Kansas 4-H and Atchison County Extension Care 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 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 county level is contingent upon approved status at the local level. All volunteers must be approved and appointed at the county level by KSRE-Atchison County Extension. 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 supervised by Extension staff are not required to complete the process. Both county-wide 4-H leaders and fair youth superintendents are appointed annnually by Extension.
Volunteers repeating this registeration experience should follow the volunteer re-appointment guidelines. Returning adult volunteers must complete 3 hours of training annually and have a current Kansas 4-H Volunteer Application on file via the 4-H online system. This is a requirement of 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 allowing the Atchison County 4-H program to excel. Staff and parents trust these volunteers to have the best interests of young people at heart.
The safety of young people is a shared responsibility among volunteers, Extension staff, K-State Research and Extension, and the state. To best to protect young people, a youth protection system has been in place since 1996. In Kansas, the youth protection system is the Kansas 4-H volunteer application process. The steps to this process are outlined below. The process may be completed online or by contacting extension staff.
Steps to becoming an Atchison County Registered 4-H Volunteer
Complete Kansas 4-H Volunteer Application via your 4HOnline account. 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 agent- Ray Ladd. Call to schedule your appointment.
- Complete an orientation session. This may be completed online or by attending an organized training session in person. (Tip: Select the training tab or view all modules below and compete quiz.)
- Background checks are completed on the state level based on the information submitted. (Tip: Contact the extension office for assistance with this step.)
- After all steps are completed at the state level, the staff will are notified of volunteer status. Following a background check, volunteer names are shared with the local program. Names are submitted annually to the Board for approval and appointment.
- Following the 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 or local extension staff.
- Directions-See New Volunteers to the online sytem for first time volunteers. Directions-See Returning Volunteeers for returning volunteers
- Online training links for new volunteers (Local training is offered related to your volunteer role.))
- More online training resources for returning volunteers
Once you are a Registered Volunteer
A renewal process can be completed annually via your 4H Online account.
A background check is required every 3 years. As part of this 3-year renewal process, volunteers should plan to meet with extension staff annually to discuss their 4-H goals concerning working with young people and training needs plus particiapte in 3 hours of Extension approved annual training.
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 (or acting as a co-project leader by assisting with project meeetings), camp counselor, camp assistant, Discovery Days or other event chaperones, 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. These volunteers are supervised by extension staff.
The National Criminal Background Check (CBC) cost are covered by funding from Atchison County 4-H Council, so there is no charge to volunteers.
4-H Volunteer Orientation
Videos for Orientation if you are unable to watch via 4-H online. Papeer quiz must be completed and sent to the Extension to complete orientation.
- Video 1: Kansas 4-H Volunteer Orientation Training - Introduction to 4-H Youth Development
As a new volunteer, learning the basics of 4-H Youth Development will help in understanding the bigger picture of the 4-H program
- Video 2: Kansas 4-H Volunteer Orientation Training - Creating Age Appropriate Learning Experiences
Volunteers work with a wide variety of ages of youth. This section covers how to create age appropriate learning experiences.
- Video 3: Kansas 4-H Volunteer Orientation Training - Experiential Learning Process
This section covers important hints on how to teach. “Learning by Doing” is one of the main reasons 4-H has been so widely recognized and respected in the field of informal education.
- Video 4: Kansas 4-H Volunteer Orientation Training - Creating a Safe and Positive Learning Environment
Kansas 4-H Volunteer Orientation Training - Creating a Safe and Positive Learning Environment. As a positive youth development organization, 4-H has an obligation to ensure the safety and well-being of the young people involved. This section covers how to create a safe and positive learning environment.
4-H Guiding Principles
- Kansas 4-H focuses on positive youth development while teaching leadership, citizenship and life skills.
- 4-H practices youth-adult partnerships.
- 4-H is a family-centered program
- 4-H program focus is determined locally to fit the specific needs of youth while following federal and state guidelines.
- 4-H provides programs that appeal to a diverse audiance.
4-H is a non-formal educational program delivered by volunteers trained and supervised by Extension Agents. Volunteers may work in various capacities through the guidance of Extension faculty and staff.
Volunteers are responsible for a group, activity or event and its members and adults as assigned by Extension faculty or staff. Visit the volunteer and adult role page for more description.
Any youth ages 7-19 may enroll as a 4-H Member. Youth ages 5-6 may enroll in the Cloverbud program. Participation in Kanas 4-H and its programs is open to all interested youth regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, sexual preference, religion, creed, political belief, marital or parental status or disability. There are over 20,000 youth enrolled in Kansas 4-H. Visit the 4-H age gudelines page for specifics on enrollment ages.
Extension Agent’s Role
- Planning – Program development
- Organizing – Resource development and coordination of program.
- Staffing – Recruit, train and supervisevolunteers.
- Supervising – Support, motivate and recognize volunteers.
- Evaluating – Access needs, evaluate program and communicate