Boy Scouts of America Implements Expanded Volunteer Screening System


The Boy Scouts of America has announced the selection of a state-of-the-art Internet-based criminal background checking system for its adult volunteers and leaders. The implementation of this new system provides local councils of the BSA with the capability of checking new volunteer applicants against state and national databases.

After an exhaustive search process, the BSA chose the ChoicePoint company's background checking system called VolunteerSelect. The Boy Scouts of America has been involved in updating and improving its youth protection guidelines and regulations on a consistent basis for decades.

"The safety of our youth has always been, and always will be, the paramount concern for the Boy Scouts of America," said Roy L. Williams, Chief Scout Executive. "We continually seek new ways to improve our youth protection methods and procedures because we believe in the critical importance of protecting our youth from any form of abuse. The selection of this program, VolunteerSelect, is further evidence of how seriously we take youth protection and safety."

The BSA is nationally recognized as having one of the most effective youth protection processes, involving youth instruction, parental commitment, and background/reference checks. Beginning in 1972, the BSA's standards for leadership were developed as a guideline for screening adult volunteers. VolunteerSelect is the latest step, enabling the more than 300 local councils to include national criminal, state sex offender, and county criminal screening.

If a match is found on a volunteer applicant, he or she will be sent a copy of the information and can dispute the findings. The council and the organization that sponsors the applicant's unit will then determine how to proceed, based upon BSA procedures.

The Boy Scouts of America is composed of 1.3 million volunteers working together for the sole purpose of helping more than 5 million youth succeed in life. The Boy Scouts of America's 93-year history is a testament to the enduring values of the Scouting program.