Information for Parent/ Adult Helpers

Parents and carers of our youth members may be asked to help out occasionally, this could be at events or camps or could be as part of a parent rota. We rely on parents/ carers to support our programme to enable us to continue to provide safe activities for our members.

Beaver and Cub sections are most likely to require the support of parents, but parents may also be asked to provide assistance to Scout and Explorer Scout sections. This is because, in order to ensure the activities are run safely, we are required to meet minimum adult to child ratios, especially if meeting outdoors.

Parent helpers will typically not be asked to plan and run meetings, unless they have a specific skill or hobby which they have agreed (in advance) to share as part of a meeting. Instead parents are asked to help supervise the activities. This may include:

  • helping to keep the group together (if outdoors)
  • helping by repeating instructions to a smaller group of children or young people
  • helping by explaining the activity should a child or young person not understand what they are doing
  • helping by keeping score during games
  • helping by intervening if they spot something happening or that is about to happen which may affect the safety of anyone present.

If a parent rota is being used by a section then parents and carers may be asked to sign up to help out more regularly, say once a term for example. Section leaders will contact all parents/ carers at the beginning of the term to find out which dates each parent may be able to do. The section leader will:

  • confirm what night a parent is allocated to (you will get an email via the parent portal just before the night you are assigned to
  • share the planned programme in advance (the programme can be found on the parent portal)

If you cannot make it on your agreed date then please let the team know as soon as possible or provide back up cover, we rely on you being there!

Before the meeting parent helpers:

  • should check the programme to find out about the planned activity (the programme can be found on the parent portal)
  • must read the Young People First – Yellow Card | Scouts and follow the guidance it contains when attending meetings/ events

At the beginning of the meeting parent helpers:

  • should arrive a little early so they can meet the team
  • will be briefed by the section leader on the planned activity and risk assessment
  • will be given an outline of what they will be doing during the meeting

During the meeting parent helpers:

  • should help individual children or young people, small groups all participants with the activities
  • should encourage the children/young people to listen and help manage good behaviour by being a positive role model. When any of the leaders raise their right hand this means to do the same, stand still and be quiet.
  • If you see something that does not look right or looks dangerous speak up
  • should try not to gravitate towards their own child. give them space to express themselves and gain confidence, you’re there to help everyone and while your child may gravitate towards you this may be counter productive for them and you.

At the end of the session parent helpers should:

  • help encourage the children and young people to tidy up.
  • help encourage the children/ young people to pay attention to the leaders if needed
  • not disappear immediately, the leaders will get together after the young people have left to review what went well, what didn’t go so well and therefore what could be improved, they will also review risk assessments to see in case they need to be updated. Your feedback is welcomed and important.

Additional notes

Some of this is covered by the yellow card (link above):

  • During the COVID-19 pandemic: all adult helpers should have a face covering (which they may be required to use depending on circumstances
  • Do not put yourself in a situation where you are one to one with any child or young person. Please ensure that there is always at least 1 other person present.
  • If a child/young person says anything to you, which causes concern please do not question them but speak to one of the leaders or contact the Group Scout Leader.
  • When meeting at the Scout HQ building: No children/young people are allowed in the Kitchen.

And finally

If you enjoy helping, could you consider making a commitment to the Group? Helping regularly does not necessarily mean helping every week, but it does mean that you can have fun with Scouting too!