4-H Policies & Best Management Practices

This page is the definitive source for all current statewide 4-H program policies and best practices. This information replaces the former 4-H Program Handbook, which is many years out-of-date and no longer valid. Therefore, any copy should be discarded.

 

Best Management Practices for 4-H Professionals (4-H Professional log-in required)

Policy Menu:

National 4-H Policies

4-H Code of Conduct for Youth and Adults

4-H Membership and Participation

Camping

Chaperones

Consequences and Disciplinary Actions

Enrollment Criteria in 4-H and Related Project Eligibility

Funds and Fundraising

Grants and Contracts

Handling and Storage of Registration Forms, Health Forms, and Volunteer Applications

Handling Funds

Managing Behavior

Name and Emblem

Non-Discrimination

Organizing 4-H Clubs, Affiliate Groups and Councils

Public Records

Publishing of Program Policies

Religious Neutrality

Review Board

Search and Seizure

Transportation

UF/IFAS Youth Protection Policy – Volunteer Background Screening Requirement & Procedures

Volunteering for 4-H 

Weapons Forbidden (Except for 4-H Shooting Sports Program)

Websites and Social Media Accounts

 


 

 

 

  • Individual clubs may have continuous use of their charter over many years; however, an annual request for continuance is required from all clubs, signed by one organizational volunteer. This is maintained in the club file with the local Extension 4-H office.
  • In addition to the Annual Request for Charter Renewal, the Extension 4-H Office must maintain a current file in the Extension Office with important documents about the organized 4-H group.
  • A 4-H Club must select an official non-discriminatory name to be approved by the county Extension Office and the State 4-H Office as part of the chartering process and be authorized to use the name and emblem.

Click here to view Additional insight and best management practices for 4-H Professionals (4-H Professional log-in required)

 

As a participant in 4-H at the local, state, or national level, I have the responsibility of representing the UF/IFAS Extension 4-H Youth Development Program to the public. Therefore, I am expected to conduct myself in a manner that will bring honor to me, my family, my community, and 4-H. To do that, I must abide by the following rules:

      • Obey local, state, and federal laws. Follow county, district, state and/or national 4-H policies. Abide by any special rules for a 4-H event or activity.
      • Speak and act in a responsible, courteous, and respectful way. Harassment, threats or bullying of any type is prohibited.
      • Act responsibly to maintain a safe environment for all participants. Acting in a manner that could endanger the health, safety or welfare of yourself or others is prohibited. Report threats to the well-being of any participant immediately to the adult in charge.
      • Possession or use of tobacco, alcohol, or illegal drugs is prohibited. Possession or use of approved medications by youth during a 4-H function must be reported to the adult in charge and must not be accessible to other participants.
      • Possession or use of weapons or other dangerous objects is prohibited, except when required as part of an approved educational program. Weapons are defined to include, but are not limited to, guns, knives and incendiary or explosive devices of any kind.
      • Respect all property, facilities, equipment, and vehicles. I will be responsible for any damage or other consequences resulting from my behavior.
      • Participate fully in 4-H functions. Be in the assigned program areas (example—dorms, cabins, programs, etc.) on time. If I am unable to attend or participate, I will tell the adult in charge. Help others have a pleasant experience by making every attempt to include all participants in activities.
      • Dress appropriately for each 4-H function.
      • Use of any mobile electronic device during a scheduled 4-H activity is prohibited unless activity-specific rules otherwise allow. When permitted, they should be used only in a manner that is consistent with the approved activity and not discourteous or disruptive.

Search and Seizure

      • The belongings of youth participants, including but not limited to bags, purses, computers, other electronic devices, lockers and vehicles, are subject to search and seizure by 4-H faculty/staff, and in some instances a volunteer designee, upon reasonable suspicion that a prohibited and/or illegally possessed substance or object is contained within that area. (If an adult is suspected, this will be handled by law enforcement.)

Failure to abide by the Florida 4-H Code of Conduct in its entirety could result in a loss of privileges during a 4-H event and in the future; including but not limited to suspension or termination of 4-H membership or volunteer service.

Consequences and Disciplinary Actions

1.) 4-H’ers accused of any of the following will be required to appear before a review board:

  • Possession or use of illegal drugs or alcoholic beverages;
  • Theft, misuse, or abuse of public or personal property;
  • Sexual misconduct;
  • Possession of firearms or fireworks;**
  • Unauthorized absence from the premises of the event;
  • Physical assault.

