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How To Volunteer


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.


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 available in Spanish
  2. Give permission to conduct a background check
  3. Give permission to conduct a conviction information name check; also available for youth
  4. Complete the University of Illinois Child Protection Training An Extension Pledge: Keeping Youth Safe.


After the screening process is finished and you are approved as a volunteer, 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.