YOUTH EXCHANGE PROGRAM (YEP) - ACCREDITATION PROCEDURES

 
Rotary International (RI) has a number of procedures to be followed for clubs and districts to be accredited to participate in the YEP. These primarily affect counsellors and host parents at club level. Most of the procedures involved are already common practice within clubs in Australia and the RI requirements formalise and document those procedures. It must be remembered that the guidelines have been put in place to help ensure that all those participating in the program (students, host parents, counsellors and all Rotarians) are able to participate in as safe and harassment free environment as possible.
 
In many ways, Accreditation makes it easier to participate in the program:
* The procedures, responsibilities and obligations to host or sponsor an exchange student are now clearly identified eliminating the need for prior knowledge or guesswork to correctly do the job.
* The selection process for club counsellors and host families is made straight forward with a declaration for these volunteers to sign and a list of important questions to be covered when interviewing candidates for the positions.
* Host families from outside the club can now be sought and involved with a very high degree of confidence due to the procedures. This will assist with the identification and involvement of non-Rotary families for clubs with minimal internal options as hosts.
* Rotary Districts overseas will now both select a student to come to your club and look after the student your club sends overseas with the same care your club is employing. This will give Australian clubs more confidence that exchanges will go smoothly and so encourage more to be involved in this rewarding program.
 
The steps involved are as follows:
* Firstly and most importantly continue to offer all students the care, guidance, understanding and family support we are sure your club would wish to do or has done if you have been involved in Youth Exchange in the past.
* Carefully read the club policy documents which set out the criteria for hosting and/or sponsoring exchange students. Click here to download documents Club Policy and criteria
* Appoint a Club Protection Officer (CPO) who should be a responsible person within the club who is not directly connected with the running of the YEP. The CPO's duty is to monitor that the main duties required of a club certified to host or sponsor an exchange student have been carried out.
 
The Club Protection Officer is to ensure that the people directly involved in looking after your student have The Office of the Children’s Guardian, Working With Children Checks complete.   Visit the website and register for FREE as a ‘Volunteer’   www.kidsguardian.nsw.gov.au/check    Print the confirmation email and take it to an RMS (previously Roads Traffic Authority) office.
 
All Club Counsellors and host families who have been checked in the point above, are to complete the Rotary Youth Volunteer Information and Declaration Form for the Club’s reference.  Both the WWCC and the declaration form are to be kept by the Club’s Secretary. This is a new and very sensible check introduced by RI to help ensure people are suitable for their tasks. Forms for assessing potential host families and potential counsellor(s) or volunteers are available.  All other people who look after an exchange student for a short period of time will be assessed in the same way a responsible parent would assess a person or family their own son or daughter at the age of the exchange student was to stay with. These people are classified as 'Responsible Adults'.
 
* Ensure the club counsellor for the hosted student attends a training session to assist them to understand and fulfil their role.
* Nominate counsellors as the same gender as the student or alternatively gain agreement that the counsellor's partner or another club member who is of the same gender as the student will actively assist the counsellor in his or her role. This is particularly relevant for the Inbound hosted student
* Arrange for all host parents to be interviewed at their home to assess both their suitability and the suitability of their homes to host a student. The guidelines for these interviews are based on zero or very limited knowledge of the individuals being interviewed and common sense applies in their application.
* Disseminate to all, people that a student may come to if harassed or abused, the requirements for handling that student's allegations  eg club counsellors, all host parents, and the club president.
 
Click on the following link to download these guidelines: Abuse and Harassment Prevention Policy
 
The District YEP Chairman will then be able to certify the club to continue to participate in the program. Please direct any queries on the procedures required to The Chairman or Secretary.