**the exception is being involved with the Shooting Sports Program at an organized Shooting Sports event.

If the accused 4-H’er is found in violation of the above, his/her parents will be notified; and the 4-H’er will be sent home immediately at the parent’s expense and be suspended from participation in district, state, national and international 4-H activities for a period of up to 12 months.

2.) 4-H’ers accused of any of the following may be required to appear before the review board:

  • Breaking curfew or disturbing the peace.
  • Unexcused absence from the activities of the event.
  • Unauthorized use of vehicles during the event.
  • Use of abusive language.

If the accused 4-H’er is found in violation of these offenses listed above and receives discipline issued by the review board, his/her parents will be notified, and the 4-H’er may be sent home immediately at the parent’s expense and may be suspended from participating in district, state, national, and international 4-H activities for up to six (6) months.

3.) Realizing these guidelines are not “all inclusive” the Extension Service reserves the right to make adjustments to these policies. A policy for dealing with disciplinary violations should provide a clear opportunity for accused individuals to exercise rights of due process. The procedure shown here was developed by Len Davis, a university attorney for the University of Georgia, for use in that state and has been adapted only slightly for use in Florida.

Review Board

Purpose: The Florida 4-H Review Board exists for two reasons:

  1. To determine whether an offense charged, actually occurred and,
  2. If occurred, what disciplinary action should be taken.

In serving these two purposes, Extension professionals must assure that the rights of the young person accused is observed.

Rights of the Accused

  1. To be informed of the offense with which charged
  2. To have an opportunity to face and cross-examine the accuser; and,
  3. To have an opportunity to respond to the charges and to present evidence on one’s own behalf.

Notification Procedures

  • If a 4-H’er is found in violation of the Code and is to be sent home, the person in charge of the event will notify the appropriate County Extension Director/agent responsible.

Appeal Procedures

If a 4-H’er wishes to appeal the decision of the review board, he/she must appeal in writing through his/her County Extension Office. Appeals must be filed within 30 days following notification of punishment. As necessary, the Assistant Dean of 4-H shall appoint an appeal board to meet no sooner than 30 days following the date of the 4-H’er’s request. The appeal board shall consist of:

  1. A County Extension Agent
  2. A Volunteer Leader
  3. Three 4-H members (when appropriate)
  4. Assistant Dean, 4-H (or designate) chairperson

Click here to view Additional insight and best management practices for 4-H Professionals (4-H Professional log-in required)

 

 

 

 

Grants and contracts have specific outcomes and deliverables expected including required reports to the funding source, whereas donations do not require this kind of reporting to the donor. (Please realize that donors/grantors do not always label their funding consistent with these definitions.)

  • Grants and contracts must support the highest priorities of the UF/IFAS Extension 4-H Youth Development Program.
  • If a grant/contract is for a multi-county or statewide 4-H program, it must receive the approval of the State 4-H Program Leader.
  • All funds accepted for 4-H Youth Development must be used for valid 4-H purposes.
  • All grants/contracts pertaining to 4-H Youth Development grants must have the consent and/or involvement of an Extension/4-H faculty or staff member before a grant/contract application is submitted.
  • 4-H clubs in Florida do not have the tax exempt status or legal authority to accept grants directly, except via their respective County 4-H Association (or, in some cases, County 4-H Foundation). Therefore, when grants are applied for on behalf of 4-H clubs or other entities authorized to use the 4-H name and emblem within a county, a UF/IFAS Extension faculty/staff will serve as the Principal Investigator (P.I.), possibly with a volunteer as a co-P.I., co-investigator, or simply as a cooperator.
  • County 4-H Associations and County 4-H Foundations are not permitted to accept grants/contracts with federal funds as the source.
  • Faculty, staff, and volunteers are not permitted to sign any contract (which generally includes any written agreements, MOUs, etc.)

Procedures for applying for grants and contracts are generally based on who will serve as the Principal Investigator, the scope of work of the grant/contract, and the source of funds. The more complicated a grant, the more advance planning is needed in order to submit a grant application by the deadline set by the grantor. In general, the procedure is to work with the Grants Coordinator in Extension Administration.

Click here to view “Handling grants/contracts pertaining to UF/IFAS Extension 4-H Youth Development.”

