Adult Behavior Guidelines and Expectations

The objective of the adult behavior guidelines and expectations section is to identify appropriate behaviors for adults working with youth.

University of Illinois Extension takes great pride in the quality of its adult leadership. Being a registered volunteer in the 4-H youth development program is a privilege, not a right. The quality of the program and the safety of our youth members require that selection of volunteers be taken seriously and that the organization work to recruit the best possible volunteers.

Illinois 4-H Youth Development volunteers are expected to abide by the following Volunteer Behavior Guidelines.

Special Rules and Expectations

Specific 4-H events and activities may have their own special expectations and guidelines for adult overnight chaperones. Refer to your local Extension office for details.

Enforcement of Youth Behavior Guidelines and Expectations

4-H overnight chaperones will be expected to monitor and enforce the behavior guidelines and expectations of youth participants at 4-H events and activities. Illinois 4-H has its own Youth Behavior Guidelines and a Code of Conduct for 4-H Events and Activities. There may also be special rules for specific events. Expectations may also be outlined in the Parental Informed Consent Form used for many 4-H events and activities.

Youth Protection

In working with youth, an adult overnight chaperone may see evidence of abuse or neglect with a child. Any suspicions should be reported to the Event Coordinator and then a report should be filed with the Department of Children and Family Services by calling 1-800-25-ABUSE.

Both paid and volunteer staff should uphold strict levels of confidentiality in any child abuse or neglect situation. While 4-H adult chaperones may not be “mandated reporters,” it is ethically correct to report suspicions to the appropriate authorities.

All 4-H adult overnight chaperones are encouraged to view the video “A 4-H Pledge – Keeping Youth Safe.” Each county Extension office has a copy of this 12-minute video. Obtain a copy of the handouts - “Care Enough to Call” and “What You Need To Know about a Child Abuse or Neglect Investigation.”

Child Safety Recommendations

In addition to the Volunteer Behavior Guidelines, University of Illinois Extension also has a set of Child Safety Recommendations that must be followed.

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