Yellow Card - ScoutHelp

Working Safely with Young People


The 'Young People First' code of good practice (yellow card)

As an adult in Scouting you have a responsibility to ensure that young people are protected from harm. It is the responsibility of each adult in Scouting to ensure that:

  • their behaviour is appropriate at all times
  • they observe the rules established for the safety and security of young people
  • they follow the procedures following suspicion, disclosure or allegation of child abuse
  • the recognise the position of trust in which they have been placed; and
  • in every respect, the relationships they form with young people on their care are appropriate

All Adults in Scouting, including Members of the Scout Network who wish to work with young people, must accept and understand this policy. They must also agree to put the Association's policy on child protection into practice.

Meeting your responsibilities

To give positive guidance the 'Young people First' (yellow card) sets out a code of behaviour. It is essential that all adults in Scouting follow this code. The 'do's and don'ts' can help you ensure that:

  • the welfare of the young people for whom you have a duty of care is safeguarded
  • you avoid compromising situations or opportunities for misunderstandings or allegations

Every Adult should have a copy of the code of good practice 'Young People First' (yellow card). The yellow card is designed for you to keep - carry it.

Check that:

  • you have your own copy
  • all other adults involved in the work of your Section/Group also have a copy
  • you have a copy (A3) of the Yellow Card displayed in you HQ or meeting place
  • parents / carers are made aware of the 'Young People First' Policy

Code of behaviour


DO put this code into practice at all times

DO treat everyone with dignity and respect

DO set an example you would wish others to follow

DO treat all young people equally . show no favouritism

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

DO follow recommended adult/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 e.g. a sexual relationship with a youth Member 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 any attitudes or behaviours they do not like

DO avoid being drawn into inappropriate attention seeking behaviour e.g. tantrums and crushes

DO follow the Association.s 'no alcohol' guidance when young people are in your care

DO make everyone aware of the Association.s child protection procedures - young people, parents/carers,Young Leaders and other helpers

DO remember this code even at sensitive moments e.g. when responding to bullying, bereavement or abuse

DO keep other Leaders informed of where you are and what you are doing

DO remember someone else might misinterpret your actions, no matter how well-intentioned

DO take any allegations or concerns of abuse seriously and refer immediately

DO NOT trivialise abuse

DO NOT form a relationship with a young person that is an abuse of trust

DO NOT permit abusive peer activities e.g. initiation ceremonies, bullying

DO NOT engage in inappropriate behaviour or contact . physical, verbal, sexual

DO NOT play 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 . writing, phoning, email or internet

DO NOT let allegations, suspicions, or concerns about abuse go unreported

DO NOT just rely on your good name to protect you

Get your own copy

To get copies of the yellow card, including the enlarged version, contact the Scout Information Centre on 0845 300 1818 or