Click here to view the Joint Programming MOA Template for 4-H Professionals (4-H Professional log-in required)

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • All funds raised, earned, or otherwise obtained, using the 4-H name and emblem, are property of the University of Florida/IFAS Extension 4-H Youth Development Program.
  • Funds are to be raised only to further the educational goals of 4-H. Approval for fundraising activities will be at the discretion of the County 4-H Agent and County Extension Director, or the State 4-H Program Leader for district/statewide 4-H fund raising.
  • Any 4-H organization, at any level within the state, is accountable to the University of Florida and USDA, and is obligated to follow all policies, procedures and regulations established by the University of Florida/IFAS Extension 4-H Youth Development Program.
  • All 4-H program funds, including all 4-H Clubs with funds in excess of $100, shall be held in the local County 4-H Association or authorized 501(c) (3) 4-H foundation.
  • An annual financial review is required of all 4-H unit accounts, including County 4-H Association and County 4-H Foundation accounts. All 4-H units are required to file an annual IRS 990-series tax return.
  • Extension/4-H faculty or staff are not permitted to be a signatory on any 4-H account.
  • As of January 1, 2011, UF/IFAS Extension will not authorize the creation any new 4-H tax exempt organizations (i.e. county 4-H foundations).
  • Raffles, lotteries and games of chance, etc., are permitted at the discretion of the County 4-H Agent and County Extension Director (or the State 4-H Program Leader for district/statewide activities). County 4-H programs may accept contributions from organizations that derive revenue from gaming at the discretion of the County 4-H Agent and County Extension Director. All applicable federal and state laws and Extension/4-H policies shall be followed when conducting activities of this nature.

Crowdfunding

      • Individual 4-H youth, 4-H volunteers, 4-H clubs, and County 4-H Associations are permitted to conduct fundraising online by utilizing “crowdfunding” or “crowdsourcing” web sites if all money raised for 4-H purposes follows current 4-H policies and best practices, especially those pertaining to fundraising.
  • All counties across Florida will follow a standard policy for financial management of Extension funds that has been approved by Extension administration. This policy will give county agents authority to manage their funds and will provide for demonstrable accountability and transparency in fundraising and fiscal management.In each county, the County Extension Director (CED), on behalf of the University of Florida Cooperative Extension Service, is accountable for the administrative oversight of all funds associated with the county Extension program. In turn, the county Extension agent is responsible for monitoring the day-to-day generation, collection, and expenditure of funds associated with his or her local program (4-H Youth Development, Agriculture, Horticulture, etc.), and for ensuring that appropriate program-specific fiscal procedures are followed to manage these items. All funds associated with the county Extension program shall be subject to this policy.See Policies and Procedures for Handling Funds in County Extension Programs

Click here to view Additional insight and best management practices for 4-H Professionals

 

 

 

 

  • University of Florida rules governing 4-H charge each county and state unit to develop policies and procedures for conducting 4-H programs, publish and distribute them to program participants.
  • To read about the Managing Behavior Policies including member discipline and due process click here

Click here to view Additional insight and best management practices for 4-H Professionals (4-H Professional log-in required)

Appeal Policy

  • If a 4-H’er wishes to appeal the decision of the review board, he/she must appeal in writing through his/her County Extension Office. Appeals must be filed within 30 days following notification of punishment.

 

 

 

  • Membership age of youth participation is determined by the youth’s age as of September 1 of the current program year (September 1 – August 31).  The minimum age of a 4-H’er is 5 years old and the maximum age for a 4-H’er is 18 years old, or completion of high school, whichever comes first. Youth whose membership age is beyond 18 who have qualified for a National Contest (as a culminating event for their project learning) shall be eligible to participate in the event as long as they qualify as per National Contest policies. Youth classified as an “exceptional student” and thus determined eligible for a special program by the State Board of Education [Florida Statute 1003.01(3)(a)] shall be eligible to participate in 4-H until the age of 21 years old (National 4-H upper age limit) or completion of high school, whichever comes first.
  • Eligibility for enrolled 4-H members is determined by the youth’s age as of September 1 of the current 4-H program year, which runs September 1 through August 31.
  • A 4-H member/participant is any youth, ages 5-18, who participates (individually or as part of a group) in a planned sequence of learning experiences (project) of six hours or more guided by Extension staff or trained volunteers of both the 1862 and 1890 institutions.
  • An annual report of all 4-H member participation, referred to as the ES237, is required by State and Federal Partners.

Program Enrollment Procedures

  • All youth participation in UF/IFAS-sponsored programs is defined as UF/IFAS 4-H Youth Development and shall be reported via the 4HOnline enrollment system.

