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Volunteer Code of Conduct

WEST VIRGINIA 4-H VOLUNTEER AND YOUNG ADULT 4-H MEMBER (AGES 18 to 21) CODE OF CONDUCT GUIDELINES AND PROCEDURES HEREAFTER REFERRED TO AS “CODE OF CONDUCT”

West Virginia University Extension Service 4-H Youth Development uses unique strategies and opportunities to engage youth in reaching their full potential through partnerships with caring adults. Volunteers, as well as young adult members, are fundamental to the 4-H program and the accomplishment of the WVUES 4-H mission.

A 4-H volunteer is a non-paid representative of the local WVUES 4-H unit for which they provide services. A fully vetted 4-H volunteer is a volunteer who has completed the full volunteer vetting process including: application, reference checks, criminal background check and certification in Rule 1.7 “Children on Campus” and WVU Rule 1.6. A young adult member is 18-21 years of age and participates in the 4-H program when all processes outlined for membership are completed.

This includes a member application, criminal background check, and signed code of conduct and completion of required trainings.

West Virginia 4-H volunteers and young adult members are expected to function within the guidelines of West Virginia University, the West Virginia University Extension Service and the West Virginia 4-H program. West Virginia 4-H volunteers and young adult members shall be individuals of personal integrity. A standard of behavior for all individuals involved in the 4-H youth development program is one of the key components for creating a welcoming environment that is physically and emotionally safe. Any individual participating and/or volunteering with the West Virginia University Extension Service 4-H program or camp at any level (individual, club, county, regional, state, national and international) is subject to WVUES behavior and youth protection policies and standards and rules governing participation and involvement as outlined in the WVUES 4-H Code of Conduct. These standards are put in place to protect the youth served, you the volunteer and young adult member, the 4-H program, WVUES and West Virginia University. The Code of Conduct establishes expectations that all WVUES volunteers and young adults are expected to observe.

The WVUES 4-H Code of Conduct applies and will be enforced with 4-H volunteers and young adult 4-H members as follows:

    • While participating and attending a 4-H-sponsored program (e.g., club meeting, project meeting, activity, event, any learning opportunity sponsored by WVUES),
    • While participating in any camp (county, state, national or international) sponsored by WVUES,
    • At a county or regional fair while participating or attending a 4-H event or while on premises used for 4-H purposes (e.g., show ring, exhibit building, barn, food stand),
    • At the West Virginia State Fair during any WVUES-sponsored event or assigned volunteer responsibility,
    • While representing the WVUES 4-H program at any national or international event,
    • At all times throughout a volunteers’ service or young adult 4-H members’ club or volunteer participation when behavior outside of the West Virginia 4-H program puts youth at risk or has the potential to put youth at risk during service as a 4-H volunteer.

    The opportunity to participate in and volunteer with the WVUES 4-H program is a privilege and honor, not a right. All volunteers and young adult members must sign the WVUES 4-H Code of Conduct and will not be recognized as a volunteer or young adult member until this, as well as all requirements to volunteer and participate in the program, is met.

    This Code of Conduct is a contractual agreement accepted by volunteers and young adult members who commit to the 4-H program or any program serving youth sponsored by WVUES. The West Virginia 4-H program provides quality, educational programs accessible to all West Virginia youths. The primary purpose of this Code of Conduct is to ensure the safety and well-being of all 4-H participants (members, their parents and families, professionals and volunteers).