Extension staff and volunteers that lead 4-H programs, projects, or activities need to protect participants and others from harm. In the event of an accident, injury, or other incident, it is important to respond proactively.
If the incident/accident occurred under the supervision of a volunteer, the volunteer should complete the non-employee injury/incident report and submit it to the local Extension staff person. If the injury/incident poses a serious risk to 4-H Program participant(s), Extension volunteer(s), or a third party, the volunteer providing supervision should IMMEDIATELY NOTIFY Extension staff using the procedures outlined in the Wisconsin 4-H Volunteer Injury and Incident Reporting Procedures.
Report Submission (Extension Staff Only)
If the Extension staff person was supervising or received a report from a volunteer the Extension staff should follow the instructions for how to report high-risk injuries & incidents in the employee handbook.
Report/Record Retention (Extension Staff Only)
The Extension staff should also keep a copy of the report in a secure location in the event you need to file a claim to the company holding accident insurance coverage, i.e. American Income Life; three years for adults or until age 21 for youth.
The 4-H code of conduct that is required during in-person contact is enforced for electronic communications.
To minimize the risk of misconduct resulting from electronic communications between adults and minors involved in 4-H programing, all communications between authorized adults who are not related to the youth and youth program participants must be professional in nature and must be limited to information about program activities.
- Authorized adults, (extension educators, volunteers), and peer-leaders communicating with youth program participants regarding Extension programming must include parents/guardians, program staff, multiple youth or another authorized adult in electronic communications.
- Club or other group pages focused on the program can be used for appropriate interactions between authorized adults and youth program participants.
- Quick calls, texts, or other communications from an authorized adult to a youth program participant are allowed for emergency reasons, confirmation of location, or other logistical matters surrounding Extension programming.
- Consent requirements by age:
- For youth under the age of 13 parental consent is required. Consent needs to be in writing; this may be handled electronically, such as through an email.
- The record of consent must be maintained.
- For youth 13 and over parents must be notified of the intent to correspond through electronic communication, this can also be done by email, and Parents/guardians may request in writing that their youth program participants not be contacted directly through any form of electronic communication by authorized adults. Consent is presumed when this has not occurred.
- Authorized adults, (4-H educators, faculty, and volunteers), must abide by any request from a parent/guardian or young person seeking to prevent or suspend electronic communication.