  • Youth may join 4-H at any time and clubs may be formed throughout the year. Youth must re-enroll in 4-H every September.

  • Although paper enrollment forms are still available, parents/guardians should be directed to enter youth enrollment information into 4HOnline. Paper enrollments forms consist of the 4-H Youth Enrollment Form and the Florida 4-H Participation Form (both located on the Get Involved Page)

  • Paper enrollment forms should only be used at the convenience of clientele, such as when they do not have Internet access.

  • When 4-H participant information is collected on paper forms, this information must be promptly, completely, and accurately entered in 4HOnline.

  • Electronic signatures provided by a parent or a legal guardian in 4Honline are sufficient for accepting youth as members. Online profiles are to be created and maintained by parents and guardians. Youth should not be given access to 4Honline profiles.

  • Group enrollment without individual participant information should be used sparingly and limited to situations where it is difficult if not impossible to get information about individual youth (such as when teaching in school classrooms in certain school districts].

  • Keeping up-to-date information about 4-H participants is required for the annual federal “ES237” enrollment report as well as for compliance with State of Florida statutes and UF policies.

Independent or At-Large Member:

  • Independent members must have a 4-H agent approved plan of work for the 4-H year and meet with a mentor a minimum of four times per year during the program year. Progress towards goals should be submitted to the 4-H office. Counties may elect to allow youth to continue independent membership based on completed work or extenuating circumstances.

Participation Forms and Behavior Codes:

The health form is also often required as part of a pre-event registration packet for state and national events. This assures that youth in attendance will have appropriate medical attention.

  • Florida 4-H Participation Form for Youth and Adults:
    • The Florida 4-H Participation Form for Youth and Adults consists of the: Health Form and Medical Release, Code of Conduct, General Release, Transportation Policy, Publicity Release, and Survey and Evaluation Release.
    • Although paper enrollment forms are still available, parents/guardians should be directed to enter youth enrollment information, including the Participation Form, into 4HOnline.
    • Consent from the participant (youth or adult) and a parent/guardian (if youth participant) is required for the Florida 4-H Code of Conduct.
    • Parent/guardian or adult participant consent is required for the General Release, Medical Release and Transportation Policy. Parent/guardian or adult participant consent is optional for the Survey and Evaluation Release and the Media Release.
    • A Health Form is mandatory for all participants, including adults, in overnight programs. Health Forms should be carried by all 4-Hers traveling to and from out-of-county 4-H events.
    • The Florida 4-H Medication Form must be completed by a parent or guardian when sending medication with a youth to a Florida 4-H event. The form can be download at: http://florida4h.org/youth/files/Medication_Form.pdf

Minimum Educational Criteria:

  • All members must be engaged in a minimum of six hours of educational programs.

Access and Equity of 4-H Membership:

  • 4-H membership is available to all youth ages 5-18 without regard to race, color, gender, sexual orientation, handicap, or national origin. However, selected projects or programs do have enrollment restrictions. Not all projects or program activities are deemed appropriate for all age ranges due to either developmental appropriateness, safety, or other considerations.

Membership Age Policies and Participation Age Ranges

  • Membership age of youth participation is determined by the youth’s age as of September 1 of the current program year (September 1 – August 31).  The minimum age of a 4-H’er is 5 years old and the maximum age for a 4-H’er is 18 years old, or completion of high school, whichever comes first. Youth whose membership age is beyond 18 who have qualified for a National Contest (as a culminating event for their project learning) shall be eligible to participate in the event as long as they qualify as per National Contest policies. Youth classified as an “exceptional student” and thus determined eligible for a special program by the State Board of Education [Florida Statute 1003.01(3)(a)] shall be eligible to participate in 4-H until the age of 21 years old (National 4-H upper age limit) or completion of high school, whichever comes first.Eligibility for enrolled 4-H members is determined by the youth’s age as of September 1 of the current 4-H program year, which runs September 1 through August 31.Read More

Curriculum Considerations

  • Learning in the group setting is the primary method for involving 5-7 year olds in 4-H. Individualized projects are not appropriate methods for most 5-7 year olds due to limited reading and other self-management skills.

