On Monday, May 18th, the Utah National Parks Council announced a major change to the policies that allow them to guard against and weed out incidents of child sexual abuse in the Boy Scout Corps. The Utah National Parks Council is the nation’s largest youth scouting organization, made up of over 89,000 youth spread across 5,000 scout troops. A majority of the Council’s members come from wards of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, meaning that special precautions must be taken in order to avoid the terrible mistakes of the past that lead to several child sexual abuse lawsuits against church and scout leaders.
Under their new policy, all scout leaders in the Utah National Parks Council are required to stay up-to-date on their Youth Protection Training certification, or risk losing their troop charter. Youth Protection Training is a national program that focuses on educating adults involved in scouting on how to properly identify, report, and prevent incidents of child sexual abuse. Utah National Parks Council members will now be required to complete the training, which can be administered either through in-person training or online, at least once every year.
The Utah National Parks Council is the nation’s largest scouting organization, and now also becomes the strictest in terms of requiring scout leaders to pass this rigorous child protection training. All other scouting organizations in the U.S currently require scout leaders to complete this training once every two years, but the leaders of the Utah National Parks Council decided to be proactive in their approach to child safety, and hold their scout leaders to a higher standard.
The new policy took effect on May 1st of this year, but the organization’s Director of Support Services, John Gailey, estimates that approximately 10% of the group’s scout units are not currently up to date on their training. Gailey stated that he expects full compliance on the part of all scout leaders by end of this year.
The Boy Scouts of America organization has faced lawsuits in the past related to incidents of child sexual abuse. While the organization is not currently facing any legal action, the decision to step up their training criteria should serve them well as they continue to strive to provide every child in their care with a safe, happy and memorable scouting experience.
The Boy Scouts of America is a wonderful organization that provides young men and women from all backgrounds a chance to learn the values of sharing, teamwork and self-sufficiency. This is why it was devastating to many former and current scouts and scout leaders to see their traditions ripped apart by incidents of adults abusing their power and harming the children in their care. Gailey and the rest of the Utah National Parks Council are hoping that, as the largest scouting organization in the country, other chapters will follow their lead and take Youth Protection Training much more seriously moving forward.
At Nix Patterson & Roach we are committed to protecting the rights of victims of Child Sexual Abuse. Attorney Neil Smith of Nix Patterson & Roach law firm has been helping families and victims of child sexual abuse for years and have represented plaintiffs with numerous successful outcomes.
We encourage all scout leaders, teachers, religious leaders, and all other adults in positions of power over young children to take this, or similar, child abuse prevention training. Even if you are up-to-date on all child safety guidelines, it can never hurt to be reminded of why we go out of our way to keep children safe and provide strong, positive examples for them as they grow up.
If you have witnessed or suspect an adult of engaging in inappropriate or abusive behavior with a child, it is vitally important that you take action right away. At Nix Patterson & Roach, we know how to handle cases of child sexual abuse in a manner that is thorough, compassionate, and will get the maximum compensation towards a child’s care and recovery.
Our goal is to work with victims of abuse to seek the justice they deserve by holding the responsible parties accountable and making sure they do not subject other victims to abuse.
Call us today at 1-800-220-1088 to learn how our experienced legal team may be able to help.
Let our law firm fight for you and help make things a little better. You can get through this with the proper support and we can help. Call Nix Patterson & Roach right away for a Free Confidential Consultation. It will not cost you anything to discuss your possible case.