4-H Volunteers serve in a variety of educational and leadership roles that provide quality positive 4-H programs for youth such as:
- Supporting 4-H educational youth programs, activities and experiences
- Leadership roles for club, county or state level groups
- Voting members of county/state level groups
- Chaperones for 4-H educational experiences
All Wisconsin 4-H programs and activities must be supervised by a staff member or an adult, 18 years of age or older, who has completed the Youth Protection Program and is currently an enrolled 4-H volunteer. The primary purpose of this process is to ensure the safety and well-being of all participants (i.e., youth, their parents and families, volunteers and staff.)
In order to initially be recognized as a 4-H volunteer, all adults age 18 years and over must complete the Youth Protection Program.
The Youth Protection program process includes:
- Completing a background check for arrest and conviction records through University of Wisconsin – Madison Division of Extension Human Resources
- Annually signing the Volunteer Behavior Expectations Form and the Assumption of Risk Document
- Attending a Volunteer in Preparation training, with ongoing virtual and in-person training thereafter
- Completing the online Mandated Reporter Training.
In order to continue as a 4-H volunteer beyond the first year, all adults 18 years of age and over must annually complete the following:
- Volunteer Behavior Expectations Form (may be combined with the 4-H enrollment form)
- 4-H Enrollment Form
A background records check for arrest and conviction records will be completed every four years for continuing 4-H volunteer leaders.
Returning volunteers who have been absent one to four years need the background records check, signed Volunteer Behavior Expectations form and Assumption of Risk but are not required to attend the orientation to be reinstated as a volunteer. Returning volunteers who have been absent over four years need to repeat the entire Youth Protection process.