The first in a series of eight informative articles on the role of the "Youth Protection Officer?"
Historically my District position has been titled “Youth Protection Officer.”  I believe that the title should be the more inclusive “Youth & Vulnerable Persons Protection Officer.”
It is not only youth we need to be concerned about; it is all of the people who we, as Rotarians, deal with.  Young people, people with disabilities, elderly people, all people who are, in any way, vulnerable.
In the past Rotary has focused on young people.  Many Rotarians are involved in our premier youth programmes, International Youth Exchange, RYPEN, RYLA, Science Forum, The Brave Thinkers, Innovative Young Minds, Interact and RotoKids. 
However, many of our clubs are also involved in programmes for people with disabilities and in activities for elderly members of our communities.  The physical and emotional safety of these people is also our responsibility.
We need to be able to recognise the signs of abuse, harassment and neglect of all people in our care.  We need to know how to report our knowledge or our suspicions. 
We are not expected to DEAL with abuse, harassment or neglect.  But we must know what to do when it comes to our notice.
Remember, “All it takes for evil to triumph is for good men [and women] to do nothing.” (Abraham Lincoln, and many others.)
Richard Wishnowsky
Vulnerable Persons Protection Officer.