Risk Management

This objectives of this section are to allow chaperones to recognize the importance of risk management and to utilize and carry out the risk management plan for the specific 4-H event or activity.

The health and safety of youth and adult participants is of utmost priority for any 4-H event or activity. This priority is a chaperone’s primary responsibility. 4-H staff and volunteers often work with other people and organizations as they plan and conduct events and activities. 4-H members, leaders, and families learn many skills through these events and activities, so they are an important aspect of the 4-H experience. When these events/activities occur, however, there are many unexpected things that can happen to the participants, the spectators, the properties, and even to the reputation of 4-H. Risk management is the process used to protect assets by minimizing the potential for negative outcomes.

Review the following sample “Generic Event” Risk Management Plan. The Event Coordinator or Extension staff responsible for specific events and activities should have created a risk management plan for that event. Ask for a copy of the plan as part of your specific event orientation.

4-H adult chaperones are encouraged to complete the 4-H risk management training. You may participate in a face-to-face training at your local Extension office or may participate in an online training through the 4-H web site. The resource Helping You Help Youth Fact Sheet titled – Avoiding a Can of Worms: Risk Management for 4-H Clubs/Groups can be downloaded or obtained in print version at your local Extension office.

Child Safety Recommendations need to be followed closely. For some 4-H events and activities, there will be Housing Recommendations. These may vary from event to event. The adult chaperone is responsible for supervising housing including discipline, curfew, clean up, and other guidelines specified by the individual event.Housing Recommendations are outlined as follows.

Special Activities or Medical/Accident Insurance Coverage

For many Illinois 4-H events and activities, the Event Coordinator or Extension staff will secure medical/accident or special activities insurance from American Income Life for the participants of the specific event. This insurance coverage is a limited, primary coverage insurance. Adult chaperones should know the policy number, policy coverage, and have a copy of the claim form. The Claim Form can also be found at http://www.americanincomelife.com. Claim forms should be completed in conjunction with the Incident/Accident Investigation Form with consultation with the Event Coordinator.

Incidents and Accidents

In the event of a behavior incident or a medical accident, chaperones will be asked to complete an Incident/Accident Investigation Form. This form should be turned in to the Event Coordinator no later than the end of the event.

Transportation Issues

If transportation is provided for a 4-H event and activity and a contract is signed with an outside bus company, that company must be on the University of Illinois approved bus list.

Policies and procedures regarding the use of private and rental vehicles by paid and volunteer staff must be followed.

If 4-H members drive themselves to an overnight 4-H event or activity, permission needs to be granted prior to the event. Once at the overnight event, the keys to the vehicle need to be turned over to the Event Coordinator and the vehicles may not be driven while participants are at the 4-H event or activity. Arrival and departure time for both going to and returning from an event may be specified.

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