How to Volunteer

Adult volunteers are essential to the 4-H program. Volunteers put 4-H’s researched-based, learn-by-doing model in action. They help youth learn and practice skills such as problem solving, decision making, and communicating – skills crucial for their success in school, careers, and communities. There are over 400 adult volunteers that have fun while making a positive impact on the youth in Dane County. Would you like to join them?

Volunteers contribute their time in a variety of ways- sharing a specific skill as a project leader (like for woodworking or cake decorating), supporting 4-H summer camp, or helping out with Dane County UW-Extension’s community-based youth development partnerships. Contact the Dane County Extension office at 608-224-3702 to inquire about the many other opportunities available.

Steps to Become an Adult Volunteer

4-H is proud of being a proactive, youth-serving organization with an excellent reputation for providing a healthy and safe environment for its members. The volunteer orientation process assures the quality of the program. To become a 4-H Adult Volunteer Leader, we need you to complete the following steps:

    1. Enroll in Dane County 4-H Youth Development through 4HOnline
      • Follow these instructions: Enrolling in 4HOnline as a NEW family
      • As part of your online enrollment, you will be asked to agree to the Dane County Extension  Volunteer Behavior Expectation form and an Assumption of Risk Document. These must be completed by all adults who wish to volunteer with Dane County Extension
    2. Complete the online mandated reporter training through 4HOnline      
      • Takes about 30-45 minutes
      • It provides valuable information about how to recognize signs of child abuse and will provide the basis for some conversation at the in-person VIP training
      • The training can be accessed through 4HOnline. Follow these instructions to get to the mandated reporter training through your 4HOnline account
    3. Register for and attend the in-person Dane County Extension Volunteers in Preparation (VIP) Training
      This face-to-face training is required once for all beginning volunteers. After that, you can participate in ongoing virtual and in-person trainings based on your volunteer role and interests.

      • Upcoming training dates are scheduled for:
        • Wednesday, September 18, 6:30 – 8:30 pm, 5201 Fen Oak Dr., Madison
        • Monday, November 4, 6:30 – 8:30 pm, 5201 Fen Oak Dr., Madison.
        • If you need a one-on-one orientation before fall of 2019, please contact the Lisa Curley at curley.lisa@countyofdane.com  to arrange a training time.
      • To register complete the online Eventbrite registration form at:  VIP Training or contact Kathy Ottem, 608-224-3705; ottem@countyofdane.com
    4. Pass a national criminal background check
      • In accordance with UW Regent and Dane County Extension policy, we are required to conduct a national criminal background check for employees and volunteers holding a “position of trust with access to vulnerable populations” upon initial enrollment and every four years.
      • You will receive an email from HireRight (formerly GIS) to request information from you to conduct a background check.
        • HireRight is the vendor chosen to do the criminal background checks for Extension employees and volunteers.
        • The background checks are done on a national and state level.
      • The subject line of the email should read “Action needed in connection with your current volunteer status with University of Wisconsin-Extension.”
      • Please check your junk email folder periodically.
      • Please be assured the HireRight website is a secure, encrypted site.
      • Please respond within 5 days to the request from HireRight.
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