4-H volunteers are an essential partner in our youth development program, and UMaine Extension is committed to ensuring the safety of volunteer leaders and members as much as possible. Our risk management policies and procedures are designed to guide 4-H leaders on ways to reduce risks involved in working with youth, and the risk of harm to 4-H members. One element of orientation for all Maine 4-H volunteers is training in low-risk management practices, with the expectation that volunteers will be ready to take proactive measures in minimizing or reducing potential risks for programs, events, and activities sponsored by UMaine Extension.
Section B.1.7 of Extension’s 4-H Policies and Procedures Guidelines is your best resource for low-risk management practices. There you will find information on many topics including volunteers and liability; liability associated with vehicle use and reporting an accident; working with animals; guidelines for volunteers acting as chaperones; how to report suspected child abuse and/or neglect; crisis communication; event and program guidelines; and financial management.
4-H staff are available for guidance whenever questions or concerns are raised. A sample risk management checklist for event planning is available online.