How Do I Become a 4-H Volunteer
Ohio 4-H Volunteer Application Form
The first step in the application process is filling out an Ohio 4-H Volunteer Application Form. This form will provide your Extension Agent with basic information about you. The information you must give on the form includes:
Includes information such as your name, address, driver's license number, social security number, phone number, and previous 4-H or youth group involvement.
Includes information such as why you want to be a volunteer, time commitment desired, type of volunteer position desired, and previous work and volunteer experience.
Includes personal references and possibly a criminal record check.
Volunteer Interest Checklist
The Ohio 4-H Volunteer Interest Checklist provides an Extension Agent with a snapshot of some of a volunteer's personal interests. With 20 activities and programs listed, a volunteer simply checks if they have a lot of interest, a little interest, or no interest in a particular subject. This list proves helpful to an Extension Agent as they try to match up a volunteer with proper opportunities for the individual. This form also allows an agent to see where a volunteer may need additional help and support, so that volunteer development opportunities can be designed with those items in mind.
Ohio State University Youth Protection Policy
Ohio State University Extension worked closely with the Ohio Department of Human Service-Child Care Division to develop the Ohio State University Youth Protection Policy. The policy outlines expected professional guidelines and volunteer standards of behavior related to working directly with youth, identifies resources for recognizing incidences of child abuse, and includes recommended organizational procedures for reporting suspected incidences of child abuse. The policy also outlines responsibilities and roles of Extension professionals and volunteers in providing the safest possible environment for youth involved in Extension programs.
Ohio 4-H Volunteer Standards of Behavior
The Ohio 4-H Volunteer Standards of Behavior is a contractual agreement accepted by volunteers and Extension Agents who work with 4-H youth. The standards are a guide for behavior during volunteers' involvement in Ohio 4-H. Just as it is a privilege for Ohio State University Extension to work with individuals who volunteer their time, talents, and energies to 4-H, a volunteer's involvement in Ohio 4-H is a privilege and a responsibility, not a right. By adhering to the standards, a volunteer will set a good example for 4-H members, other volunteers, and the community. All potential 4-H volunteers will receive a copy of the standards to read and sign stating they understand the responsibility they are accepting. Volunteers will also receive a copy to keep for their records.
Volunteer Position Descriptions
A volunteer position description helps a potential 4-H volunteer to clearly understand roles they are assuming in the organization. A position description informs a volunteer of what will be expected of them and what types of support they can expect from their extension agent. Major parts of a position description include job title, time required, location, general purpose, specific responsibilities, qualifications, support to be provided, and the name of the volunteer's mentor or supervising professional.
Additional Information and Education Opportunities
An individual county 4-H Youth Development program may require additional pieces of information apart from the state mandated minimums. Some examples of these are:
This process allows an agent and a potential volunteer to talk one on one with each other. Interviews help establish a relationship between a potential volunteer and agent, and allows the applicant to ask pertinent questions.
While delivery of this process varies from county to county, most programs have some type of orientation program for all new volunteers. The orientation process provides knowledge of tasks a volunteer will be expected to complete and acquaint a person with both Ohio's and the county's 4-H Youth Development program.
A county may also mandate annual or biannual training for all volunteers. This process is especially helpful for new volunteers as it helps to familiarize them with county policies and traditions.
Driving and Criminal Record Checks
Depending on the type of position which the volunteer is applying for, a county 4-H program may complete a driving or criminal record check as a part of an application process. If a volunteer is interested in one-on-one mentoring with youth, there is a higher level of contact, so an Agent may want to know as much about a potential volunteer as possible. An Agent might also require a driving record check if a volunteer will be transporting youth to and from a program site.
Click here to down load the Volunteer Application Form
Click here to down load the Standards of Behavior Form
Click here to down load the Background Check and Fingerprint Procedures