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Changes in Policy and Practice To Ensure Safety of Minors

Last fall 4-H families and volunteers were notified that the University of Minnesota Board of Regents had recently adopted a policy to ensure the safety of youth under eighteen who participate in University of Minnesota sponsored programming including 4-H Youth Development programs. Because the University recognized that we in 4-H are diligent about the safety of our youth and adult participants, they adopted many of the existing practices of 4-H. Overall, the new policy minimally changes the day-to-day operations of our program; however, please note the following significant changes.

Under the new policy, adult volunteers are required reporters (like paid staff are now) in suspected instances of child abuse and neglect. Previously, volunteers were told to report concerns to staff; now, volunteers will report directly to local law enforcement or the appropriate social service agency.

Additionally, the University has developed a 10-minute video that explains the role of staff and volunteers in keeping minors safe while participating in University-sponsored programs.

  • New Minnesota 4-H volunteers will complete this training as part of their enrollment process.
  • Current Minnesota 4-H volunteers may complete this training independently online or as a group through locally scheduled offerings. All current Volunteers must complete this by July 1 in order to continue volunteering.
  • Minnesota 4-H volunteers who continue their service beyond three years will complete the training each time a new background check is completed.

4HOnline will be used to track the training; this tracking will happen automatically if the training is completed in 4HOnline or through staff record updates if completed using other modes. Those who do not complete this required training by the July 1, 2015 deadline will not be allowed to continue volunteering until they’ve met this University requirement.

Thank you to all Minnesota 4-H volunteers for doing their part to help Minnesota 4-H Youth Development keep youth safe by completing this required training in a timely fashion. The service and dedication to Minnesota’s young people is appreciated!

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