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Youth Protection

The University of California and the California 4-H Youth Development Program is committed to achieving excellence in providing a healthy and safe program and working environment, and to support environmentally sound practices in the conduct of UC activities. It is UC policy to comply with all applicable health, safety, and environmental protection laws, regulations and requirements.

The University of California and the 4-H Youth Development Program are committed to proactively protecting members from child abuse and/or neglect and ensuring their safety while participating in 4-H Youth Development Program activities.

Letter to Parents from UCANR Vice President

Glenn County 4-H Letter to Parents from Glenda Humiston, Vice President 07-26-2019 The following letter was sent via USPS to 4-H families and leaders with important information and resources to protect our 4-H youth.









  • Resources for Talking to Youth: https://website.praesidiuminc.com/wp/uc-4h/  
  • For more information on talking with your kids or to receive counseling services, call (877) 415-6423
  • To report suspicions of abuse or similar concerns or interactions, contact Glenn County Assistant District Attorney, Ruby Neumann, at (530) 934-6525
  • For information specific to Glenn County 4-H, contact Betsy Karle, UCCE Glenn County Director at (530) 865-1107
  • For matters of UC ANR or 4-H policy, contact Brian Oatman, UC ANR Director of Risk & Safety at (530) 750-1264


California 4-H Youth Protection Policies

Below are the policies that California 4-H have set in place for protecting our youth. You may view additional resources on the state 4-H website in Chapter 11: Health and Safety, at http://4h.ucanr.edu/Resources/Policies/Chapter11/#IV.

IV. Youth Protection

A. Introduction
  1. UC and the 4-H YDP are committed to proactively protecting members from child abuse and/or neglect and ensuring their safety while participating in 4-H YDP activities.
  2. In order to help 4-H YDP staff and adult volunteers recognize and report child abuse, the Child Safety Information for Adult Volunteers and Abuse Risk Management for Volunteers training have been developed.
  3. These following policies are designed primarily to protect members; however, they also serve to protect adult volunteers and 4-H YDP staff from false accusations of abuse.
  4. The following sections, B, C and D, do not apply to interactions between members and their parents/guardians.
B. Preventing Private Interactions - A Cornerstone of Youth Protection 

The protection of members is of utmost importance in the 4-H YDP. Research has shown that the single most effective way to prevent child abuse in a youth program such as 4-H is to prevent private, one-on-one interactions. Preventing one-on-one interactions between members, as well as between members and adult participants (volunteer and other adults), is a cornerstone of the 4-H youth protection strategy.

C. Interaction with Members During 4-H Activities

4-H YDP staff, adult volunteers, adult participants and members will adhere to the following requirements during all 4-H activities.

  1. There will be two (2) appointed adult volunteers present with members during all 4-H activities. "Appointed adult volunteer" means an individual that has been given written confirmation of their formal appointment by the county director.
  2. On some occasions it may be impractical to have two (2) appointed adult volunteers present; in these situations there should be one (1) appointed adult volunteer and another adult participant or 4-H YDP staff member, one of which must be at least 21 years of age.
  3. At least one appointed adult volunteer must be present during all 4-H activities and in charge of the event.
  4. In general, no one-on-one interactions may occur in private, whether between members, or between adult volunteers and members. If personal discussions are necessary, they should be conducted in an area that is in view of other adult volunteers and members.
D. Interaction with Members Outside of 4-H Activities
  1. 4-H adult volunteers should diligently avoid private, one-on-one contact with members outside of 4-H activities, with the following exemptions.
    1. One-on-one interaction approved by the member's parent/guardian.
    2. One-on-one interaction necessary in exceptional circumstances (e.g., to drive a member to the hospital emergency room, or similar).
  2. UC cannot monitor and enforce this policy outside of 4-H events, UC is not responsible to do so and UC does not promise to do so. However, all adult volunteers should be made aware that, subject to the above exemptions, 4-H policy prohibits them from having private one-on-one interactions with members, at any time, both during 4-H activities and outside of 4-H activities. Volunteers who fail to abide by this policy may be dismissed and barred from the 4-H YDP.
E. Romantic Relationships
  1. Between Adult Volunteers and Members
    1. It is inappropriate to the role of a 4-H adult volunteer for them to engage in a romantic relationship with a member at any time. Any adult volunteer engaging in a romantic relationship (including but not limited to dating) with a member has violated this University policy and the 4-H YDP 4-H Adult Volunteer Code of Conduct - English . Any violation of this policy will result in the immediate dismissal of the adult volunteer.
    2. UC cannot monitor and enforce this policy outside of 4-H activities, UC is not responsible to do so and UC does not promise to do so. However, all adult volunteers should be made aware that 4-H policy prohibits them from engaging in a romantic relationship with a member, at any time,both during 4-H activities and outside of 4-H activities. Any violation of this policy will result in the immediate dismissal of the volunteer.
  2. Between Members

All romantic relationships between members are the responsibility of the youth and of their parents/guardians. However, if such a relationship is apparent to 4-H staff and/or to adult volunteers, these adults should pay particular attention to enforcing the above-described policy prohibiting private, one-on-one interactions between members during 4-H activities.

F. Supervision Ratios

As a best practice, all 4-H program events, activities and meetings should have a youth to adult ratio of at least 10:1 for senior members; 8:1 for junior and intermediate members; 6:1 primary members.

G. Supervision in Vehicles
  1. Adults should not be alone in vehicles with members.
  2. Adult volunteers should not be one-on-one in a vehicle with members other than their own child.
  3. Adult volunteers must have current Member Treatment Authorization and Health History Form - English and Health History Form from parents/guardians before transporting members in any vehicle to any 4-H YDP activity or event.
H. Supervision and Late Parents
  1. The member is the responsibility of the adult volunteers or 4-H YDP staff member in charge of the meeting or event until a parent/guardian or responsible adult designated by the parent/guardian arrives.
  2. The member must not be left unsupervised, transported (except by law enforcement officials) or released to anyone not specifically authorized by the parent/guardian.
  3. If parents/guardians are late or do not arrive within half an hour of the scheduled ending time, and cannot be contacted, it will be necessary for the adult volunteer or 4-H YDP staff person in charge to contact local law enforcement officials.
I. Separate Sleeping Facilities for Each Gender

Only adult volunteers of the same gender as the member may supervise members in the sleeping and restroom areas of an event. No single member is permitted to sleep in the room of an adult volunteer other than his/her own parent/guardian. An unrelated member and adult volunteer must never share a bed.

J. Restrooms 

It is strongly recommended that separate shower and bathroom facilities be provided for mixed-gender groups. When separate facilities are not available, separate times for male and female use should be scheduled and posted.

K. Respect for an Individual’s Privacy

Adult volunteers must respect the privacy of members in situations such as changing clothes and should intrude only to the extent that health and safety require. Adult volunteers must protect their own privacy in similar situations.

L. Youth Leader Training and Supervision

Youth leaders should be trained as to what constitutes appropriate interaction during 4-H YDP events and activities. 4–H YDP staff and/or adult volunteers must monitor and guide the leadership techniques used by junior and teen leaders.

M. Constructive Discipline

Corporal punishment is never permitted in the 4-H YDP. Positive techniques of guidance, including redirection, positive reinforcement, and encouragement rather than competition, comparison, and criticism must be used. 4-H YDP staff, adult volunteers, and junior/teen leaders will maintain age-appropriate behavior expectations and set-up guidelines and environments that minimize the need for discipline.