Protecting our youth is the top priority. Rotary District 5340 strives to create and maintain a safe environment for all youth who participate in Rotary activities. To the best of their ability, Rotary members, their spouses and partners, and other volunteers must safeguard the children and young people they come into contact with, and protect them from physical, sexual, and emotional abuse and harassment. Below are some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about youth protection and our Youth Certification process. The complete Youth Protection Policy can be reviewed HERE.
 

Who is protected by these youth policies?

 
These policies were crafted to protect individual participants, specifically minors (under the age of 18), as well as young adults (age 18-30), in Rotary youth programs defined as follows: Youth Exchange; RYLA; LEAD; Model UN; Interact; Rotaract; Four-Way Test Speech Contest; any other youth program or activity sponsored, in any manner, by a Rotary Club, the District, or Rotary International (intended in the broadest sense); and any youth program or activity not sponsored by Rotary but in which the District, a Rotary club, or any Rotarian participates as a representative of Rotary.
 

Who must become Youth Certified?

 
All Rotarians working with youth in Club or District programs must become Youth Certified. Clubs should also consider incorporating the Youth Certification program as part of their new member requirements.
 

How long is my Youth Certification valid for?

 
You must renew your Youth Certification by the District in accordance with the following provisions.
 
  • If you will take part in any youth program or activity except Youth Exchange (e.g., RYLA, LEAD, Model UN, Camp Enterprise, Interact, Rotaract, 4-Way Test Speech Contest, school reading or other enrichment programs, etc.), then you must be Youth Certified and your background check must have been completed within the 24 month period immediately preceding each day of participation in the youth program or activity.
  • If you will take part in Youth Exchange, then you must be Youth Certified and your background check must have been completed within the 12 month period immediately preceding each day of participation in Youth Exchange.
  • You can see if you are Youth Certified and when the last background check was completed by doing the following: Go to the District website and click on “Member Login” (upper right corner); enter your “Login Name” and “Password” (if you don’t know them, follow the instructions for “Forgot login name?” and/or “Forgot password?”); click “Login”; click “Member Area” (upper right corner); in the blue menu bar select “Documents”; in the grey menu bar select “Documents”; select the “Youth Certification” folder; and select the “Youth Certification Spreadsheet” to see your status.

We are hosting a Youth Exchange student. Will my spouse need to apply for Youth Certification?

 
Yes, the Youth Protection Policy applies to all hosts, volunteers, and participants in Rotary youth programs, regardless of whether they are an active member of Rotary. For instance, all individuals in a household that is hosting a Youth Exchange student will need to go through Youth Certification.
 

Who handles the background check?

 
Rotary District 5340 uses Intellicorp, a trusted third-party verification service that works with Rotary clubs and districts across North America. As part of the check, Intellicorp will verify the applicant's Social Security Number and perform a search against a number of regional and national databases, including criminal, sex offender, corrections, and terrorist watch list (commonly referred to as the "No Fly" list).
 

What is the cost to perform the background check?

 
The basic cost of the service is currently less than $15 plus any applicable county fees. The fees are imposed by individual court systems for performing the background check and may be significant. If you have any fee questions, please contact the individual court systems where you have lived. Payment is handled directly with Intellicorp, who provides secure processing via credit card.
 

What happens if I witness an incident of abuse, harassment, or human trafficking?

 
The steps spelled out in the Youth Protection Policy include insuring the safety of the alleged victim, keeping the alleged victim and alleged offender separate from each other, removing the alleged offender from all contact with all Rotary youth program participants, notifying law enforcement by calling 9-1-1 if necessary to protect any party, completing a District 5340 Incident Report Form (see, https://clubrunner.blob.core.windows.net/00000050137/en-us/files/sitepage/youth-protection/incident-report-form/youth_incident_report.pdf), and sending the Form to Rotary International District 5340 within 48 hours of incident (please scan the Form to a PDF and send via email to: ypo@rotary5340.org, or personally deliver to Rotary District 5340, 2247 San Diego Avenue, Suite 236, San Diego, CA 92110.. The allegation should be reported in the jurisdiction where the alleged abuse took place, NOT the location where the student may be at the time of reporting to an adult. You can also report alleged child abuse to the California Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-344-6000. There are additional reporting requirements; always consult your club's Youth Protection Officer or the Youth Protection Policy for specific up-to-date guidance.
 

How should I handle incidents where harm may not be imminent?

 
In most situations where additional harm is not imminent, you should first insure the safety of the alleged victim and keep the alleged victim and alleged perpetrator separate from each other, then notify the chair of the Rotary youth program where the incident is alleged to have occurred, and who is responsible for seeking advice from and interacting with appropriate agencies. If the allegation involves the conduct of that Rotary member, the District Governor or the District Youth Protection Officer should be the first Rotary contact. You can email the District Governor at district@rotary5340.org and the District Youth Protection Officer at ypo@rotary5340.org.
 

Are Rotaract members subject to this Youth Certification policy?

 
Rotaract members are in a unique position, since most are over 18 years of age while also participating in a program covered under the Youth Protection Policy. Rotaract members that come into contact with other youths, including Interact and student programs, should become Youth Certified. In addition, Rotary members that regularly interface with Rotaract members, such as Rotaract chairs or club liaisons, must be Youth Certified.
 

A high school student wants to come to our club meeting. Do all of our club members need to be Youth Certified?

 
No, occasional contact with a minor or young adult, especially in an open and public setting, would not require every attendee to be Youth Certified. At a very minimum, one person present must be Youth Certified.
 

Will I receive training on youth protection and Youth Certification?

 
Yes, in-person training is conducted every year at the District Training Assembly, which usually takes place in March or April of each year. Club Youth Protection Officers are excellent resources for training and information within the club. In addition, District 5340 will provide additional in-person and web-based training on youth protection policies. Contact your club's Youth Protection Officer for more details.