Scouting Ireland has said it accepts and will implement the recommendations outlined by Ian Elliot in his report.
They are as follows:
1. The governance structure of Scouting Ireland should ensure that small, undemocratic cliques of members, do not exert undue influence on the decision making of the organisation.
This has happened and was accepted practice until very recently. It should continue to make use of experienced governance experts to advise it on how it develops its structure.
2. A robust disciplinary process should be adopted that will hold volunteers accountable where it has been found that their behaviour is unacceptable or contravenes the expectations that are held of how an adult volunteer should behave. It is important that this process should be capable of delivering discipline quickly to avoid situations occurring which drag on for months or even years.
3. Records should be created that reflect the safeguarding practice of the organisation fairly and comprehensively. They should be centrally stored, regularly monitored, and capable of being retrieved easily. The practice of holding documentation or electronic information outside of the approved central database, should be ended immediately.
4. The Board should be regularly updated on the overall safeguarding workload that exists, at any time, in Scouting Ireland. This information, when presented by the safeguarding manager, should be interrogated by the directors to satisfy themselves that appropriate responses were made to all the safeguarding concerns that emerged.
5. A diligent attempt should be made to establish what documentation exists outside of the official records system, currently. Home visits should be made to make it as easy as possible for anyone to return documentation for archiving in Larch Hill.
6. Scouting Ireland should make an institutional apology to all those that have been harmed through their contact with scouting in previous years.
7. Effective safeguarding must be adequately resourced and prioritised in Scouting Ireland today and going forward.
Eliminating preventable harm to young people must be the most important objective before Scouting Ireland today. There is evidence that this aim was ignored in previous years, as can be seen by any review of the documentation detailing the discussions that led to the creation of Scouting Ireland. Protecting young people from abuse was never mentioned.
8. Where it has been shown that an individual, regardless of their position, has placed a young person at risk through their actions, or brought dishonour to the scouting movement by their behaviour, they should be expelled directly.
9. Where risk has been identified as existing, this information should be shared with all those people that need to be informed.
10. Scouting Ireland should set up an independent audit process that monitors the quality of its safeguarding practice. An audit report should be presented to the Board, detailing the findings. The regularity of the audit process should be undertaken annually or no less frequently than every two years. The findings of the audit should be made available to all the key stakeholders, as well as the Board.
11. Scouting Ireland should continue to maintain and nurture a close working relationship with the key safeguarding statutory agencies in both jurisdictions on the island of Ireland. This relationship should also be included in the independent audit process previously recommended.
12. Scouting Ireland should deter an improper use of social media to distribute unsubstantiated allegations and to encourage the spread of cronyism. Any breach of this, should be subject to the disciplinary processes in Scouting Ireland.