University of Florida



Dismissing a Volunteer

The guidelines for recruiting, screening and training volunteers are provided to assure a safe and successful experience for 4-H participants and their families. Failure to comply with any of the behavior guidelines may constitute reason for dismissal.

“Volunteer services may cease, at any time, at the request of the volunteer or at the discretion of the University. A notice stating the effective date of the termination shall be provided to the volunteer.”  - Rules of University of Florida, 6Cl.3.0031, August 03

Whether the volunteer is informed by mail or in person, here are some tips to remember.

  • Preserve the dignity of the volunteer whose services are being terminated by being discreet
  • Share the details only with that volunteer.
  • Once the decision has been made to terminate a volunteer’s services, be firm, direct and unequivocal.
  • Announce the decision rather than discuss the decision. This is not necessarily easy, but you have followed all appropriate steps and this was your carefully determined decision. This is not the time to doubt yourself
  • If the volunteer wants to vent, allow that, but “keep your cool,” and stay quiet.
  • Do NOT counsel the volunteer as to what they should have or could have done. This may have had value earlier, but not at this time.
  • Inform other volunteers, faculty and 4-Hers who “need to know” of the change of status of the volunteer being terminated. DO NOT ELABORATE. Just say, “Mrs. Ivysaur will no longer be the rocket project leader for this club. The new volunteer is Mr. Clover. We thank them both for their service to youth in University of Florida Extension 4-H programs.

If the volunteer being terminated, is told “in person” then follow up communication with a letter. The letter need only state the date of termination and “housekeeping” matters, such as: “Please return 4-H equipment, teaching supplies, etc., to Tom at the County Extension Office, by August 1.”


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