In touch

What is InTouch?
Whenever any activity,event or meeting is run within Scouting it is a requirement that an InTouch system is put in place (POR 9.3).  This is to ensure:

The procedures put in place to ensure this are likely to vary at different types of events due to the differing circumstances and needs. To facilitate this InTouch is a process that you must follow to ensure that everyone is clear as to what will be put in place for every Scouting event.


Weekly meetings
The reasons for having InTouch in place are just as valid for the weekly meeting as they are for events away from your meeting place. Therefore it is important to have an InTouch system set up for these meetings as well. This doesn’t mean lots of extra work and a third party required every week, simply that you need to go through the process to make sure a system is in place that can then be used for all your meetings. It is likely that most or all things that this highlights you will be doing already, such as; parents knowing the phone number for the meeting place or leaders, parents providing details including details of next of kin for all new members etc.

The adoption of "In Touch" is based on the concept of best practice and reasonably foreseeable risk.

InTouch Resources

These are the resources available to support InTouch.

The In Touch process to be followed is laid out here in a simple flow chart with further guidance throughout the rest of this factsheet FS120075 Going through the steps of this process should give you an InTouch system for your event that everyone can be made aware of and work within.

summarised system


Standard risk assessment and practices apply for all activities and events being held, a "IN Touch" procedure can in most case's be divided into two levels.

in touch

Level 1 - Applies to:- Normal weekly meetings at your usual meeting place, with members of your own group, where you can be contacted via mobile or landline.
Activities which replace a normal meeting such as visit to Moor House, sports hall or attending a District event, where the participants can change very late and you are not travelling very far from home and again you can be contacted

System:
Leaders maintain a list of all group members, including name, date of birth, address, any mobile number and parents contact details and have this to hand wherever you are.
Parents to be given leaders mobile numbers on a periodic basis. If leaders prefer not to give mobile numbers out, home numbers should be provided on a periodic basis, and when holding meetings/events away from your Scout headquarters, the phone number of the meeting location should be provided to parents before departure.
Parents are asked to only contact in an emergency and to do this to the leader’s mobile number, or building phone number.
Once every six months, update all contact details.

level 2

Level 2 - Applies to:
Any event involving a night or more away
Events involving multiple groups of Scouts or young people from elsewhere
Events involving more than an hours travel away from home
Any event where you are not easily contactable

System:
All of level one system plus:
A list of all participant details, as above (including leaders and parents), for the event is produced and kept to hand during the event.
Important:
Where appropriate, for example where you feel you will not be contactable (e.g. out of mobile
range, or perhaps on the water all day), a home contact should still be used. They would be provided with a copy of this list and their contact details given to parents.
This does not affect the nights away notification process which should still be followed as normal.

The In Touch system does not formally require a nominated Home Contact to be appointed for most situations (some events do still require this). One of the most important benefits of Home Contacts is that we have someone, should an emergency occur, in the Group or District to help support communication during such an emergency. Emergency situations can occur at a regular weekly meeting as well as on larger events, and hence the Group still needs to be able to place someone into the position of supporting communication during such an emergency.

Summary
Groups should adopt best practices:
All activities/events should have a risk assessment undertaken
Use of a Home Contact who is not related to anyone on the event, were possible, is advisable
Clear communications between Event Leaders and participants/parents aids clear running of an event
All events of over 24 hours that involve more than one hours travel (40 miles) should use a 3rd
party home contact in the home area
Emergency procedures should be in accordance with the purple card

You can find out more information about the InTouch system at www.scouts.org.uk/intouch/