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					Youth Protection



       Wisconsin
       4-H Youth Development
Purpose of Youth Protection

The primary purpose of the Youth Protection
Program is to ensure the safety and well-being of
all participants:
  –   Youth
  –   Their parents and families
  –   Salaried and volunteer staff
Benefits of Youth Protection

   Communicates program priority of youth safety
    to parents and the public
   Provides the opportunity to meet and orient all
    new volunteers
   Background records check serves as a
    deterrent for abusers looking for a “youth
    opportunity”
Youth Protection History
   1990 – National Extension Committee on Organization
    and Policy urges states to develop child abuse policy
    and guidelines for paid and volunteer Extension
    personnel
   1992 – A Wisconsin committee of staff and volunteers
    was given the responsibility to develop a youth
    protection program
   1993 – The Wisconsin 4-H Youth and Adult Leader
    Councils supported the program developed by the
    committee, including a requirement that all continuing
    leaders go through the full process
Youth Protection History
   1993-94 Youth Protection program piloted in four
    Wisconsin counties
   1994 – State WACEC organization endorsed the youth
    protection program
   1994 - Youth Protection policies were adopted; Youth
    Protection program was implemented statewide
   2002 – Updated Youth Protection materials were
    distributed
   2003 – Volunteers annually sign expectations
    statement; records re-checked every four years
Youth Protection Process

                    Volunteer Application
                     Form
                        Check for length of
                         residence in Wisconsin
                        Check driving record
                        Check for conviction of
                         crime involving a minor
                    Volunteer Behavior
                     Expectations Form
                        Signed annually (now
                         incorporated with 4HPlus
                         enrollment form)
Youth Protection Process
   Attendance at
    Orientation Session
       Great opportunity to meet
        new volunteers
       Child abuse section must
        be taught “as is”
       Personalize the
        orientation to your county
       Independent study can be
        offered at the discretion of
        the county
Youth Protection Process

   Background Records/Reference Check
       Background check for Wisconsin residents through
        Department of Justice on-line system
       Consult with district liaison if questionable records are
        identified
       Reference check for those living in Wisconsin for less than 3
        years
       Driving record questions should be submitted to Kay Hobler for
        review by UW-Extension Risk Management
   Youth Protection cards issued
Youth Protection Policies

   All volunteers, age 18 and over, who work with
    youth in the 4-H Youth Development program
    on an ongoing basis will participate in the full
    Youth Protection process
       Volunteers having background checks and child
        abuse training will need to participate
       Applies to 4-H community club and UW-Extension
        community outreach program volunteers
Youth Protection Policies

                     The following individuals
                      are not required to
                      complete the Youth
                      Protection process:
                         Youth leaders
                         A guest speaker or guest
                          presenter working under
                          the visual supervision of
                          an enrolled volunteer or
                          Extension staff member
Youth Protection Policies
   Host families:
      Attendance at a volunteer
       orientation program is
       required for all host
       parent/guardians who
       aren’t currently enrolled
       4-H Youth Development
       volunteers
      Background checks are
       required for all adults, 18
       and over, living with host
       family
Youth Protection Policies

                     Returning volunteers:
                         Absent for 1-4 years –
                          background records
                          check, signed volunteer
                          expectations form
                         Absent for 5 or more
                          years – must complete the
                          full Youth Protection
                          process
Youth Protection Policies

   Records must be
    re-checked every four
    years for all volunteers
   Records with evidence
    of behavior related to
    child safety require
    further investigation and
    possible action
Recommended Practices

   When a Wisconsin volunteer is transferring to
    your county, call the previous county staff
    member for information on the volunteer,
    request written documentation
   When a challenging volunteer is transferring
    from your county to another Wisconsin county,
    call your colleague to share your experience
   Have support staff and key volunteers sign a
    confidentiality statement
Recommended Practices

Documentation in 4HPlus:
 Volunteer applicants who have not completed
  all Youth Protection steps must be identified as
  “Pending.” These records will not be
  recognized as active volunteers
 Volunteers successfully completing all steps of
  the Youth Protection process are identified as
  “Accepted”
Recommended Practices

Documentation in 4HPlus:
 If volunteers have driving or financial
  restrictions, they should be identified as
  “Accepted with Restrictions” - reasons for the
  restrictions should be noted in the Restriction
  Explanation field
 Use caution in wording when identifying the
  reason a volunteer applicant has been rejected
  or accepted with restrictions
Recommended Practices

   Do not add Social Security numbers into any
    computer database
   Insurance is only available to volunteers
    completing the full process
   Check the Wisconsin Sex Offender List, a free
    website: http:/offender.doc.state.wi.us/public/
Managing Records
                  Application
                   forms/background
                   checks should be
                   handled in confidential
                   manner
                  Applications and
                   background checks
                   should be stored in a
                   locked file cabinet
                  Consider an individual
                   file for each volunteer
Handling Concerns
   When a concern is identified, contact your liaison or
    Sue Pleskac to discuss the situation before taking
    action
   Check with potential or continuing volunteer to verify
    accuracy of records
   A potential volunteer with alcohol-related driving
    offenses may become a volunteer, but should be
    restricted from driving youth at any time in their
    volunteer capacity
   A potential volunteer with financial mismanagement
    should be restricted from handling 4-H money in any
    capacity
Handling Concerns

   Written communications should be copied to
    key volunteers on a “need to know” basis
   For continuing volunteer with new charges
    related to child abuse: suspend the volunteer
    pending the outcome of the charges
   For a continuing volunteer with a recent
    conviction related to child abuse: terminate the
    volunteer
Returning to Your Office


                   Check to see that your
                   county is in full
                   compliance with the
                   Youth Protection policies
Prepared by

Donna Menart
Associate State Program Director
4-H Youth Development

Updated September 2009
Sue Pleskac, Volunteer Leadership Specialist

				
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