The national policy requiring each state Extension Service to develop and implement a youth protection policy was established in 1990 by Dr. Myron D. Johnsrud, Administrator of the Extension Service – United States Department of Agriculture.  In his letter to State Extension Directors, dated September 6, 1990, Dr. Johnsrud said:

“The Extension Service in each state is encouraged to develop a written policy which clearly defines management practices related to prevention of child abuse.  This policy should include approved practices for recruiting, training and supervising salaried and volunteer staff…a code of conduct for salaried and volunteer relationships with children; reporting procedures for incidents when they do occur; and the responsibility to parents on this issue.”

 The purposes of this written policy include:

  • To protect children and ensure their safety (physical, emotional, developmental)
  • To protect volunteers from risk and liability
  • To protect paid staff and the University

In 1999, a committee consisting of three 4-H Specialists, one Ag Communications Specialist, one 4-H Extension Associate, one Area Program Director, one College Attorney, two Assistant Directors, five 4-H Agents and one 4-H volunteer were appointed to develop standards for Kentucky.  The committee was chaired by Wendy Stivers.  (Dr. Stivers had developed the Youth Protection Standards and Risk Management Strategies for The Ohio State University while on sabbatical from UK.)

On April 19, 2000, a state-wide, day-long in-service was held, with all KY Extension professionals attending and being educated on the new volunteer screening protocol.

The screening protocol was updated by a streamlined committee (Culp, Young & Woods) and was presented at the 2008 Regional Extension Conferences. 

In February, 2011, a revised screening policy for environmental camp volunteers was implemented.

In 2010 and 2011, a number of issues brought to light the need to update and consolidate the entire policy and its protocol. Input from 4-H Agents was gathered using Survey Monkey in August, 2011.  The state-wide committee was expanded to include one 4-H agent per district, plus a district director, the state volunteerism specialist, and the assistant director for 4-H Youth Development.  The Administrative Team advocated for applying the revised protocol to all Extension program areas. Therefore, agents representing ANR, FCS, Horticulture and Fine Arts were added to the review team.


Kentucky Client Protection Standards & Risk Management Strategies Design Team

Ken Culp, III, Ph.D.           Principal Specialist for Volunteerism, Dept. of 4-H Youth Development, Program Coordinator

Kelly Woods                       Extension Agent, 4-H Youth Development, Oldham County

Jeff Young                         District 3 Director 


Kentucky Client Protection Standards & Risk Management Strategies Review Team

Julie Brown                        Extension Agent, 4-H, Warren County (D6)

Ken Culp, III, Ph.D.           Principal Specialist for Volunteerism, Dept. of 4-H Youth Development

Charlene Jacobs, Ed.D.  Assistant Director for 4-H Youth Development

Rebecca Konopka            Extension Agent, 4-H, Carter County (D1)

Phil Meeks                         Extension Agent, ANR, Whitley County (D2)

Kim Ragland, Ph.D.         Extension Agent, 4-H, Boyle County (D4)

Peggy Rexroat                   Extension Agent, 4-H, Carlisle County (D7)

Rebecca Sharp                 Extension Agent, FCS, Bell County (D2)

Anne Stephens                 Extension Agent, Fine Arts, Greenup County (D1)

Ray Tackett                        Extension Agent, Horticulture, Bourbon County (D4)

Kim Whitson                      Extension Agent, 4-H, Laurel County (D2)

Misty Wilmoth                    Extension Agent, 4-H, LaRue County (D5)

Kelly Woods                       Extension Agent, 4-H, Oldham County (D3)

Jeff Young                         District 3 Director