Since Scouting's inception, having the highest quality of volunteers as role
models and mentors for youth has been of utmost importance. Our highest priority
continues to be the safety of our youth members and participants.
The Occoneechee Council and Boy Scouts of America continue to seek and impendent
improvements to our youth protection guidelines and procedures. We are happy
to report that new information technologies are now available to conduct
accurate, reliable criminal history record checks on volunteer applicants.
These checks are based on the applicant's Social Security Number. This important
development offers a practical way to limit the possibility of individuals
with a history of criminal acts against children being granted positions
with the BSA. When used in conjunction with other youth protection strategies,
criminal history record checks are valuable tools that discourage ineligible
volunteers from seeking positions with the BSA and help to identify and screen
out those who do apply. This process will supplement the current application
process, which includes reference cheeks and the ineligible volunteer screening.
The new Criminal Background Screening will be conducted on all new adult
volunteers in the traditional Scouting program. If an adult application is
completed, the council will perform the background check. The new adult leader
volunteer application now clearly advises applicants that a criminal background
screening will be conducted and requires written consent to conduct the background
check and permission to use the resulting information. All adult applications
now requires a Social Security Number.
The new adult application includes the following statement:
What does this mean to our current Volunteers? The primary impact will be
a feeling of greater security and the knowledge that anyone with a history
of criminal conduct with a child will more likely not be a volunteer in your
unit. It also means a new adult application cannot be processed without a
Social Security Number and consent to conduct the background check.
We believe the critical importance of protecting our youth from abuse or
violence will be recognized by all and that parents and leaders will take
comfort and pride in the steps we are taking.
This article was printed in the December 2002-January 2003 edition of the Occoneechee
Council's Scout Sign newspaper (page 7).