4-H volunteers and staff are a vital part of the whole 4-H Youth Development Program within the State of Maine. It is the goal of the University of Maine Cooperative Extension to help protect volunteer leaders, staff, and members in every way possible. This includes guiding 4-H leaders and staff on ways to reduce risks involved in youth work, and the risk of harm to 4-H members. Maine 4-H Youth Development volunteers and staff are expected to be proactive in taking measures to minimize or reduce potential risks for programs, events, and activities sponsored by the University of Maine Cooperative Extension. Often good risk management is no more than using common sense in regards to each activity.

This document is designed to help Maine 4-H volunteers and staff fulfill their responsibility related to preventing and minimizing risk for both youth and volunteers. To ensure this happens, programs, events and activities need to be systematically reviewed to be sure that provisions are provided for dealing with health, safety, legal, and liability issues. 4-H Youth are not covered by University liability when participating in Maine 4-H sponsored events, activities and programs.