Leader / Volunteer Screening
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Deadline Dec 15
4-H Alberta’s Volunteer/Leader Screening process is designed to protect our members, leaders, volunteers and the 4-H program as a whole. Screening helps ensure that 4-H continues to provide a safe environment for young people to learn and grow. As a 4-H Leader or Volunteer, you will become part of a group of individuals that, for more than 100 years, have collaborated to help create a 4-H program which many believe to be the most effective existing program for developing leadership skills and building bright futures for Alberta youth. The continued success of 4-H depends on our volunteers.
Upon being elected by your club and registered by an authorized 4-H leader or staff person, you will receive an email containing your login credentials and the information needed to complete the process. Follow the step-by-step instructions, and don’t hesitate to call if you require assistance.
Screening is completed via an online application, reference(s) and a mailed-in police check that must include a Vulnerable Sector Check. Please scan and email a copy of the police check before mailing, as this allows screening to be pre-approved, pending receipt of the original police check. If the original police check is to be returned to you, enclose a self-addressed, stamped envelope.
Leader Screening Instructions
4-H Club & Provincial Payments Information
IMPORTANT: Until they have successfully completed screening, non-certified leaders/volunteers must always have screened leaders present when working with 4-H members or in any other positions of trust. A position of trust includes mentoring youth; having responsibility and/or authority for any financial matters or business activities; making any decisions on behalf of members, leaders, and families; and/or being perceived to be in any position of power.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Leader Screening Frequently Asked Questions
Why do I have to apply to be a 4-H Leader?
The 4-H Alberta Leader application process has two goals:
- To protect 4-H members, leaders and clubs, we must ensure that 4-H provides a safe environment for young people to learn and grow.
- To clearly communicate 4-H Alberta values, policies, and code of conduct and provide standardized training for leaders to enhance their confidence and leadership skills.
Who has to complete the leader screening process?
Anyone in a position of trust within the club, district, region, or province must complete the screening process. Key Leaders, all registered club-related leaders (general, assistant, project), alumni who participate in 4-H events, all members of Regional or District Councils who attend 4-H events where 4-H members are present, chaperones, program/supervisory volunteers, and those who hold positions of trust* (i.e. a person with Club financial responsibilities or a person that members may perceive to be in a position of leadership, authority or power at any level within 4-H Alberta) must complete the leader screening process. Ensure that your club does not register, as leaders, those individuals who do not hold a leadership role that encompasses a position of trust. These individuals may be registered as volunteers, and screened volunteers may only work with members, Cleaver Kids, and in other positions of trust while other fully screened and trained leaders are present.
*A position of trust includes mentoring youth; having responsibility and/or authority for any financial matters or business activities; making any decisions on behalf of members, leaders, and families; being perceived to be in a position of power or authority.
When do I need to be screened?
Current leaders must recertify/rescreen every 3 years. New leaders and leaders requiring rescreening remain at a non-certified status until 4-H Alberta approves all components of the leader screening process. Leaders also complete Abuse Prevention and Duty to Report training (also known as Commit to Kids Training and review the Duty to Report document). Each year, the deadline for completion of leader screening or rescreening is December 15.
How do I find out my screening status?
Each individual leader or volunteer can verify her/his screening date and/or progress by signing on to the 4-H Alberta online registration system, using login credentials, to view their profile. See/click on “Leader Screening Progress” for details. General Leaders and Club Registrars can see finalized screening dates of the clubs’ registered leaders but not the full details of the screening process as it is confidential. For further information, contact 4-H Alberta Registrar or your 4-H Area Coordinator.
Our club has many volunteers/parents that assist the club throughout the year – do they require screening?
It is important that all volunteers at 4-H sanctioned events throughout the year are documented. Volunteers are an important part of the 4-H program. Volunteers are not required to screen but all volunteers’ participation requires that registered, screened leaders are also present at all times when volunteering for 4-H Alberta in the following capacities:
- at events and/or activities where 4-H members and/or Cleaver Kids are present;
- when dealing with any financial matters or 4-H business activities;
- while serving in any position where the volunteer may be perceived to be making decisions on behalf of other 4-H Participants;
- while serving in any position where the volunteer may be perceived to be in a position of power, authority, or leadership.
Why do 4-H Leaders have to be screened?
We cannot ignore the fact that there are people who pose potential risks to 4-H members. If we do not have a screening program, we are putting our members and any other program participants at unnecessary risk. The second purpose is to protect the good name and financial stability of the 4-H program. If an abuse incident occurred and 4-H did not have a screening procedure in place, then the entire program could be vulnerable.
Will the police check cost anything?
Depending on your local police detachment, there may or may not be a fee associated with your police check. 4-H Alberta is registered with Volunteer Alberta, an organization with agreements in place with many police detachments across Alberta. Most often, police checks for volunteers are provided at no charge. Important information is included in the police check letter, including details of our Volunteer Alberta registration and the requirement to prepare and submit any past charges. Take this letter with you to your local detachment. The letter is available for download while you are logged in and completing your online leader application. If you forget to download it, contact your Area Coordinator or the Registrar for a copy.
