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Volunteer Support > Safeguarding > Young People First

To give positive guidance, the 'Young People First' code of practice (also known as the yellow card) sets out a code of behaviour for all adults in Scouting.

Every adult should have a copy of the 'Young People First' code of practice. It is designed so you can keep it with you at all times during Scouting activities.

Check that:

  • You have your own copy.
  • All other adults involved in working with young people have a copy.
  • You have a copy displayed in your HQ or meeting place (large copies are available from Scout Shops).
  • Parents/Carers are made aware of the yellow card and our child protection policy.

Code of behaviour

Do keep to this code at all times.

Do treat everyone with dignity and respect.

Do set an example for others to follow.

Do treat all young people equally - do not show favouritism.

Do plan activities that involve more than one other person being present, or at least within sight and hearing of others.

Do follow the recommended adult-to-young people ratios for meetings and activities.

Do respect a young person's right to personal privacy.

Do avoid unacceptable situations within a relationship of trust, eg a sexual relationship with a young person who is over the age of consent.

Do have separate sleeping accommodation for young people, adults and Young Leaders working with a younger section.

Do allow young people to talk about any concerns they may have.

Do encourage others to challenge attitudes or behaviours they do not like.

Do avoid being drawn into inappropriate attention-seeking behaviour, eg tantrums and crushes

Do make everyone (young people, parents and carers, Young Leaders and other helpers) aware of our safeguarding arrangements.

Do remember this code at sensitive moments, eg when helping someone who has been bullied, bereaved or abused.

Do tell other leaders where you are and what you are doing

Do remember someone else might misinterpret your actions, even if you mean well.

Do take any allegations or concerns of abuse seriously and refer them to your Group Scout Leader or District Commissioner immediately.

Do not trivialise abuse.

Do not form a relationship with a young person that is an abuse of trust.

Do not drink alcohol when you are directly responsible for young people and never allow young people on Scouting activities to drink alcohol.

Do not allow abusive activities, eg initiation ceremonies or bullying.

Do not take part in inappropriate behaviour or contact, whether physical, verbal or sexual.

Do not take part in physical contact games with young people.

Do not make suggestive remarks or threats to a young person, even in fun.

Do not use inappropriate language when writing, phoning, emailing or using the internet.

Do not let allegations, suspicions, or concerns about abuse go unreported.

Do not rely just on your good name to protect you.

To get copies of the 'Young People First' code of practice (yellow card), including the large version, please contact Scout Shops on 01903 766921 or visit the website.

Young People First (yellow card)