Chief Chat – Listening to our Young People

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Dear Scouting Member,

We recently launched the Scouts NSW Child Safe Advocates Scheme which aims to create an environment in which our youth members feel confident about being able to voice their issues and concerns. We asked members to step forward and become Advocates for youth safety in Scouting.

It's been humbling to see the tremendous support for this initiative from across our membership base.

Many members have already completed online training available from the Office of the Children's Guardian which forms the basis of training to become an Advocate. Once their training is complete, Advocates will be able to offer their support and a listening ear to all of our members where they are concerned about their own safety, or the safety of another member.

The Scheme has also received acknowledgement and praise from many sectors, including the Honourable Pru Goward MP, the Minister for Family and Community Services.

While the intention of the scheme has been both welcomed and supported, recently, we learned that the acronym CSA carries multiple meanings. Following consultation with key stakeholders, including the survivor network SAMSN and a representative from the Royal Commission, we have chosen to change the name to Youth Safe Advocates or YSAs.

This decision has been made out of respect to survivors, and we would like to thank the stakeholders who have been incredibly generous in giving their time to work with us to ensure the scheme is appropriate for all members of the community.

The new name, Youth Safe Advocates, also reiterates our focus on creating a safe environment extends to all youth members and Rovers.

Scouts NSW Youth Safe Advocates (YSAs) will continue to attend Scouting events and activities. Each YSA will wear a unique Youth Safe Advocate badge and woggle to allow them to be easily identified as a champion of child safety. YSAs will actively promote the Scouts NSW core message "I have the right to feel safe", a very important message Lloyd as Youth Commissioner is championing to all of our Youth Members.

Please encourage young people within Scouting to feel confident about being able to talk with a YSA. Young people across NSW – and indeed everywhere – want their voices to be heard. This wonderful initiative is a great example of how we are enabling young people to use their voice to stand up and speak out. As adults in Scouting our role is to listen to, learn from and work with our young people to strengthen that voice.

If you would like to apply to become a YSA, please speak to your Region Commissioner, or complete an expression of interest form available on the Scouts NSW website:

https://www.nsw.scouts.com.au/about/child-health-safety/

Where you or anyone you know has a concern you would like to raise with us, you are also able to submit a direct online report via the website – click here to Report a Child Protection Matter.

At Scouts NSW we are committed to the creation of a child safe environment and a place where all Members of Scouting both youth and adult feel free to openly speak about their concerns. Youth safety is everyone's responsibility, and we ask that you continue to support our YSAs in this important role.

With best wishes,

Yours in Scouting,

Neville Signature Lloyd Signature
Neville Tomkins OAM JP
Chief Commissioner
Scouts Australia (NSW Branch)
Lloyd Nurthen
Youth Commissioner
Scouts Australia (NSW Branch)

Remember 

All suspicions, concerns or allegations about criminal matters or child protection matters should be reported directly to the Chief Commissioner, the Deputy Chief Commissioner (Youth Safety, Compliance and Support), the CEO or the Child Protection Officer at the NSW State Office.
To make a report use the online child protection form, call 02 9735 9000 or email childprotection@nsw.scouts.com.au

Imminent Danger
If a young person is in imminent danger, the matter should be reported directly and immediately to NSW Police on 131444.

Where a report is made to the police, you should also subsequently notify the NSW State Office.

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