Longtime child protection advocate and international law enforcement expert Glen Pounder has been appointed by Irving-based Boy Scouts of America as its youth protection executive.
He brings more than 25 years of experience in child protection and law enforcement to the BSA.
“Youth protection is at the heart of everything we do, and we are thrilled to welcome Glen Pounder as a leader and dedicated expert in this area,” Roger Mosby, president and chief executive officer of the BSA, said in a statement. “We executed a lengthy, thoughtful search process to fill this new role, and Mr. Pounder is the ideal fit—due in large part to his empathy, leadership abilities, and dedication to law enforcement, child safety, and Scouting.”
Previously, Pounder held roles with the Child Rescue Coalition (CRC) and National Crime Agency (NCA), in addition to serving as a founding board member of Raven, a nonprofit organization dedicated to combatting the exploitation of children worldwide.
Barriers to Abuse
The BSA said that Pounder’s responsibilities will include assessing and overseeing all activities related to youth protection nationwide, including policy, training, external partnerships, and engagement with the survivor community.
“I am humbled and honored to join the BSA in this significant new role,” Pounder said in a statement. “There can be no higher priority than the safety and protection of young people, and the work that we are doing is not only critical to the future of Scouting, but to youth everywhere.”
The Boy Scouts of America said that it is aware safety is not a static issue and is always looking for ways to improve its youth protection program to ensure it is utilizing the most up-to-date policies and procedures to protect children.
The BSA said its multilayered safeguards include the following measures, all of which act as barriers to abuse:
- Extensive, mandatory youth protection training for all volunteers and employees
- Partnership with the Barbara Sinatra Children’s Center Foundation to educate and empower youth through the new “Protect Yourself Rules” videos to educate children to understand and recognize abuse while empowering them to get help any time they are made to feel uncomfortable
- A leadership policy that requires at least two youth-protection trained adults be present with youth at all times during Scouting activities and bans one-on-one situations where adults would have any interaction alone with children – either in person, online, or via phone or text
- A BSA team dedicated to addressing concerns raised about any individual in Scouting
- A thorough screening process for new adult leaders and staff including criminal background checks
- The prompt mandatory reporting of any allegation or suspicion of abuse to law enforcement
The BSA said it supports universal measures to keep kids safe and continue to advocate for the creation of a national database to which all youth-serving organizations could contribute and use to screen volunteers.
Help for survivors
The BSA also offers a 24/7 Scouts First Helpline (1-844-SCOUTS1) and email contact address ([email protected]) for help reporting suspected abuse or inappropriate behavior.
The appointment comes about a month after Reuters reported that a U.S. judge affirmed the Boy Scouts of America’s $2.46 billion settlement of decades of sex abuse claims, rejecting appeals by some of the group’s insurers and abuse claimants.
U.S. District Judge Richard Andrews in Wilmington, Delaware, ruled that the Boy Scouts agreement, which would establish the largest sexual abuse settlement fund in the nation’s history, was a good faith effort to resolve claims by more than 80,000 men who say they were abused as children by troop leaders.
The ruling was approved in bankruptcy court in September and was supported by 86% of abuse claimants and the Boy Scouts’ two largest insurers, Reuters reported.
Get on the list.
Dallas Innovates, every day.
Sign up to keep your eye on what’s new and next in Dallas-Fort Worth, every day.