10.1 UNL Youth Activity Safety Policy

The University of Nebraska–Lincoln has implemented a Youth Activity Safety Policy to provide a safe environment for youths participating in UNL-sponsored activities, clinics, or conferences. Our policy includes safe interaction guidelines and background and sex registry checks for Activity Workers. This policy will help to protect participating youths from potential misconduct incidents and help provide a safe, educational, and enjoyable activity/program experience.

Activity Workers

  1. All Activity Workers must successfully pass a sex offender registry search for Nebraska and the state(s) they reside.
  2. All Activity Workers driving activity vehicles must successfully pass a Driving Record Check.
  3. In the case of an emergency or accident involving your youth, parents/guardians will be notified, following notification of the appropriate emergency personnel.
  4. All UNL activities will comply with UNL’s Youth Activities Safety Policy.
  5. As parent(s) or legal guardian(s) you give permission to this activity to use photos of your child in promotional media.
  6. The minimum recommended adult/youth ratio is 1:10, or one 4-H faculty/staff or volunteer for every ten delegates.
  7. One adult must never be alone with one youth. Activity Workers will never put themselves in the position to be one-on-one with a non-related youth.
  8. Extension personnel will not travel alone with a 4-H member unless the 4-H member is their child.

If Nebraska 4-H's policy is more rigorous than UNL Youth Safety policy, staff and volunteers must adhere to Nebraska 4-H policy.

Disciplinary Action

The activity directors of University-sponsored activities, clinics, and conferences reserve the right to immediately dismiss any youth from the activity, clinic, or conference who is found to have violated behavioral expectations. Dismissed youth will be sent home at their expense and will be responsible for all other expenses associated with their dismissal. Parent(s)/guardian(s) will be immediately notified of the youth’s dismissal.

Youth Not Picked Up From Events

While rare, there are instances when a young person does not get picked up from a 4-H event. In this situation, staff should:

  • Contact the emergency contact for that individual.
  • If no response, contact local law enforcement.
  • If possible, there should be more than one staff person present to wait with the youth; that may not always be the case. In that event, the staff person should stay with the youth; the youth should not be left alone. 

10.2 Child Protection Policies:  Policy

Nebraska Extension 4-H Youth Development believes in the right of every child to a safe and supportive environment. Actions against children that lead or contribute to abuse or neglect are contrary to the values of 4-H. Such actions are inappropriate in any setting, especially where youth are concerned. All reasonable effort is made to comply with State of Nebraska statutes and University of Nebraska guidelines in this area.

Nebraska State law requires all citizens to report suspected abuse to Nebraska Health and Human Services.

Call the Nebraska Abuse/Neglect Hotline at 1-800-652-1999.

To review the legal statutes regarding Nebraska child abuse and neglect go to the following site and review the codes listed below: http://nebraskalegislature.gov/
Review codes: 28-707, 28-709, 28-710, 28-711, 28-713, 28-713.01, 28-716, 28-717, 28-727, 28-728.

More information from Health and Human Service is located at: http://dhhs.ne.gov/Pages/contact.aspx.

10.3 Photo & Video Publication:  Policy

Nebraska 4-H will use print and digital mediums (photos, video including live streaming and social media) for distributing information and providing recognition. In the interest of safety, Nebraska Extension must do this in a responsible manner. Therefore, the following guidelines will be used:

Photography & Videography Publishing Policy

  • Do not identify any individuals in published photos/videos without their express consent, and, if a minor, their parent's/guardian's express consent.
  • Do not tag locations when sharing live public photos/videos of minors.
  • Do not tag personal accounts when sharing public photos or videos of any individuals without express consent.

Public Events

Photography/Videography at larger public events from a crowd view is permitted without individual written consent, however, participants and guests should be made aware that the event is being documented. Signage should be posted at the event entrance as well as near the photographer/videographer. For public events that are smaller in scale and individuals are easily identifiable, written consent should be secured from all participants and signage posted to inform the public. If consent is not secured from all participants photography/videography should not be permitted, unless the photography/videography can pause when individuals consent are participating. This must be done in a way that is without noticeable disruption at the event. 

Close-Door/Private Events

Do not take photos/videos of any individual without their written permission, and, if a minor, their parent's/guardian's written permission.

10.4 University Liability Coverage:  Policy

University of Nebraska–Lincoln liability insurance covers 4-H participants and volunteers who have submitted a completed enrollment as direct or indirect volunteers and have successfully completed the screening process and are functioning within the scope of a 4-H volunteer. Enrollment and screening must be complete and current. Volunteers are covered in this situation because the 4-H program is part of the University of Nebraska–Lincoln.

10.5 Accident/Health Insurance:  Guidelines

It is strongly recommended that each county 4-H program offers accident insurance for its members and leaders. American Income Life Insurance Company (AIL) offers two insurance policies for 4-H programs:

  1. Annual Group Insurance Policy ($1 a year plan)
    1. Provides a full year of coverage for enrolled 4-H members when participating in 4-H activities and events (club meetings, workshops, camps, fair, etc.)
    2. Enrolled volunteers can also be covered for $1.
    3. Those participating in high risk activities including horse project, athletic league sports, ATV, and motorcycle participants have a $2 annual fee.
  2. Special Activities Coverage for Accident and Illness (for individual events)
    1. When youth or adults who are not covered under the Annual Policy participate in events and activities, it is advisable to take out this per day accident insurance for these youth.
    2. Covers any 4-H or extension sponsored activity for youth or adults. Further information on policy benefits and applying for coverage is on the AIL website: https://www.ailife.com/SpecialRiskDivision/4H-Extension

10.6 Use of Alcohol/Tobacco/Controlled Substances during 4-H Activities:  Policy

Using or possessing alcohol, tobacco or any controlled substances not under physicians’ prescription, at any 4-H event by program participants is prohibited. Infraction of the rules may result in dismissal from the event or program, the withholding of premiums, or other disciplinary action.

Alcohol or tobacco products should not be used by adults in the presence of youth(s) and any use must comply with University policies. Use of illegal drugs or non-over the counter drugs without a prescription is prohibited. Volunteers conducting any activity under the influence of alcohol or other mind altering substances are subject to immediate dismissal.

Extension Staff, in consultation with those individuals/volunteers supervising the relevant event, will determine the appropriate disciplinary action. In the event of dismissal, the Extension staff responsible and the parent/guardians of the 4-H member will be contacted before the 4-H member is sent home. 4-H should not or will not sponsor events where alcohol is served.

10.7 University of Nebraska–Lincoln Social Security Number Usage Policy:  Policy

The Nebraska Extension4-H shall not use Social Security Numbers to identify 4-H members, employees, or other information providers, outside of those identification uses specifically required by law, such as for financial aid, payroll, benefit functions and background checks.


Policy  Policy: not negotiable    Guidelines  Guidelines: strongly recommended    Procedure  Procedure: recommended implementation steps