Rotary International District 1150
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Rotary is the 'number one'service organisation in Great Britain and Ireland. As such it must take the lead in the important matter of child and vulnerable adult protection. Rotary clubs have been providing service to children and vulnerable adults in many settings for almost a century but the climate in society has changed considerably over that time.
There is recognition of the moral, if not legal responsibility to safeguard children and vulnerable adults. There is a need to demonstrate that an organisation such as Rotary is doing everything possible to protect those with whom they work. It is important that Rotarians plan and provide service to the community in such a manner that the reputation and interests of Rotary or of individual Rotarians cannot be brought into question.
In 1999 RIBI published 'Code of Good Practice: guidance to Rotarians involved in projects with children, elderly or disabled persons'. This was in response to 'Safe from Harm', the Home Office Code of Practice for safeguarding the Welfare of Children in Voluntary Organisations in England and Wales. This contained a list of recommendations on how all organisations should deal with children so that abuse cannot happen or is much less likely. The Code of Good Practice booklet was republished in April 2001.
Due to changes in legislation during 2002 RIBI updated that advice with the RIBI Protection Policy, published August 2003 and now in July 2007 has revised that advice. It applies to all districts and clubs in Great Britain and Ireland.
RIBI Protection Policy
An aspect of any arrangements for the protection of children and vulnerable adults is the process to meet the requirement to carry out criminal record checks. This applies to Rotary activities and projects providing service to children and vulnerable adults on a regular basis.
The advice contained in the RIBI Protection Policy, 2003 replaced that issued in the 2001 'Code of Good Practice'. The revision of 2007 did not change the Policy statements but strengthened and extended the advice. It provides:
″ The RIBI child and vulnerable adult protection policy statement.
″ Model child and vulnerable adult protection policy statements for a district and a Rotary club.
″ Explanatory notes on each part of the statement.
″ Details of the RIBI arrangements for seeking Disclosures.
″ Recommended policies and procedures related to Disclosures.
″ Appendices with additional details.
These Appendices include:
″ Code of behaviour for working with children.
″ Risk assessment.
″ The club protection officer.
″ Involving parents, carers, children & vulnerable adults as partners.
″ All about criminal record checks (Disclosures).
″ Recruitment of suitable workers and volunteers.
″ Photography of children and vulnerable adults at Rotary events.
″ Protection requirements for Rotary activities.
″ Protection requirements for specific Rotary activities.
Santa's helpers and collectors.
Other events and activities.
Group study exchange.
″ Protection requirements for youth exchange and related activities.
″ Insurance and legal arrangements.
″ Forms and signs of abuse.
″ Dealing with complaints, accusations and whistle-blowing.
″ Assessing district protection policy.
″ Assessing the club protection policy.
″ Useful contact names, addresses and other details.
″ Role and responsibilities of the RIBI Protection Officer.
″ Role and responsibilities of a District Protection Officer.
All these policies and procedures must be seen in the wider context of safe practice:
″Health and safety regulations.
″Food hygiene regulations.
Everyone has the right to have fun, feel secure and be protected when participating in a Rotary event. That is why these matters are important.
All clubs and districts were sent copies of the RIBI Protection Policy - July 2007. Additional copies can be purchased from the Rotary One Stop Shop (ROSS –email: firstname.lastname@example.org). If a Rotarian has any queries they should contact their District Protection Officer whose contact details are in the District directory and the RIBI directory.
Copyright –The following copyright statement applies to the RIBI Protection Policy, and because of copyright issues, the Policy will not be published on the RIBI website to download:
"Copyright Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland 2007. The policy document may not be given, copied or distributed in any format to any other person, body or organisation without the express written permission of the RIBI Secretary. It should be borne in mind that this policy document has been prepared specifically for Rotary International in Great Britain & Ireland, for Rotary activities and Rotarians. It may not be suitable for others."
The Child and Vulnerable Adult Protection Policy of Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland
This declaration of policy applies to the whole of RIBI although the legislative framework may differ in its constituent parts.
Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland has adopted this statement of policy in its work with children, the elderly, the vulnerable and those with disability.
The needs and rights of the child, the elderly, the vulnerable and persons with disability take priority.
It is the duty of every Rotarian to safeguard to the best of his or her ability, the welfare of and prevent the assault, physical, sexual or emotional abuse and neglect of all children, the elderly, persons with disability or otherwise vulnerable persons with whom they come into contact during their Rotarian duties.
RIBI will endeavour to ensure safeguarding by:
Actively encouraging a climate through which protection issues are regarded as an essential part of Rotary activities and events.
Actively encouraging the appointment of Rotarians with responsibility for protection issues in each Rotary district and in each Rotary club.
Adopting protection guidelines that give clear procedures and a code of conduct for Rotary districts, Rotary clubs, Rotarians, staff and other helpers and associated volunteers.
Planning all events and activities so that protection issues are properly addressed.
Sharing information on protection and good practice with children, parents and carers, Rotarians, staff, helpers and associated volunteers.
Issuing guidelines on how to deal with the disclosure or discovery of abuse and sharing information about concerns with agencies that need to know.
Providing appropriate training for Rotarians, staff, helpers and associated volunteers in the processes and procedures of child and vulnerable adult protection.
Following carefully the procedures for the recruitment and selection of Rotarians, staff, helpers and associated volunteers to assist with projects and activities.
Monitoring and reviewing this policy and the associated procedures on a regular basis, at least annually.
This policy statement must be read in conjunction with the Explanatory Notes and Appendices that accompany the RIBI Protection Policy.
This policy was approved by the General Council of RIBI on 6th February 2003.