Health and Safety

4-H Electronic Communications and Social Media Policy

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.
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