Youth Safety at 4-H in Canada

The safety and well-being of youth members is our shared priority across 4-H in Canada, and it sits at the core of our 4-H Positive Youth Development Formula.

4-H Canada is working in partnership with provincial 4-H organizations to ensure that 4-H has consistent policies and procedures in place across the country to provide successful and safe programs for all youth, to safeguard the trust and loyalty of families, and to ensure leaders have the resources and training to feel supported and prepared for the important work they do as 4-H leaders.

Youth Safety Policies

The Youth Safety at 4-H in Canada Policy Manual ensures industry standards and best practices are in place across the network of 4-H organizations in Canada. In addition, provincial organizations have detailed procedures that outline how the policies are implemented, with clear steps for staff and leaders.

Key policies include: 

  • Code of Conduct Policy 
  • Inclusion Policy
  • Screening and Training Policy 
  • Youth Supervision Policy
  • Duty to Report Policy 

Our policy manual is available to families, leaders, and staff to ensure everyone has the same understanding of the commitment to youth safety. 

READ THE POLICY MANUAL

READ THE FAQS

Rule of Two

During 4-H meetings, programming, and events, the Rule of Two must be followed to ensure there is never a situation where an adult is one-on-one with a youth who is not their child or ward. To learn more about the Rule of Two, watch this explainer video or download the Rule of Two diagram as a PDF.

Virtual Activities

These guidelines outline what are appropriate electronic communications and virtual activities, so that youth, parents, leaders, and staff can engage in a safe, fun, and inclusive environment.

READ THE GUIDELINES FOR VIRTUAL ACTIVITIES

Activity Planning and Incident Reporting System

4-H considers the safety and well-being of 4-H youth members its top priority. The Activity Planning and Incident Reporting System for 4-H in Canada enables leaders, volunteers, and staff to conveniently submit Activity Plan and Incident Report forms directly to their provincial organization. The secure system can be accessed from a computer or mobile device without the need for an account.

VISIT THE YOUTH SAFETY REPORTING SYSTEM

Please refer to the reference guides for direction on when to complete an Activity Plan or Incident Report form, and a step-by-step guide to completing the form. Detailed instruction is offered during the Youth Safety training.

4-H has an open-door policy for reporting concerns of misconduct, harassment, or abuse and takes any claims very seriously. A confidential Incident Report may be made by a youth member, leader, staff, parent, participant, or member of the public using the link above. Reports will be delivered directly to the provincial organization.

Training for Leaders

Completing the Youth Safety and Child Protection (Commit to Kids) training are requirements of being a 4-H trained leader.

Youth Safety Training

Reach out to your provincial organization to learn more about upcoming in-person and virtual Youth Safety training opportunities. To learn more about training, read the Youth Safety Training Overview.

Child Protection Training

The Commit to Kids online training has been developed by the Canadian Centre for Child Protection for organizations like 4-H. The training provides up-to-date and relevant best practices to increase the personal safety of children and youth.

The training is free to all 4-H volunteers, leaders, staff, and board members.

Reach out to your provincial organization for direction on how to access the online training.

Insurance Overview

4-H Canada and provincial 4-H organizations maintain insurance policies covering the activities of their organizations. The Insurance Overview is intended to be a quick reference guide for 4-H Canada, provincial organization staff and boards, and 4-H leaders and volunteers across Canada, regarding the insurance program.

READ THE INSURANCE OVERVIEW

While the insurance program is one component of risk management, the most effective tool is to have consistent 4-H policies and procedures in place across the country to provide successful and safe programs for all participants and to ensure leaders have the resources and training to feel supported and prepared.

It is an expectation that all 4-H programs and activities abide by:

  • all policies in the Youth Safety at 4-H in Canada manual,
  • safety checklists specific to the activities involved, and
  • all provincial guidelines and procedures.

Related 4-H Sites