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Protect youth — and your club

Nov 18, 2013
The Kiwanis Youth Protection Guidelines were updated on October 1, 2013. There are more than 300,000 youth members of the Kiwanis family--making this update an important event for all Kiwanis clubs and members.

By knowing and adhering to these guidelines, Kiwanians also protect themselves and the reputations of their clubs. Here are some of the items that you and your club should know.

What has changed for Kiwanis clubs and members?
Clubs are now required to:
  1. Educate and inform members about the guidelines each year, using available training materials, including a presentation, guide and worksheet. The training could be held during Youth Protection Week (September 7–13, 2014), when Kiwanis emphasizes our commitment to keeping youth safe. 
  2. Have a clear criminal history background check for any member serving as an advisor to any Service Leadership Program club – K-Kids, Builders Club, Key Club and Circle K International (as well as Aktion Club for adults with disabilities). You are also encouraged to develop a club policy for background checks if you don’t already have one. 
  3. Report any troubling behavior to the appropriate personnel at an event (and to emergency services personnel, if appropriate), following all local, state, provincial and federal laws regarding reporting. The trainer’s guide will help you better understand what behavior is defined as troubling.
How will background checks and annual reporting be recorded?
Club secretaries can indicate on the secretary dashboard in KiwanisOne (login required) that advisors have completed and cleared a criminal history background check. The checkboxes to confirm this are located in the Sponsorships section where your SLP clubs are listed. Club secretaries will also indicate on the dashboard when the club has held its annual training on Youth Protection Guidelines. 

What resources are available?
  • You can download the guidelines at www.kiwanis.org/youthprotection. On that page you can also find links to other important resources—including a PowerPoint presentation, trainers guide and supplemental worksheet.
  • Use the online training (login required) to prepare presenters who will lead the training at a club meeting (or for all club members if your club cannot offer in-person training).
  • To learn more, members can also access the archived webinar, “Youth Protection Guidelines and You.”
Is anyone available to help our club?
Each district will select a District Youth Protection Manager to be trained in 2014 prior to mid-year meetings. The person in this position will have a solid understanding of the Youth Protection Guidelines, help clubs understand their responsibilities and provide the connection between Kiwanis International and your Kiwanis district on youth-protection issues. When this individual is selected, you should contact your Kiwanis district office when you need to communicate with him or her.

Kiwanians protect the youth in our care because it’s the right thing to do. To remain the premier provider of youth service programs, Kiwanis must hold itself to the highest standards for youth protection. The updated Kiwanis Youth Protection Guidelines will make that crucial responsibility easier. 

If you need more information, the Kiwanis member services team is available at 1-800-KIWANIS, ext. 411, and by email at memberservices@kiwanis.org.