In accordance with the Youth Abuse and Harassment Prevention Policy, mandated by Rotary International and adopted by District 7490 at the 2012 District Conference held in Washington D.C., the following procedures have been established to screen and train volunteers participating in any of Rotary’s Youth Programs:
1. All youth counselors or coordinators, host families, persons 18 years of age or older residing in a host family’s home, persons transporting youth, any Rotary youth program committee members, club youth protection officers, scholarship interviewing committees, youth mentors, employers participating in a youth shadowing program and all other volunteers working with youth as part of a Rotary Youth Program (Youth Exchange, RYLA, Interact, REACT, Gift of Life host families) are required to be trained.
2. Training can be received either on-line using the District’s website or by attending a Youth Protection Training Seminar. Seminars are periodically conducted on a district level and are available to all Rotarians and other volunteers participating in a Rotary Youth Program. In addition, your local Rotary Club may request a seminar at your local club meeting by contacting the District’s Youth Protection Officer. A minimum of thirty (30) minutes should be set aside for such a program.
3. On-line training using the District’s website consists of reviewing the District’s Youth Abuse and Harassment Prevention Policy, viewing the Youth Protection slideshow, completing a short quiz and forwarding your answers to Rotary District 7490’s Youth Protection Officer for grading, completing a short volunteer application form and filing same with the Rotary District 7490’s Youth Protection Officer. Upon receiving a passing grade on the quiz (70%) and upon receipt of the application form, the Youth Protection Officer will issue you a certificate certifying that you have successfully completed youth protection training.
4. Specialized training may be required for certain Rotary Youth Programs (e.g. RYLA counsellors, Youth Exchange host families, Interact advisors, etc.). Such training will be arranged through the appropriate District Committee (Youth Exchange, RYLA, Interact).
5. Those with direct supervisory authority for the Youth Exchange Program are required to be certified annually by the United States Department of State by taking an online test and reviewing the current Federal regulations respecting the Youth Exchange Program. This training is available through ESSEX (the Eastern States Student Exchange Program) and can be scheduled through the District’s Youth Exchange Chairperson.
6. Volunteers with the Student Exchange Program can apply directly online through the ESSEX online website www.exchangestudent.org. All individuals who are volunteers (YEOs, counselors, district committee/officers, or youth protection officers) or host family members must be registered on the YEAH database. They are then automatically sent the information/link to have the background check performed by OneSource. The fee for all of these people is included in the ESSEX fee for each out bound and inbound student.
7. All volunteers in any Rotary Youth Program, unless already screened through the Student Exchange Program, whether on the District or club level, who have or are reasonable likely to have unsupervised direct contact with youth participating in a Rotary Youth Program are required to be screened through a criminal background check. Such volunteers are required to complete the ESSEX form of District Waiver/Consent/Release form (available from the District’s Youth Protection Officer or online on the District’s website) and submit same to Rotary District 7490’s Youth Protection Officer, together with a check made payable to ESSEX in the current sum of $20.00 for the processing of a criminal background check. The District Youth Protection Officer will process same through ESSEX. The results of the criminal background check shall be provided to the Youth Protection Officer directly by Essex and you will be notified.
8. Criminal background checks are required to be performed once every twelve months.
9. Refresher training will be provided to those having completed their training on a schedule to be determined. The forgoing process is designed to provide a uniform procedure for all volunteers in Rotary youth programs. In addition, it permits each Rotary Youth Program to draw upon volunteers from the other youth programs for assistance. Copies of District 7490’s Youth Abuse and Harassment Prevention Policy, the Essex form of District Waiver/Consent/Release for the criminal background check, and the Volunteer Application are available on the District’s website.
District Youth Protection Policies (Abuse and Harassment Policy and Training)
PDG William F. Rupp,
Rotary District 7490’s Youth Protection Officer
(Office) (201) 562-1062
(Cell) (201) 394-0312