Ready to volunteer with Illinois 4-H?


Start with a phone call to your local University of Illinois Extension office. Schedule a time to meet with the Youth Development Educator or 4-H Program Coordinator. During that first meeting share your ideas and experience working with children and why you want to be a 4-H volunteer. Find your local Extension Office


All new 4-H volunteers have to go through a screening process. Our #1 priority in 4-H is the safety of young people. We do all we can to protect young people and keep them safe while they are in our care. An important part of providing a safe environment is to conduct background and reference checks on our volunteers and staff. Everyone is screened that will be spending an extended time with our 4-H youth. When you become a 4-H volunteer, you'll be part of the plan to keep our young people safe. For the screening process you will:

  1. COMPLETE a 4-H Volunteer Application also CLICK HERE for Spanish version 
  2. GIVE PERMISSION to conduct a child abuse and neglect background check; CLICK HERE for youth under 18 version.
  3. COMPLETE the University of Illinois Child Protection Training An Extension Pledge: Keeping Youth Safe.

Please submit these forms into your local Extension Office.


After the screening process is finished and you are approved as a volunteer through your local Extension Office (approval timing can vary), you can go online and enroll as a 4-H volunteer leader. Then the fun begins. Work through the training videos and support material on the training tab. Start talking to families about your new 4-H adventure and invite them along for the fun. Schedule a time to discuss your plans with the local 4-H staff in your county. Then start your adventure.