Through our Promise & Law, every member makes a commitment to being the best they can be, to support the safety and wellbeing of others, and to support their community and the wider world.
Scouts Victoria has approximately 17,300 youth and 6,500 adult members, meaning that engagement with families and the community takes many forms.
4.1 Families participate in decisions affecting their child.
Families have many opportunities to participate in decisions affecting their child. We encourage them to be as active as they can be in all parts of the Scouting journey.
Initially, this is done through direct conversation with the local Group Leader. Families are welcome to try Scouting, explore different options (such as Groups or Sections) and when ready, enrol via our online application system. Once enrolled, families receive the Scouting’s Guide for Parents & Carers which outlines our Child Safe expectations as well as more comprehensively explaining Scouting processes and terminology.
Our youth members participate in making the Scout Promise early on (their investiture) and their Intro to Section. These sections are usually completed before a youth member jumps fully into activities and programs. It allows the discussion of expected behaviours, and help-seeking behaviours are the very beginning of the journey.
Sections also complete a Unit Code of Conduct, which more clearly outlines the expectations for each individual Section. This should be revised annually, with families and communities involved and revisited once per term, or when an incident occurs.
Parents and guardians are also welcome to join our community as Leaders, Adult Supporters, or in other supporting roles.
Key decisions impacting a young person are made together with families. A key example point for a youth member is when to transition from Section to Section. When this transition occurs is an individual arrangement between the youth member, their family, and the Leaders of the two Sections. Scouting takes place in mixed-aged cohorts by design, so individual adjustments can be made to suit the needs of the individuals. The needs and comfort of the youth member is at the forefront of all decision making. Once a youth member moves Section, they complete the intro to Section and make their Scout promise again.
Another example is our Child Safe Standard Operating Procedures which recognise and support the need for a family to be involved when an incident has occurred.
To ensure that the voice of families is heard, Scouts Victoria and Child Wise recently surveyed and consulted with representative samples of parents, Leaders – who are most commonly parents of current or past youth members, and group support committee members on issues regarding child safety and the creation of Responding to Harmful and Unwanted Behaviours between Youth Members Policy and Procedure
4.2 The organisation engages and openly communicates with families and the community about its child safe approach and relevant information is accessible.
Once a completed application is received, families of new youth members are sent A Guide to Parents and Caregivers. In addition to an explanation of the Aims, Purpose, and Method of Scouting, this guide includes:
The Promise & Law
Scout Victoria’s Value Statement
Scout Victoria's commitment to child protection
Information on how to report child safety concerns
Unacceptable Adult Behaviours
Adult Code of Conduct
This guide – and the information found within – is publicly available on our website. A more detailed explanation of Scout Victoria’s child safety commitment – including all policies, factsheets, and support resources - is publicly available on our website.
The Child Safe section is easy to access, and contains all sorts of relevant information available to families, members and communities.
4.3 Families and communities have a say in the development and review of the organisation’s policies and practices.
While Group Leaders are a family's direct point-of-contact, all policy and procedural recommendations and feedback is received and managed by Scouts Victoria, the State Leadership Team, and Branch Executive Committee. When families leave the movement, they are given an opportunity to provide feedback through an exit survey.
In 2022, Scouts Victoria and Child Wise surveyed and consulted with representative samples of parents, Leaders – who are most commonly parents of current or past youth members, and Group Support Committee members on issues regarding child safety. This consultation and collaboration with Child Wise resulted in the creation of Responding to Harmful and Unwanted Behaviours between Youth Members Policy and Procedure.
4.4 Families, carers and the community are informed about the organisation’s operations and governance.
Scouts Victoria informs families, carers, and the community about their operations and governance through:
Scout Victoria’s website
Social media posts
Group Support Committees
Annual Reports and Presentation (ARAP) - run by Groups, Districts, and State
Scouts Victoria’s Strategic Plan
A Founder’s Day email to all adult members that invites them to reaffirm their commitment to child safety.
Be Informed – an email newsletter to all adult Leaders