Simply stated, Client Protection applies to all program areas in Kentucky Cooperative Extension.  Volunteers are a fundamental component of all program areas (4-H, FCS, ANR, Horticulture and Fine Arts.)  Agents cannot effectively function without involving volunteers to assist with program development, delivery, implementation and evaluation.  Volunteers allow Extension professionals to deliver programs to audiences and populations which would otherwise be unserved.

All Extension agents (4-H, FCS, Horticulture, ANR & Fine Arts) have the following responsibilities for Client Protection Standards and Risk Management Strategies:

  • Implement the Client Protection Standards and Risk Management Strategies in the county. 
  • Follow the protocol and ensure that each volunteer who has contact with a vulnerable, at-risk, or special needs audience without agent supervision at any time has completed the entire screening protocol.  (Vulnerable audiences include, but are not limited to: youth, home-bound, immigrant, physically, mentally or emotionally challenged, disadvantaged and underprivileged.)
    • This includes the following categories of volunteers:
      • 4-H Club Leaders
      • 4-H Project Leaders
      • 4-H Camp volunteers
      • 4-H Environmental camp volunteers
      • Chaperones
      • Exchange student hosts
      • Coaches
      • Mentors
    • Depending upon their specific role, this may also include the following categories of volunteers:
      • Fine Arts volunteers
      • Master Gardeners
      • Master Clothing Volunteers
      • Master Food Volunteers
  • Identify members and appoint the Client Protection Committee and ensure that this stand-alone committee is not accountable to any other group.
  • Work closely with the chair of the CPC to classify volunteer applications and to convene meetings of the entire CPC when needed.
  • The 4-H Agent will serve as the contact agent for the CPC.
    • In cases where vacancies in the 4-H position exist, the District Director will appoint an interim CPC contact agent.
  • Prior to the end of the program year, agents will send each volunteer a letter, e-mail or note (retaining a hard copy in the volunteer’s file), thanking them for their year of service.  For those volunteers who the agent wants to retain, the following paragraph must be included in the letter:
    • “The volunteer position in which you have served during the past year is renewable annually.  I appreciate your service to Extension and to the (name) program.  Unless you notify me differently, your appointment to this volunteer position is renewed for the 20__ - 20__ program year.”