Scouts Admit Response to Abuse was Insufficient

In a letter to the scouting community, the Boy Scouts of America have admitted that they “failed to defend Scouts from those who would do them harm” and released details of a review of their current protection program.

The review was conducted for the BSA by Dr. Janet Warren, a professor of psychiatry and neurobehavioral sciences at the University of Virginia. Among other qualifications and professional credentials, Dr. Warren is the University of Virginia’s liaison to the FBI Behavioral Sciences Unit and sits on the Research Advisory Board of the FBI’s National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime.

Dr. Warren’s report shows that, as part of our broader Youth Protection program, the BSA’s system of ineligible volunteer files functions to help protect Scouts. However, we also know that in some instances we failed to defend Scouts from those who would do them harm. There have been instances where people misused their positions in Scouting to abuse children, and in certain cases, our response to these incidents and our efforts to protect youth were plainly insufficient, inappropriate, or wrong. For any episode of abuse, and in any instance where those involved in Scouting failed to protect, or worse, inflicted harm on children, we extend our deepest apologies and sympathies to victims and their families. One instance of abuse is one too many. Boy Scouts of America, Sep 2012.

You can read details of the report on the BSA website.