The Boy Scouts of America announced that the national organization has filed for bankruptcy in Delaware under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.
According to a release, BSA hopes to achieve two key objectives: equitably compensate victims who were harmed during their time in Scouting and continue carrying out its mission for years to come. The BSA intends to use the Chapter 11 process to create a Victims Compensation Trust that would provide equitable compensation to victims.
Local councils, which provide programming, financial, facility and administrative support to Scouting units in their communities, have not filed for bankruptcy. They are legally separate, distinct and financially independent from the national organization.
U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware typically handles cases involving mid-sized companies, but has also a track record of handling complex cases.
Scouting programs, including unit meetings and activities, council events, other scouting adventures and service projects, will continue throughout this process and for many years to come, the release stated. The BSA intends to maintain its commitments to its members, families, volunteer leaders, employees, retirees, donors and alumni to the fullest extent permitted by bankruptcy laws. The organization also will pay its vendors and partners for all goods and services delivered.
“The BSA cares deeply about all victims of abuse and sincerely apologizes to anyone who was harmed during their time in scouting. We are outraged that there have been times when individuals took advantage of our programs to harm innocent children,” said Roger Mosby, CEO of Boy Scouts of America. “While we know nothing can undo the tragic abuse that victims suffered, we believe the Chapter 11 process – with the proposed Trust structure – will provide equitable compensation to all victims while maintaining the BSA’s important mission.”
The BSA firmly believes that a proposed Victims Compensation Trust structure is the best means of compensating victims in a way that is equitable and protects their identities. The BSA encourages victims to come forward to file a claim as the bankruptcy process moves forward and will provide clear and comprehensive notices about how to do so.
The BSA has, for years, funded in-person counseling for any current or former Scout who was a victim of abuse as well as victims’ family members, by a provider of their choice. As an extension of this commitment to supporting victims, the BSA recently announced a partnership with 1in6, a trusted national resource for male survivors, to expand their services so that victims of abuse are able to anonymously access vital support from trained advocates when and how they need it. Victims can access 1in6 services at www.1in6.org/BSA. This is a multiyear commitment, which the BSA feels is an important component of its ongoing efforts to support victims.
The BSA today has some of the strongest, expert-informed youth protection policies found in any youth-serving organization, including mandatory youth protection training and background checks for all volunteers and staff, as well as policies that prohibit one-on-one interaction between youth and adults and require all volunteers and staff to report any suspected abuse to law enforcement.
Additional information about the BSA’s safeguards, our commitment to support victims, and our efforts to be part of the broader solution to child abuse is available at www.scouting.org/youth-safety.