Being a volunteer
Our volunteers are a key part of the 4-H Youth Development Program.
By volunteering, you are helping to grow the skills of 4-H youth to be future leaders.
Ways you can volunteer
Volunteering in 4-H is flexible and rewarding. Share your expertise and experience with the youth and other volunteers to make things happen!
Process to become a new 4-H Adult Volunteer
1. Find a club
See our list of clubs to find one near you. You can also contact the Contra Costa County Extension Office for help in finding clubs near you to start you on the process of becoming a volunteer. Contact the club leader to learn more about the volunteer opportunities available in the club.
2. Screening Process
All new 4-H volunteers must go through a screening process. Our #1 priority 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. When you become a 4-H volunteer, you are part of the plan to keep our young people safe.
1. Complete the online 4-H Volunteer Interest Survey in English or Spanish
2. Create an adult volunteer profile on 4hOnline
Please make sure the Family email address in the system is correct and one you check regularly. This email will be used for most communications and to confirm your volunteer application.
*For Spanish: The 4hOnline system is only in English. You can fill in the paper enrollment packet in Spanish and turn it in to your club leader or county staff for them to enter it into 4hOnline for you. Please keep a copy of the paper forms for your records.
3. Complete a California Department of Justice Live Scan background check.
An important part of providing a safe environment is to conduct background checks on our volunteers and staff. Everyone that will be spending an extended time with our 4-H youth is screened.
3. New Volunteer Training
1. New Volunteer Online Training
All new 4-H volunteers are required to take the New Volunteer Training online courses in the eXtension system before they become approved as volunteers. This interactive training series introduces you to the best practices in positive youth development that are used in 4-H.
After you complete and submit your 4hOnline profile you will receive an automated message with the eXtension login instructions. The email will go to the Family email account you entered in 4hOnline.
2. Beginning 4-H for Volunteers
In addition to the online courses, all new 4-H volunteers are required to take the Beginning 4-H for Volunteers Orientation before they become approved as volunteers. Register for a Beginning 4-H for Volunteers orientation. Dates for 2019 are Sunday, September 15 (Alameda); Sunday, October 13 (Contra Costa); Saturday, November 16 (Alameda); Saturday, December 14 (Contra Costa) or Sunday, December 15 (Alameda). Live Scan services will be provided.
The County Director reviews and approves 4-H volunteer appointments after
- You are signed up in 4hOnline
- You have passed the screening process
- You complete all of the New Volunteer Training required by your county
Once you are approved, the fun begins! Thank you for joining our 4-H family!
Re-apply annually by December 31
All 4-H volunteers must be appointed annually. If you are a current 4-H Adult Volunteer, to continue in the next year you need to re-apply and be re-appointed by December 31st to continue with no break in service.
1. Update your 4hOnline profile.
Log in to 4hOnline to update your profile to enroll for the new year. Please make sure the email address in the system is correct and one you check regularly.
2. Take the Returning Volunteers Training in the online eXtension system.
You will receive the login information sent to your Family email after you update and submit your 4hOnline profile application for the new year. If you used a paper enrollment form, you will have to check with your county 4-H Representative for the instructions.
3. Get approved as a 4-H Volunteer.
After all the application requirements and mandatory trainings are completed, the County Director reviews and approves the volunteer appointments.
NOTE: If you have a break in service
You have a break in service if you are not currently enrolled as a 4-H volunteer when you apply for the new year. Please follow the process for New Volunteers when applying.