Please be sure to request a vulnerable sector check with your criminal record check.
Will I be required to give fingerprints?
You may also be asked to submit your fingerprints to complete the police check. Fingerprinting may occur when one shares the same birth date and/or name as a convicted criminal and confirms one’s identity. The results of the police check will be given or mailed to you by your local detachment. Again, remember to request that a vulnerable sector check also be completed and take the provided request letter with you. There may be an additional fee for fingerprinting, depending on your local police detachment.
What if I have concerns about my criminal record or police check?
You may contact the 4-H Alberta Registrar at 4-H Alberta (email@example.com). If an individual leader’s police check indicates that a criminal charge may exist, we request that the conviction(s) be prepared by the detachment for submission to 4-H Alberta by the volunteer leader. This is stated in the provided police check letter which leaders must take to their local police detachments. Each of these cases is handled on an individual basis and the Registrar (and Leader Screening Coordinator) is able to answer questions and/or determine the best outcome or course of action in consultation with the 4-H Leader Screening Committee. Staff and members of the Screening Committee have signed an oath of confidentiality and all information will be kept private and will only be used to make screening decisions.
Will my personal information be kept confidential?
The 4-H Registrar/Screening Coordinator, each 4-H staff, and each member of the Screening Committee have signed an oath of confidentiality. All information will be kept private and will only be used to make screening decisions. The documents are stored securely and remain confidential under the control of 4-H Alberta, all in accordance with privacy legislation and as required by organizations that work with vulnerable populations.
What happens if I do not complete the Leader Application or Leader Screening process?
If a 4-H volunteer’s screening has not been approved by 4-H Alberta and the volunteer continues to act as a 4-H leader, the club membership will be notified of the fact that, if the volunteer does not cease involvement as a leader immediately, the club cannot be considered to be in good standing and will therefore be ineligible to receive support from 4-H entities.
Do I have to re-certify every year?
No. Leaders must rescreen or recertify at the beginning of their 4th year of service and every three years after that. If you are an existing leader re-applying after three years of service, please accept our heartfelt thanks for your commitment to our youth! If you are a new leader, congratulations on taking this step to become a part of something truly outstanding!
What is the difference between a leader and volunteer?
A leader is elected at a club, district, regional or provincial level. Leaders are in a position of trust and act in a mentorship role to a group or individual 4-H members. 4-H leaders hold responsibility for the safety of the members and the club as a whole and responsibility for leading members to success. Clubs require enough screened leaders to have an adequate ratio of members to leaders.
Volunteers are a very important aspect of the success of the 4-H program. All volunteers should be documented but do not necessarily require screening. All volunteers do require registered, screened leaders to be present at all times when volunteering for 4-H Alberta in the following capacities:
**Also see the next question and answer.
What are the categories of adult involvement in 4-H Alberta?
Leader – Leaders are adults (18+ years old) serving in positions of trust within the 4-H Club, District, Region or Provincial level. A position of trust includes mentoring youth; having responsibility and/or authority for any financial matters or business activities; making any decisions on behalf of members, leaders, and families; being perceived to be in a position of power.
- Must be elected by the club.
- Must complete the Leader Screening Process by December 15 to begin their first year as a Leader. They must complete the renewal process every three years for as long as they remain as Leaders.
- Do not achieve full Leader status until their screening is complete and complete any required training. Every 4-H club must have a minimum of two screened Leaders / Volunteers present at all 4-H Alberta activities.
- Clubs’ General Leaders are responsible for designating others as “Leaders” versus “Volunteers.”
- Anyone registered in the online system as a Leader, who does not complete their screening and training, will have their Leader status removed, and they will be moved to the Volunteer category.
Volunteer – Adult volunteers are vitally important to the success of 4-H Alberta, and there is a great benefit to having them registered for communications and opportunities purposes. Any adult registered into the online system, who has not been elected to be a Leader by the club, but who wishes to provide support to the club, district, region or provincial activities shall be considered a Volunteer. They are to be registered as such by the General Leader or a 4-H staff person, such as your Area Coordinator. Many clubs currently have “Parent Volunteers,” and these individuals belong in this general volunteer category.
- Do not hold positions of trust or need to be screened (although they may screen to be of greater assistance to the club).
- Must only serve as volunteers.
- Must only work with members, finances, business activities or in other perceived decision-making roles when fully screened or when other screened Leaders are also present.
- Support 4-H Alberta at the club, district, regional or provincial level through volunteer activities such as setting up venues, coordinating communication with judges, assisting with events, acting as a committee member, et cetera.
Both leaders and volunteers are invited to attend provincial educational opportunities (Leaders’ Conference, project specific activities, etc.). These events are seen as stepping stones for Volunteers to develop into future Leaders. Travel opportunities are also open to both Leaders and Volunteers. However, suppose Volunteers are required to escort or participate in travel or exchange opportunities. In that case, they will be required to undergo screening (and provide a criminal record/vulnerable sector check) by the administrators of that specific opportunity.