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4-H Volunteer Resources

February 19, 2020
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What is a 4-H volunteer? A 4-H Volunteer is a person that has completed the 4-H Youth Development Application and Screening Process and is willing to help carry out the mission of 4-H. The mission of the 4-H Youth Development program is to provide real-life educational opportunities that develop young people who positively impact their community and world. Extension personnel and volunteer time and energy should be spent in positive educational programs that support these quality experiences for children and youth. All individuals who wish to have a volunteer role with the 4-H Youth Development program must complete an application and screening process prior to assuming a volunteer role with the 4-H program. 

Why become a 4-H volunteer? The 4-H Youth Development Program must be able to assure parents that their children will be provided with a safe, supportive environment as they participate in 4-H activities. Thus, in 1991, the initial 4-H Volunteer Application and Screening policy was introduced. The policy has evolved since that time to meet the changing conditions of society. Each of the procedures has been reviewed and approved by Purdue University's legal counsel and risk management office. 

In addition to the importance of going through the volunteer application/screening process, volunteers are key to the success of a 4-H program! We have many different roles that volunteers hold - leaders, Council members, Fairboard members, project superintendents, and much more! The great thing about volunteering with 4-H is that you can utilize your interests to teach youth! 

How do I become a 4-H volunteer? All 4-H Volunteers must go through the application and screening process. Check out this page for PDF versions of the application. Return the completed application to the Extension Office and meet with Kati Sweet, 4-H Youth Development Extension Educator, to learn more! 

View the related files below to download instructions for enrolling/reenrolling as a volunteer on 4HOnline, directions for completing the training certification for programs involving minors, a Volunteer Behavioral Expectations form (also known as an ABE), and other great volunteer resources!

If you or someone you know is new to the Hendricks County 4-H program, this page has awesome resources to guide new families through their first year in 4-H!


ALL VOLUNTEERS MUST complete a mandatory training with Purdue Extension. This mandatory training from Purdue University is about youth safety and abuse reporting. This training can be completed on 4-HOnline or in person. See more information below: 

Operating Procedures for Programs Involving Minors

Over the past several months, the Purdue University Office of the Vice President for Ethics and Compliance has been working to implement system‐wide policies related to programs involving minors, including those we offer through the Indiana 4‐H Youth Development Program.

These policies are designed to ensure the protection of minors who are a part of the Indiana 4‐H Program, as we continue to provide a safe, welcoming environment for all youth to participate.

As a part of the policy, all Purdue Extension Staff and Volunteers will complete a training on Youth Safety and Reporting Child Abuse. This document is designed to help Adult & Youth 4‐H Volunteers fulfill the requirements of these policies.

WHO: All Extension Educators, Other Extension Paid Staff, and Adult & Youth Volunteers

WHAT: Required certification for all programs involving minors (including 4-H)

WHEN/WHERE: Applies to all programs involving minors that start on or after May 1, 2015 that are supported by Purdue Extension at the county, area, district, state, and national levels

WHY: To ensure that programs involving minors are planned carefully and include safety as the highest priority 

HOW: Step by step directions for completing the training are available under the related files below

Each Adult and Youth 4-H Volunteer will complete a training certification: "Youth Safety and Reporting Child Abuse." Once completed, this certification will be good for 24 months (2 years), after which time you will need to retake the certification. The online version of the certification takes 15-20 minutes to complete. 

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