Email:

Contact@Rotary5160.org

Policies

Reporting a Serious Incident

We all know that we must immediately report any serious incident with our exchange students as soon as possible. But what constitutes a serious incident? Who does the reporting? And to whom?

The US Department of State has issued “specific guidance” on when they want an Incident Report about our exchange students. They want to know about anything impacting the health, safety and welfare of the exchange student, and the impact to the surrounding community, within 24 hours in serious situations, and no later than 72 hours.

RI’s Youth Protection Page provides lots of information.
SSSP Reporting Rubric
New as of June 2021: Online Reporting

The details are in the links above, but let me try to make it simple.

When to report?

As soon as it is safely possible. They want to hear from us FIRST, not in a phone call from a natural parent, another embassy, a member of Congress, the press, etc.

Who reports?

WESSEX holds the actual Dept. of State permit to issue visas, so it is the WESSEX Responsible Officer, Michael Cloutier, who does the reporting.

How to report?

Why?

Because all of us want to protect our students and our exchange program, and get as much help as we can in solving any of these problems.

What to report?

Any serious incident, allegation or condition affecting a student. In short, anything that might cause anyone to call the US Department of State about a student.

When to report?

As soon as it is safely possible. They want to hear from us FIRST, not in a phone call from a natural parent, another embassy, a member of Congress, the press, etc.

Who reports?

WESSEX holds the actual Dept. of State permit to issue visas, so it is the WESSEX Responsible Officer, Michael Cloutier, who does the reporting.

How to report?

Why?

Because all of us want to protect our students and our exchange program, and get as much help as we can in solving any of these problems.

Abuse and Harassment (Policies and Reporting)

Rotary International, and District 5160, are committed to protecting the safety and well-being of all youth program participants and will not tolerate their abuse or harassment. All allegations of abuse or harassment will be taken seriously and must be handled at outlined in our policies and utilizing the reporting guidelines outlined in the documents linked below.

The safety and well-being of young people must always be our first priority.  At our orientations with all students (Inbound and Outbound students), and trainings with YEOs, Counselors, and Host Families, we provide detailed information regarding our District’s policies and practices in this area and emphasize that this is for EVERYONE’s safety and well-being.

In order to protect our students and all of the adults that interact with these young people, it is critical that we follow the following policies and reporting guidelines:

Travel Policy

The Travel Policy (link below) will tell you where students can go, who they can go with and who makes those decisions.

In addition, students must submit the Request for Student Travel Form (link below) AND receive approval from the Youth Exchange Committee before booking out of state travel and air travel.

Links to Travel Policy and Request for Student Travel:
Travel Policy (revised June 2017)
Request for Student Travel Form

    Student Photos

    A plethora of rules exist in general regarding publishing photos of minors, but Rotary Youth Exchange (RYE) students have unique situations. Each district is tasked by Rotary International (RI) with developing policies and positions on many aspects of administering their programs, including the use of photos and social media. The District 5160 Youth Exchange Committee manages this under the District Governor’s oversight as well as both Western States Student Exchange Inc (WESSEX) and Rotary’s North American Youth Exchange Network (NAYEN) policies and positions. Please note: If you find any difference in our content and other districts’ websites (which may vary widely) you must default to the rules presented by District 5160.

    District 5160 Rotary Youth Exchange committee has the following best practice guidelines for sharing photos and for posting photos within the context of meeting the 4-way test and not depicting any “Ds” (Drinking, Drugs, Driving, Dating, Disfigurement, Disrespect & Smoking) by students:

    • The US Department of Justice (DOJ) mandates that photos with student names can NOT be used for promotional purposes.
    • Photos WITHOUT last names but including first names can be used for official RYE and Rotary club newsletters and announcements, ie “Byron, 2019-20 Inbound from Spain is welcomed by his Woodland Rotary club counselor and host family”. Please see the August 2019 District 5160 RYE newsletter on the Dist 5160 RYE website as an example of this.
    • Unofficial emails sharing appropriate photos (informal fun, club contact/events w student, DG celebration/party, fun non-Rotary events, vocational observation, cultural experiences fellowship opportunities, group photos…) with community members, i.e. private correspondence within our Rotary District can include names.
    • Social media – appropriate photos (i.e. passing 4-way test, showing positive exchange experiences and no “Ds” or even the appearance of “Ds”!) WITHOUT student names can be posted on social media. Adults (including any Rotarian or host family members) CANNOT tag photos with names; however, the RYE students themselves can tag photos.
    • When in doubt – DON”T use names

    Please note: The students are told that if they post something prohibited or involving a D (such as holding an alcoholic-looking drink or getting a “fake” tattoo), even in jest, the Committee has taken a the stance of “if you post it, you did it”.

    The committee responds to Rotarians, and other adults, who may be unknowingly sharing photos with names or with inappropriate subjects with corrective information.