Project/Program Participation

  • A 4-H member must be 8 years of age at the beginning of the current 4-H program year (September 1) to be eligible to enroll in a large animal 4-H project, including exhibiting or showing a large animal (sheep, goat, swine, beef, dairy, llama, ostrich, or horse). Florida 4-H does not permit 5-7 year olds to enroll in any 4-H large animal project, to raise a large animal as a 4-H project, or to participate as a 4-H member in a livestock or horse show or other event with these large animals.
  • Florida 4-H does not permit 5-7 year olds to participate in Shooting Sports, ATV or other motorized vehicle projects or programs.
  • Florida 4-H does not permit 5-7 year olds to participate in the Florida 4-H summer residential camping program.
  • When 4-H members and volunteers participate in open shows and other events that conflict with 4-H policies (such those that allow competition or showing large animals which are being permitted for Cloverbud-age youth), if is important for youth, parents, and volunteers to avoid giving the impression that they represent 4-H during those activities such as by wearing 4-H attire while participating.
  • Extension/4-H faculty and staff are not permitted to provide significant support for or actively promote open shows and other events that conflict with 4-H policies (such those that allow competition or showing large animals which are not being permitted for Cloverbud-age youth). 4-H volunteers and parents who provide assistance to such events should avoid giving the impression that they represent 4-H during those activities such as by wearing 4-H attire while participating.
  • A youth must be a 4-H member at least 30 days before a 4-H competitive event unless event rules specify otherwise.
  • Florida 4-H does not permit children less than 8 years of age to participate in competitive activities at any level (club, county, district, state, national or international).

 

Residence and Dual County Participation

  • The County of residence is the primary county for 4-H enrollment. Youth and adults are expected to enroll or participate in their home county. A 4-H member may enroll in projects and participate in events outside the county of residence, with the written approval of the 4-H agents in both counties.

Uniforms

  • No uniform is required for participation in 4-H. Members are expected to abide by dress code established for 4-H events and activities.

Membership/ Participation and School Grades

  • Students grade point averages (GPA’s) cannot be a used as criterion for entry into any 4-H event.

Click here to view Additional insight and best management practices for 4-H Professionals (4-H Professional log-in required)

 

 

 

AUTHORIZATION TO USE:

  • Any formally or informally organized entity using the 4-H Name and Emblem must have some type of written evidence that recognizes it as part of the 4-H program conducted by the Cooperative Extension Service. This may be in the form of a charter, memorandum, letter or other written approval.
  • Florida 4-H Cooperative Extension faculty must authorize all 4-H Clubs or Affiliated Groups within their county boundaries and accept responsibility for them, expecting them to be accountable and compliant with all applicable policies.
  • County and State 4-H offices must maintain documentation on the issuance of Charters to 4-H entities within their respective county. Charters must be issued when establishing any 4-H Clubs.
  • State or County Extension faculty must provide written authorization for any vendor or service provider the right to use the 4-H name and emblem within their scope of geographic responsibility. Authorization may or may not be granted, depending on the nature of the product or service offered.

Ways to Display:

  • 4-H National guidelines and procedures are established for any print or electronic presentation of the 4-H Emblem that must be adhered to by Extension faculty and 4-H volunteers and members.

Click here to view Additional insight and best management practices for 4-H Professionals

 

 

 

 

 

  • (Federal Policy) No person is subject to prohibited discrimination in programs and activities funded in whole or part by USDA based on race, color, national origin, gender, religion, age disability, and where applicable, political beliefs, marital or familial status, income or because of the receipt of public assistance.
  • (University of Florida) Approved Non Discrimination Statement “The University of Florida is an Equal Opportunity Institution.”

The University shall actively promote equal opportunity policies and practices conforming to laws against discrimination. The University is committed to non-discrimination with respect to race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, political opinions or affiliations, genetic information and veteran status as protected under the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act. (http://regulations.ufl.edu/chapter1/1006.pdf)

(University of Florida) The University of Florida, under the guidelines of ADA and 504 federal legislation, is required to make reasonable accommodations to the known physical and mental limitations of otherwise qualified individuals with disabilities. To help provide the best possible service to students, staff, faculty and visitors, the University of Florida has an ADA Compliance Office with a coordinator responsible for access for persons with disabilities. The ADA coordinator assists anyone with questions about access. Florida 4-H is the official youth development program of the University of Florida IFAS Extension. (http://www.ehs.ufl.edu/programs/ada/)

Click here to view Additional insight and best management practices for 4-H Professionals (4-H Professional log-in required)

 

 

 

 

 

