There have been many questions about the Youth Protection Guidelines and Background checks since they were established by Kiwanis International in October of 2014. In order to help each club and member to better understand what is required and what is suggested concerning the Youth Protection Guidelines, the following documents are provided. The District recommends that each club designate one person to be the “expert” and work with the Youth Protection Manager to help their club with this process. Training will be available at the District Conventions.

Youth Protection:

Youth Protection Guidelines: Kiwanis International made it mandatory that all Kiwanis clubs make their members aware of the Youth Protection Guidelines by October 1, 2014 and that annual refresher training is required for ALL club members each year.

Youth Protection Presentation: Each club is responsible for educating their members about the Youth Protection Guidelines. Presentations are also available at District conventions and can be arranged by contacting the District Youth Protection Manager.
Training materials : PDF, PDF - with notes, PPTX, Trainers Guide, Training Handout, FAQs

Background Checks:

Sample Club Policy on Criminal History Background Checks: Kiwanis International has made the decision that the responsibility for determining how and when to conduct criminal history background checks is for each club to decide, not Kiwanis International. Therefore, it was felt a sample policy would be beneficial to the clubs in the Kansas District.  It is available in word format so each club can make the changes that best fit their club. Neither Kiwanis International nor the Kansas District is dictating what needs to be in the policy or even if a club needs one. However, it is best practices to have a policy to protect the club in the future. The sample contains the key points and is a template only. The only requirement from Kiwanis International is that after your club approves a policy, you will need to list it in Section M of the new club bylaws as an optional policy and filed with Kiwanis International. 

Criminal Background Checks Club Policy Training Program - PPTX, PDF, PDF with notes

Kiwanis International Policy 197: It is recommended that when clubs develop a Policy for Criminal History Background Checks, they include Kiwanis International Policy 197 which describes crimes that should be considered when deciding what is a “clear” check and a “not clear” check. 

Kiwanis International Criminal History Background Checks Requirements: In order to help clubs understand who KI requires to have criminal background checks, they developed this document. They also included some recommendations for clubs. The major change is that they are recommending that clubs only need to do criminal background checks every ten (10) years. However, it should be mentioned that best practices is still have a new one done every two (2) years. The choice rests with each club. 

Online Education for Working with Youth (KiwanisOne Login Required): Kiwanis International also has an online educational course concerning Youth Protection Guidelines for Kiwanis club members that work with youth. Members can sign in and take the Youth Protection training online and will be able to print out a certificate of completion when finished.

Reporting Abuse:

Nothing is more important than the well-being of those we serve. To help Kiwanians protect youth, Kiwanis International has opened a hotline to report a troubling incident involving a youth and/or club member. 

The hotline is available in two ways:
•    Phone: 1-800-KIWANIS, ext. 298
•    Email: 

For more information on Youth Protection, contact:

Tomi Foust 
Youth Protection Manager
Kansas District Kiwanis