In Scouting, adult support involves a voluntary partnership between the adult leader and the young people, both individually and as a group. In this partnership, the role of the adult leader is to facilitate the process of self-education through the way in which he or she applies Scouting’s purpose, principles and method. The support provided by adult leaders to young people is of an educational nature - the adult plays a particular role aimed at helping each
young person to develop.

The nature of the educational support provided in Scouting is different from the other kinds of adult support which are normally present in a young person’s life - for example, parents, a school teacher, or a sports coach. In each case,the reasons why the adult and the young person are in contact with each other are different, the goals sought are different, the nature of the role played is different, the affective relationship is different and the interaction that occurs is different. 

In short, the educational relationship is different. In order to facilitate the process of self-education, the educational relationship in Scouting needs to be of a different nature from that of a parent-child or teacher-student relationship.