There are two types of Youth Protection–related reporting procedures all volunteers must follow:
- When you witness or suspect any child has been abused or neglected—See “Mandatory Report of Child Abuse” below.
- When you witness a violation of the BSA’s Youth Protection policies—See “Reporting Violations of BSA Youth Protection Policies” below.
Mandatory Report of Child Abuse
All persons involved in Scouting shall report to local authorities any good-faith suspicion or belief that any child is or has been physically or sexually abused, physically or emotionally neglected, exposed to any form of violence or threat, exposed to any form of sexual exploitation, including the possession, manufacture, or distribution of child pornography, online solicitation, enticement, or showing of obscene material. You may not abdicate this reporting responsibility to any other person.
Steps to Reporting Child Abuse or Suspected Child Abuse
Georgia law requires all adult members of youth serving organizations – including volunteers and staff – to make a good faith report whenever there is reason to suspect a youth is being abused. If a child disclosed abuse to you, you see signs of abuse, or you have reason to suspect abuse is occurring, you must report it immediately to Division of Family and Children Services. If you discover or suspect abuse:
- Ensure the child is in a safe environment. If the child is currently in danger of being abused, call 911 immediately.
- As soon as possible, but no later than 24 hours after suspicion or disclosure of abuse, report your discovery or suspicion to Division of Family and Children Services by calling 1-855-GA-CHILD.
- The Georgia Mandated Reporter Form can help you understand what makes a good report. You can download the form here.
- Notify the Scout Executive or his/her designee. (See contact names/numbers below.)
Steps to Reporting Youth Protection Policy Violations
Scouting’s “Barriers to Abuse” outline the policies and practices that must be applied to every interaction between youth and adults. There can be no exceptions to these policies.
Scouting units are responsible for enforcing Youth Protection policies. If you discover a policy violation, report it to the Scout Executive or his/her designee immediately. (See contact names/numbers below.)