  • 4-H “newsletters, fact sheets, web pages, videotapes, and bulletins are open to the public. In general, our mailing lists and most correspondence are open to the public.” However, names, addresses, and telephone numbers of individual 4-H members are not furnished under a public records request. Instead, a family mailing list may be provided which does not detail the number, ages, or names of specific 4-H members.
  • Under Section 119.071(4)(c)1-3 of Florida Statutes, information that would identify or locate a child and/or the parent or guardian of a child who participates in a government-sponsored recreation program which includes 4-H is exempt from release under the public records law. If the volunteer is a parent or guardian of a child who participates, the information about that person (the parent or guardian) would be exempt. Information on other volunteers is not exempt.
      • For purposes of this paragraph, the term:“Government-sponsored recreation program” means a program for which an agency assumes responsibility for a child participating in that program, including, but not limited to, after-school programs, athletic programs, nature programs, summer camps, or other recreational programs.
  • Retention of most 4-H records is required for a minimum of three or five years with financial records being retained for seven years. Charters are to be retained permanently. Registration materials should be kept for five years.

Handling and Storage of Registration Forms, Health Forms, and Volunteer Applications

  • The Florida Extension program must handle and monitor the use of this information in a confidential manner. All forms and applications are to be kept in a locked filing cabinet. Training on the importance of confidentiality should be given prior to any experience where volunteers, staff, or faculty are collecting, storing, or handling health forms or medication.

 

 

 

 

  • All county policies and procedures will be consistent with State Extension/4-H policies and procedures and support state and federal laws.

 

 

 

 

 

  • University of Florida 4-H programs are required to be open to all youth and adult volunteers regardless of religious background or creed. The Florida 4-H program is a federal as well as a state/county program. Therefore, the activities of the program must be consistent with the First Amendment of the United States Constitution as well as Article I, Section 3 of the Florida Constitution.
  • The 4-H program, because it is a governmental program, may not schedule or approve religious activities or exercises as a part of the 4-H program.
  • 4-H Clubs should not include specific and overt references to a specific religious tradition within their club or program names.

Click here to view Additional insight and best management practices for 4-H Professionals (4-H Professional log-in required)

 

 

 

  • All volunteers and/or parents who transport Florida 4-H participants as a part of any 4-H activity are required to  be 18 years or older, possess a valid driver’s license with a safe driving record and automobile insurance, and otherwise comply with state and local laws.  Additionally, Florida 4-H requires that drivers utilize a transport vehicle that is in good repair and working order.
  • Transportation to and from many Florida 4-H activities, not a part of the activity, is the responsibility of the participant and his/her family.  Florida 4-H has no ownership or control over any privately owned vehicles and relies on the drivers’ compliance to 4-H policies and procedures.
  • All operators of UF owned, leased, or non-owned 15 passenger vans shall possess a valid driver license and maintain a good driving record. Operators must attend an approved van operators training session prior to operating a 15 passenger-van (exception: operators that possess a valid Commercial Drivers License, CDL, do not need to participate in the training). Vehicles will be routinely inspected through annual safety checks and operational safety checks. Vehicles will be removed from service if conditions are found that will impair the safe operation of the vehicle or the safety of its occupants.

 

Click here to view Additional insight and best management practices for 4-H Professionals (4-H Professional log-in required)

 

4-H Youth Protection Policy – Volunteer Background Screening Requirement & Procedures

To protect youth and adults involved in UF/IFAS programs, UF/IFAS has established mandatory volunteer background screening and youth registration procedures to meet requirements of the State of Florida via the Department of Children and Families (DCF); and the University of Florida Office of Youth Conference Services (OYCS). All youth participation in UF/IFAS-sponsored programs is defined as UF/IFAS 4-H Youth Development and shall be promoted as such and reported via the 4HOnline enrollment system in lieu of the OYCS database. This policy and corresponding procedures apply to all camps and activities led by IFAS faculty/staff for youth, either on or off campus. The policy does not apply to programs that IFAS faculty assist with if they are not responsible for supervising the youth attending (such as when contributing to another organization’s event).

UF/IFAS Youth Protection Policy: Youth Registration and Volunteer Background Screening Requirement & Procedures

Click here to view Youth Protection Policy FAQs

 

 

 

 

  • All volunteers, including youth volunteers, must complete a volunteer application. For youth volunteers this application must be signed by their parent or guardian (6Cl-3.0031(3a)).

*Paper applications are available for those without Internet access.

