SCOUTS FIRST HELPLINE
The protection of youth is the primary obligation of every individual involved in the Boy Scouts of America - including leaders, parents, members and professionals. The BSA has been and will continue to be vigilant in its efforts to create barriers that help prevent abuse and to recognize and report child abuse regardless of where it occurs.
As part of the BSA's "Scouts First" approach to the protection and safety of youth, the BSA has established "844- Scout1st ,”, (844-726-8871), a dedicated 24-hour helpline to receive reports of known or suspected abuse or behavior that might put a youth at risk. (The call may be answered by a person who gathers initial information and escalates the report for further handling based upon the nature of the situation.)
The helpline's goal is to provide immediate assistance to ensure that the victim, unit, and council are fully supported and the actions taken are properly documented. Minor, non-recurring infractions with no indication youth are at risk can still be addressed at the unit or council level.
Nationwide, the BSA requires everyone involved with Scouting to report any known or suspected abuse to local authorities.
Responding to Abuse: When information regarding known or suspected abuse or behavior that might put a youth at risk is first discovered, the following steps should immediately be taken:
- Get the victim medical treatment, if required, and to a place of safety if needed
- Ensure the victim(s) parents are notified as soon as possible
- Notify law enforcement and/or child protective services
- Call the 844-Scouts1st Helpline
Reporting Abuse or behavior that might put a youth at risk: Accurate information is critical to an appropriate response; however, a lack of specific information is not a reason to delay a report. At a minimum. every effort should be made to have the following infom1ation available when reporting to the 844-Scoutslst Helpline:
- The name, age, council, and unit of the alleged victim(s)
- The name and phone number of the victim's parent(s)
- The name, age, council, and unit of any other known or suspected victim(s) and their parents contact information
- The name, position, council, and unit of alleged perpetrator(s)
- The name and phone number of the law enforcement or protective service agency to which the incident was reported
- The name, unit, and council of any known witnesses
- The name and phone number of the reporter
- Details of the incident: who, what, where, and when
The BSA also offers assistance with counseling to any Scout, former Scout, or family member of any Scout who suffered abuse during their time in Scouting. Individuals can email firstname.lastname@example.org or call toll free at 855- 295-1531 to discuss these sensitive matters.
Questions regarding the 844-Scouts1st Helpline should be directed to BSA Membership Standards at 972-580-2365 or 972-580-2007.