Youth Protection

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln has a strong interest in protecting the safety of youth in all UNL-sponsored programs and events, including those offered through the UNL Extension 4-H Youth Development Program. 

Therefore, in September 2012, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln implemented a Youth Activity Safety Policy in order to provide a safe, educational and enjoyable activity/program experience for all participants. 

This policy provides minimum specific guidelines for activities sponsored by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. UNL reserves the right to discontinue an activity if found to be in violation of these policies.

The following information has been compiled to assist UNL Extension professionals as they work to abide by the new policy:

4-H Volunteer Screening

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension 4-H Volunteer application process includes a volunteer screening. All volunteers and staff who work directly with youth are required to complete the Youth Volunteer Protection Screening Form. Be assured the volunteer screening process is confidential.

Volunteer applicants are screened in order to:

  • assure a safe, positive and nurturing environment for all youth involved with the Nebraska 4-H Youth Development program.
  • provide protection for the child, the volunteer, the educator, the 4-H Council, the Extension Board, and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension.

Screening Rotation
Initial screening of volunteers and staff will occur when they sign up to volunteer or are employed as an Extension professional. Screening for all volunteers will be done every four years by district, regardless of when the original screening was completed. The district rotation is as follows:

  • Northeast - 2016, 2020
  • Southeast - 2017, 2021
  • Panhandle - 2018, 2022
  • West Central - 2019, 2023

We Protect Staff, Volunteers and Youth Nebraska Chaperone Training

Safety and youth protection in 4-H programming is something that must be a conscious part of planning for 4-H trips and activities. We can no longer assume that because the trip is 4-H related that it is safe. 4-H staff, and volunteers need to understand the potential risks that can cause personal harm or harm to a 4-H member for whom they are responsible.

The We Protect Staff, Volunteers and Youth Nebraska Chaperone Training is required for all UNL Extension staff and volunteers who are chaperoning 4-H members during 4-H overnight educational events and activities. After reviewing the course material, please complete the quiz to receive proper certification and permission to chaperone 4-H youth. This certification is good for three years; however, we recommend that you review the site periodically to keep your skills sharp.

We Protect Staff, Volunteers and Youth Online Course

Participants in the We Protect Staff, Volunteers and Youth Online Course will:

  • Understand the role of staff and volunteers in protecting youth and adults during 4-H trips, events, and activities.
  • Recognize the importance of youth protection for 4-H trips and activities.
  • Be able to use a process for creating and managing a safe environment for all involved in the 4-H program.

Internet access and an email address is required for the self-directed, online course. To enroll, follow the following steps:

  1. Go to
  2. Under Course Categories - Click on 4-H & Youth
  3. Scroll down and find: We Protect Staff, Volunteers & Youth - Nebraska Chaperone Training Course and click on it
  4. On the right hand side, find Fill Out the New Account Form and click on Create My New Account.
  5. Complete the Create My New Account form, an email will be sent to you with instructions.
  6. Follow the directions in the email.
  7. The course requires an enrollment key. The enrollment key is case sensitive: NECHAP
  8. Click on Enroll me in this course.
  9. The course will open and should be self-explanatory. The quiz and certificate are part of the course.