Download the paper Application

Applicants submitting the paper application must also complete the paper Participation Form 

  • All volunteers who work directly with youth (who are not their own children) when serving either on an ongoing basis, unsupervised, as an overnight chaperone, or any other time deemed necessary by 4-H faculty and staff must complete background screening according to procedures specified in:
  • Each new volunteer must receive an orientation to Extension, 4-H and to their specific role.
  • Employees and volunteers working with minors in UF-affiliated youth activities are required to successfully complete UF’s Youth Protection Training (# YCS800) on an annual basis.Volunteers can access the training at:  https://oycs.ufsa.ufl.edu/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/YCS800-simulated-version-1.swf . The training lasts about 20 minutes and includes a brief quiz that must be completed successfully. Faculty and staff can access the training through the training and development on the myUFL website my.ufl.edu. Visit https://oycs.ufsa.ufl.edu/compliance/training/ for more information about the Youth Protection Training.
  • Interactions with youth (AKA: Two deep policy):  4-H faculty, staff and volunteers will avoid private one-on-one interactions with youth.  Program coordinators will ensure that they always have two authorized level two enrolled individuals who are non-related present during any interactions with youth.  In situations that require personal conferences the meeting is to be conducted in view of other adults.  This policy includes the transportation of youth participants as part of a 4-H program.
  •  One of your two authorized adults should be 21 years of age or older.

Serving as a Chaperone:

All adults serving as a chaperone for overnight events must have completed the 4-H Youth Development Youth Protection Process.

  • For overnight events, the ratio of 10 youth to 1 adult is the minimum requirement*.
  • Depending on the event, you may be required to have been an enrolled volunteer for a minimum of one year.

Workers Compensation and State Liability:

Volunteers shall be eligible for the benefits listed in sections 110.502 and 110.504 of Florida Statutes only as approved by the college, school, division or operational unit. University policy 6C1-3.0031 3 (b)

  • Volunteers shall be advised that they are entitled to workers’ compensation and state liability protection under the same conditions as state employees.

Terminating Volunteer Services

  • Volunteer Services may cease, at any time, at the request of the volunteer or at the discretion of the Extension Agent.

The decision made by the Extension Agent, CED, or State 4-H Program Leader is final and cannot be appealed.

 

Click here to view Additional insight and best management practices for 4-H Professionals (4-H Professional log-in required)

 

 

 

 

  • Under state law, Section 790.115, Florida Statutes, the possession of firearms, destructive devices, other weapons and ammunition (for antique firearms, short-barreled shotguns, short-barreled rifles, automatic rifles, and other destructive devices) at any 4-H activity or event is prohibited. An exception is made under University of Florida Regulation 2.001, allowing firearms education classes to be conducted on properties designated for 4-H use provided the firearms are handled, used and stored in a safe and responsible manner and in accordance with all applicable laws, rules and regulations. The program coordinator or property manager shall have the right to prohibit or limit the use, handling or storage of firearms on properties designated for 4-H use in connection with approved firearms education programs for the safety of persons on the property.

 

  • Website content must be directly related to 4-H programs, clubs, projects, and activities. Commercial businesses, products, or resources cannot be promoted nor sold. Links to commercial products or services may not be provided from a 4-H website.
  • All 4-H websites must contain the 4-H Clover Emblem. Using the 4-H Clover emblem on an Internet site must adhere to federal regulations.
  • All 4-H websites must link to florida4h.org

Privacy Protection

  • 4-H members under the age of 19 must not have their home addresses, home phone numbers, cell phone numbers, or personal e-mail addresses listed on a 4-H Website or other promotional item.
  • When using photos of youth, leaders/agents must obtain signed Photo Release Form.

The Photo Release Form

________ grants permission to The University of Florida, the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences and Florida 4-H Youth Development Program and its agents or employees, to use photographs taken of a minor child beginning on the date listed for publication in university publications such as brochures, promotional, newsletters, and magazines, and to use the photos on display boards, websites, and to offer them for publications in other non-university newspapers, magazines and websites, without notifying the parent or guardian.
  • 4-H club members under the age of 19 must not have their photo, accompanied by their first and last names and county affiliation listed on a 4-H Club Website or other 4-H Club promotional items.  Specific request by the parent or guardian of a 4-H member must be made with the County 4-H Agent to publish a photo accompanied by their child’s first and last names and county affiliation on a 4-H Club Website
  • Photos of 4-H members including their first and last name may be posted on official 4-H County Extension website and official 4-H County newsletters.  Home addresses, home phone numbers, cell phone numbers, or personal e-mail addresses must not be included.

