E-mail is just one of the many methods of communication used to keep people up to date.
We need to remember how important a personal email address is; its as personal as a mobile phone number. Not everyone wants their email address publishing to the world, or distributed to a group of people.
There are reasons to include addresses within the To: field, this could be when communication is between all members within the conversation, they are all part of a team or colleagues. An example within Scouting would be if they are all trustees or adult volunteers who require each other’s contact details to complete their required role.
However, when using emails to communicate with young people, its always best to follow this simple advice.
Who are you emailing?
If you are emailing many young people at once, its best to check who you you are actually emailing. Its common for young people to not have their own email account. So emailing joint accounts using the To: field could be giving away the email addresses of other young people to unknown users of a shared inbox. This could result in possible safeguarding issues should young people’s personal contact details be made available to other people.
BCC: Blind Carbon Copy
It’s best practice when emailing many people to send the email as a blind carbon copy to all the recipients. This method does not disclose all the recipients email addresses, instead only showing your address and a to address, which could be something like noreply@ or your email address.
It’s a good idea to include another trusted adult from within your organisation in all email communications between yourself and young people.
Within The Scout Association, you could include a fellow leader or assistant leader, alternatively you could set up a monitored inbox for example ypcontact@ which is included in all sent communication to young people, this inbox could be monitored by other adults or it could be a forwarding address that automatically sends a copy to a number of trusted adults.
It’s always good to use best practice when communicating with young people, following the above advice should help you to keep our young people safe.