It's much better to be safe than sorry. ScoutLdr is right that it's NOT "our job" to find out what's really happening to this kid, but if you want to help him maybe you could do a little bit more than what you have to do. Whether mom's allegations are true or not, the kid needs as many friends as he can get right now. And I really fail to see how finding out the truth to best to keep a kid safe is going to "make things worse for him", but maybe I'm just missing something!

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