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Guidelines for Adult-Girl Interactions

Physical Guidelines
When touching a child for any reason, ensure that another adult is in clear view. Under no circumstances may an adult hit a child. When touching children, contact should generally be limited to the hand, shoulder, or upper back. Children should never be touched in a place normally covered by a bathing suit, unless for a clear medical necessity, and then only in the presence of another adult.

A hug should be given only in response to a request by a child or after asking permission. (For example, "You look like you could use a hug. Would you like one?")

An adult should never touch a child against her or his will, unless in the case of clear and present danger to the child. An adult should never touch a child against her or his discomfort, whether expressed verbally or non verbally.

The physical right to privacy of a child should be respected to the greatest extent possible, especially in activities and situations such as sleeping, changing of clothing, showering/bathing, and other bathroom activities.

Verbal  Guidelines
Adults may not use abusive or derogatory language with a child. Adults should exercise good judgment in choosing the topics and language used with children. Under no circumstances, should the romantic/sexual life of an adult be shared with children. When an activity is planned on a topic of a sensitive or controversial nature, parents and the council paid staff are informed and (written) permission is received before proceeding.  Adult volunteers may only communicate electronically with a Girl Scout once parental or guardian permission has been obtained.

Corporal Punishment Statement
Girl Scouting meets the mental health and educational needs of girls. Under no circumstances may an adult hit a child or cause a child physical discomfort as a form of discipline. It is completely impermissible to use any form of corporal punishment when acting in one’s capacity as a Girl Scout volunteer or paid staff member. Research indicates that a variety of positive and effective alternatives are available to maintain discipline, and that children can learn appropriate problem-solving behavior when provided with the necessary models.

Girl Scouts of Western Ohio provides training for all Girl Scout volunteer and paid staff members to learn the techniques for providing positive discipline measures for all children in their care.