CLICK HERE for Summary of Youth Protection Policy
CLICK HERE for ANNUAL RESOLUTION AGREEMENT for Youth Protection as approved by D5960 Board of Directors as of May 26, 2010
CLICK HERE for FINAL Youth Protection Policy as approved by D5960 Board of Directors as of May 26, 2010
CLICK HERE for Frequently Asked Questions regarding Youth Protection Policy
It is with great pleasure that I can commend the new Youth Protection Policy. In early 2008, it was noted by District 5960 leadership that the District did not have a policy similar to the policy of Youth Exchange that laid out protection for youth and our Rotary members. It was also noted that the US State Department was getting more stringent in their requirements, including that of a youth protection policy. Anticipating what was going to be required in the future, and for the District to continue to be a leader in Rotary International, District Governor Roy Sjoberg appointed a task force led by Andy Goke of the North St. Paul/Maplewood/Oakdale Rotary Club who has extensive experience in working with youth and knowledge of policies. Policy models were used from many youth organizations from Boy Scouts to schools to Rotary Youth Exchange and other youth exchange organizations. After a year and a half of study, the District 5960 Youth Protection Policy was approved by the Board of Directors and became effective on 1 July 2010 with compliance by clubs required by 1 January 2011. Comments were sought from clubs and their members. Based on those comments, a revision was accepted by the Board of Directors to be effective 1 July 2011.
Some Rotarians ask “Why do we need such a policy—we are Rotarians? We would expect Rotarians to be above such behavior”. The corollary would be that you would expect clergy to be above such offensive behavior, yet a few do offend. The purpose states “[to maintain] the safest possible environment for all participants in Rotary activities” and “to safeguard to the best of their ability the welfare of…youth”. This protection includes Rotarians who have contact with youth involved in Rotary activities such as RYLA, Interact, Youth Exchange, Strive, etc. The policy covers both District and club responsibilities and a Youth Protection Committee will continue to review the policy to ascertain its compliance with the State Department and Rotary International and its ability to provide protection for youth and Rotarians.
The policy encourages all Rotarians to take the training to support all members of a club. A member never knows when he/she would have an opportunity to interact or help a youth. Some clubs do the training during a regular weekly meeting and then the interested club members sign on later to be Certified Volunteers. We trust that all Rotarians will understand and accept the need to protect both youth and Rotarians.
PDG Clare D. Lillis
Rotary Club of Forest Lake