Kansas 4-H and Atchison County Extension Cares About Kids
The 4-H promise says that we will provide a safe environment for youth enrolled in the 4-H program. This means that 4-H programs will be held in a safe location. It also means that our caring adults will complete a multi-step screening process to insure the safety of our youth.
4-H volunteers are unpaid staff representatives of K-state University, Kansas 4-H and Atchison County Extension. A registered 4-H volunteer is an adult or teen who has successfully completed the Kansas 4-H Volunteer Service application process which includes completing an application, interview with extension staff, background screening, orientation, and appointment by the local extension board to serve as a volunteer. Serving as a 4-H adult volunteer is a privilege, not a right. Volunteers serve at the request of the extension board and are managed/supervised by the local agent(s) or a designee responsible for 4-H. The local board may restrict the initial or continued participation of volunteers in the 4-H program. Volunteer service in the 4-H program beyond the local level is contingent upon approved status at the local level. All volunteers must be registered and comply with the 4-H Volunteer Guidelines and 4-H Volunteer Code of Ethics Volunteers who assist with a single short-term learning activity are not required to complete the process. Volunteers repeating the this experience should follow the volunteer appointment guidelines. Adults must have a completed training and have a current Kansas 4-H Volunteer Service Application on file as required by the Kansas 4-H program.
4-H Volunteer Screening Process
Volunteers are key to the 4-H program. They enable the 4-H program to grow and thrive. These individuals donate their time, efforts and skills so that the Atchison County 4-H program can excel. Staff and parents trust these volunteers to have the best interests of young people at heart.
Safety of young people is shared responsibility between volunteers, Extension staff, K-State Research and Extension, and the state. We need to do our best to protect young people through the implementation of a youth protection system. In Kansas, the youth protection system is the Kansas 4-H Volunteer Screening process. Steps to this process are outlined below. The process may be completed online or by paper. We would be pleased to mail paper forms to you if this is your preference.
Steps to become a Atchison County Registered 4-H Volunteer
Complete Kansas 4-H volunteer Application and return it to the Atchison County Extension Office. The application includes requesting references from 3 persons.
- Establish and annually update a 4-H online account.
- Schedule and complete an informal in person interview with local county extension agents- Ray Ladd or Diane Nielson. Call to schedule your appointment.
- Complete an orientation session. This may be completed online or by attending an organized training session in person.
- Complete the Child Abuse Registry form and return it to the Extension Office.
- Submit your information for Criminal Background Check. (Note: Validity Screening Solutions is the company doing the background check for Kansas 4-H. You will need to create an account before you will be able to input your personal information.)
- When all steps are complete, staff will review the materials and submit to Board for approval.
- Following appointment, volunteers will receive notification of their annual appointment.
- Following appointment 4-H volunteers should annually participate in at least 3 hours of training organized by Kansas 4-H staff.
Once you are a Registered Volunteer
- A renewal form must be completed annually.
A CBC will be required every 3 years. As part of this 3 year renewal process, volunteers should plan to meet with extension staff to discus their 4-H goals concerning working with young people and training needs.
Who Must Complete the Volunteer Screening Process?
A volunteer, adult or teen, with authority to independently plan and conduct educational 4-H experiences for youth with other adults present or in a public setting OR a volunteer whose position puts them in close, ongoing, one-to-one interaction with youth must complete the VIP process.
Volunteer roles include, but are not limited to, judging team coach, community leader, organizational leader, project leader, camp counselor, camp assistant, Discover Days or other event chaperone, exchange trip chaperone, chauffeur for any 4-H activities, and county-wide project leader.
Volunteers who do not fit into one of the above criteria would be considered episodic and do not need to complete the screening.
The National Criminal Background Check (CBC) cost (as of August 1, 2014) is $22.50 for the first time it is conducted on a volunteer, $16.50 for all subsequent checks (every three years). At this time, these costs are covered by funding from Atchison County Extension Council, so there is no charge to volunteers.
The Child Abuse and Neglect Central Registry check is free, the $10 fee is waived because Kansas 4-H is a Kansas Mentor Organization.