Your Child is Doing What?
Relax. The Rotary Club has been supporting youth exchanges for almost 100 years. Each year, around 8,000 students participate in our program. In fact, you may not recognize the bilingual, independent, and mature young adult that the child you sent off has become by the end of their exchange year. As parents, one of our most important duties is to teach our children to be able to take care of themselves. What better way to do this than to send them away from home - but still under the protection of caring adults and a strong support organization like Rotary International to safeguard the process?
Below is some additional information about Rotary policies regarding student protection and host families that should help to ease your mind about the process. If you still have additional concerns, then by all means, you should immediately sign up to be a host family - and then you will know for sure, as you go through the vetting, training, and hosting process, how safe your child will be.
The protection of our students is a top priority. The next sections provide information on topics that describe key aspects of our protection program:
Student Protection Policy & Mission Statement
Rotary International is committed to creating and maintaining the safest possible environment for all participants in Rotary activities. It is the duty of all Rotarians, Rotarians’ spouses, partners, and other volunteers to safeguard, to the best of their ability the welfare of, and to prevent the physical, sexual, or emotional abuse of children and young people with whom they come in contact.
- Adopted by RI Board of Directors, November 2003
We do this by:
It is very important to recognize and accept that there are many different cultures in our world. There are no right or wrong ways of doing something, there are different ways. As we travel through this life as part of the international program we:
Student Protection Code
When feeling threatened, you have the right to:
What you can do to avoid problems
What We Will Do When an Incident is Reported
If you tell us of a Harassment and/or Abuse allegation:
They must remove the perpetrator from further contact with you. If a Rotarian, s/he must be suspended from the club pending the results of the investigation.
If a Rotarian, and found guilty, Rotary International will bar any further membership in Rotary in any district or club worldwide.
Student Protection Officer
The responsibilities of the Student Protection Officer for Ohio-Erie Rotary Youth Exchange include:
Background Checks & Applications
One of our major responsibilities is to comply with all Rotary International and US Department of State rules which seek to protect the exchange student. We do this in a number of ways including: in-home interviews with every host family as well as criminal and abuse background checks of every Rotary volunteer and host family member over 18 years of age who will have contact with the student. Rotary YE Volunteer and Host Family Applications plus Annual Renewal Applications can be downloaded from the Downloadable Materials section by clicking the Downloadable Materials button on the left sidebar – scroll to the section entitled Student Protection.
Information (links also provided below). Just click on the appropriate application, fill it in, print and sign it and give it to your local club YE representative or officer.
The host family in-home interview will be scheduled by the local Rotary Club. It will include:
During the home interview, we will take pictures of the exterior and interior of the home and address hosting requirements with these expectations:
Criminal Background and Abuse Checks will be performed by an independent security agency. Individuals will complete an Application/Affidavit providing personal information to the District 6740 YE Compliance Officer who will process the documentation through the security agency. Individuals will give permission to investigate, verify and obtain information given in the application including searches of law enforcement and published records (including driving records and criminal background checks), contact with former employers and reference interviews. Information will also be checked against local and national abuse data bases. Such checks will be repeated as necessary, with host family checks repeated annually. Instances of abuse and/or felony charges/convictions will be cause for automatic rejection.
Individuals will be given the right to review the criminal history report in the event of negative findings and given the opportunity to provide clarifications.