Non-discrimination statement

  • All websites must include the following University of Florida non-discrimination statement in its entirety. “The University of Florida is an Equal Opportunity Institution.”

Donor and Supporter Recognition

  • It is neither acceptable nor permissible to advertise a supporter’s products or services on a 4-H Website.
  • When citing donors/supporters, the statement “No endorsement of products or services is implied or intended.” must be placed on the site.

Social Media

  • Authorization to present a social media account as an official Florida 4-H county page, district page, or club page, must come from the county agent with jurisdiction over the applicable unit or, when necessary, authorization must come from the State 4-H Communications Coordinator. Permission to use any Florida 4-H trademarks, or logos must be obtained from, and may be requested of, Florida 4-H by calling (352) 846 – 4444.
  • Florida 4-H reserves the right to remove content if deemed inappropriate due to inclusion of any of the following:
    1. Language, images or video that is determined to be profane, obscene, vulgar or lewd
    2. Derogatory or discriminatory language (including comments about sex, age, race, sexual orientation or religious affiliation
    3. Spam posted regarding the same content matter, links, video, or any other media
    4. Use of specific names of individuals, clubs or identifiable names with language that defames, abuses or threatens
    5. Any advertisement for products or services or solicitation of funds exceeding more than one post per week
  • The county Agent will hereafter be referred to as the “designee”. 4-H members and social media users will hereafter be referred to as “members”
  • Members in these communities must comply with age requirements regulated by the social media site. Most sites require parental permission if under age 13.
  • When a member communicates through social media, unless authorized to speak on behalf of Florida 4-H or its designee, they are representing themselves. Permission to speak on behalf of the program must be directly obtained from the State 4-H Communications Coordinator or the designee.
  • Florida 4-H and its designee reserves the right to monitor, prohibit, restrict, block, suspend, terminate, delete or discontinue a member’s access to any social media site approved by Florida 4-H or its designee, at any time. Florida 4-H and its designee may remove, delete, block, filter, or restrict by any other means any materials at their sole discretion. The member agrees that in the event that Florida 4-H or its designee exercises any of its rights hereunder for any reason, Florida 4-H and its designee will have no liability to the member.
  • By posting any content on a Florida 4-H approved social media site, Florida 4-H is granted the irrevocable rights to reproduce, distribute, publish, and display such content, and the right to create derivative works from the content, edit or modify such content and use such content for any Florida 4-H purposes.
  • Those participating in any Florida 4-H social media sites shall defend, indemnify and hold Florida 4-H and its respective officers, directors, employees, agents, and assigns harmless from and against, any or all losses, claims, damages, settlements, costs and liabilities of any nature whatsoever (including reasonable attorneys’ fees) to which any of them may become subject arising out of, based upon, as a result of, or in any way connected with, a member’s posting of any content to a social media site, any third party claims of infringement or any breach of this Policy.
  • The member expressively acknowledge that he/she assumes all responsibility related to the security, privacy, and confidentiality risks inherent in sending any content over the Internet. By its very nature, a website and the Internet cannot be absolutely protected against intentional or malicious intrusion attempts. Florida 4-H does not control the third party sites and the Internet over which the member may choose to send confidential personal or health information or other content and therefore Florida 4-H does not warrant any safeguard against any such interceptions or compromises to personal information when posting any content on an internet site, the member must carefully consider his or her own privacy in disclosing detailed or private information about themselves or their family. Furthermore, Florida 4-H does not endorse any product, service, view or content displayed on the social media site.
  • The member may not provide any content to a social media site that contains any product or service endorsements or any content that may be construed as political lobbying, solicitations, or contributions or use the social media site to link to any sites or political candidates or parties or use the social media site to discuss political campaigns or issues or for taking a position on any legislation or law.
  • The member may not provide any content against the Florida 4-H non-discriminatory policy with respect to race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, political opinions, or affiliations.
  • If members communicate in the public Internet about Florida 4-H or Florida 4-H related matters, they must disclose their connection with Florida 4-H and their role within 4-H Youth Development. Members are to use good judgment and strive for accuracy in their communications; errors or omissions reflect poorly on Florida 4-H and the 4-H Youth Development profession.

Click here to view Additional insight and best management practices for 4-H Professionals (4-H Professional log-in required)