All Scout groups have a duty to make reasonable adjustments to support the participation of young people with additional needs. Developing a positive relationship and working in partnership with parents or carers, is key to supporting the successful inclusion of young people with additional needs in Scouting.
Where a young person with additional needs or disabilities is joining Scouting, the advice is that an initial meeting with the parent or carer is held. This will enable you to identify the young person’s individual needs and plan any support needed to enable them to access Scouting.
Ideally, this conversation would take place face to face. The conversation should involve the leader, parent or carer and, if appropriate, the young person themselves. It may be helpful to involve someone in a local inclusion role or who has particular expertise in this area. Ensure that the meeting feels like a conversation, not an interview; it is just the starting point of an ongoing relationship. It is important to be positive but realistic, and to establish expectations by helping parents or carers understand our policy and approach, and the context of Scouting.
Support in having conversations:
Further guidance, along with suggested topics and questions, are available via this link.
Prior to the meeting, it may be useful to gain some background knowledge of the type of additional need the young person has. The Additional Needs Directory has lots of introductory information.