4-H Youth Development Program
4-H Youth Development Program
4-H Youth Development Program
University of California
4-H Youth Development Program

New Volunteers

All 4-H adult volunteers must apply and be appointed annually. Please follow the steps below to apply to be a 4-H adult volunteer. 

Contact your county

You sign up as a volunteer through your local county Cooperative Extension office. The 4-H Representative in the Extension office can help you find clubs near you and start you on the process of becoming a volunteer. 

Screening Process

All new 4-H volunteers must go through a screening process. Our #1 priority in 4-H is the safety of young people. We do all we can to protect young people and keep them safe while they are in our care. An important part of providing a safe environment is to conduct background checks on our volunteers and staff. Everyone that will be spending an extended time with our 4-H youth is screened. When you become a 4-H volunteer, you are part of the plan to keep our young people safe.

  1. Complete the online 4-H Volunteer Interest Survey in English or Spanish

  2. Create an adult volunteer profile on 4hOnline.* Please make sure the email address in the system is correct and one you check regularly. This is how you will receive communications.

    *For Spanish: The 4hOnline system is only in English. Please fill in the paper enrollment packet in Spanish (PDF) and turn it in to your club leader or county staff for them to enter it into 4hOnline for you. Please keep a copy of the paper forms for your records.

  3. Complete a Live Scan background check with the California Department of Justice. 

New Volunteer Training

All new 4-H volunteers are required to take the New Volunteer Training online courses in the eXtension system before they become approved as volunteers. This interactive training series introduces you to the best practices in positive youth development that are used in 4-H. The trainings are available in English and Spanish.

After you complete and submit your 4hOnline profile, check the Family email you used in 4hOnline for eXtension login instructions. If you used a paper enrollment form, you will have to check with your County Extension Office for the instructions.

The following are downloadable instructions for eXtension


The County Director reviews and approves 4-H volunteer appointments after

  • You are signed up in 4hOnline.
  • You have passed the screening process.
  • You complete all of the New Volunteer Training required in your county.

Once you are approved, the fun begins!

  • Start connecting with 4-H families about your new role.
  • Take advantage of 4-H resources:
    • Skills development workshops
    • Approved curriculum to plan your projects
    • Volunteer leadership conferences

Your county may have additional resources specific to your county, so please connect with your county 4-H Program Representative.

All it takes is one person to make a positive impact in a child's life

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