In touch

Are you keeping in touch?

Introduction to the InTouch system

InTouch (FS120075) is the system that helps you to communicate at all Scout activities and events. It's flexible and lets Groups and Sections work out the best way to keep in touch during activities.

Whenever any activity, event or meeting is run within Scouts, it's a requirement that an InTouch system is put in place (POR 9.1). This is to make sure:

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 make sure that everyone is clear as to what will be put in place for every Scouts event.

When to use an InTouch system

As the reasons for having InTouch remain the same for all types of activities and events, an InTouch system needs to be in place for every event or activity within Scouts.

This is the case from the regular weekly meeting, through to the multiple-week international expedition and from the Beaver Scout games evening, to the Scout Active Support residential. Naturally these examples are likely to use very different procedures, but they'll need to go through the process and define what procedures they'll be using.

Factsheet FS120075  includes a step-by-step approach guiding you through the process of setting up an InTouch system as well as further guidance on areas and issues to look at within this and suggestions on how these can be managed.

The process to be followed is laid out here in a simple flow chart :-

summarised system

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.xx

Therefore, it's 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. It's 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's likely that most of, or all of, these things that the InTouch process highlights are things you'll be doing already, such as:

Third Party
In some situations (possibly events that take place over a longer period or overseas), it can be useful to have a third party/parties away from the event to be the central point for communications.

This can take the pressure off Leaders to allow them to concentrate on running the event.

In situations such as these, the third party will need to have the details of everyone attending the event and emergency contact details for their next of kin. They should also have a copy of the Emergency Procedures Card.

They'll need to be available to be contacted throughout the length of the event. As they'll have the personal and contact details of the young people involved, they'll also need to have completed a Personal Enquiry.

If relying on a third party, it's important to think about what'll happen if there's an incident that requires their involvement, but one of the people affected by the incident is related to or well-known by the third party.

Would they be in a position to, or be expected to carry out their role? If not, how will that communication take place?

Holding Records
xxEach volunteer team will have their own systems of holding records for the young people in their care. This might be through the personal detail record cards, activity information forms, a database or other means.

If this is data you already hold, you'll need to ensure you've a procedure for making sure it's kept up to date. To avoid duplication of data, it should be possible to use these records for each event (amended as and if necessary), including providing details for any third party involved.

Rather than filling out any new form it'll generally be easier to provide copies of the records you hold for this third party.

Find out more about data protection and record management.

Mobile phones and Social Media
Mobile phones and access to the internet can be a very useful tool for your InTouch system. But, there are a number of issues that you need to think about if you're going to use them:

It may be useful to have some sort of agreement with the young people and their parent and carers to include areas, such as:

These are examples were different types of InTouch system's should be set up.:-xx

Factsheet FS120075 gives a overview of what InTouch process could be used in each of the above examples.

Please read the Factsheet and understand how the system works. It's really is important to have system that works in place!