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

New Volunteers

Adult volunteer standing next to youth holding horse by the reins.

Please follow the steps below to apply to be a new 4-H adult volunteer. 

Contact your County 4-H

You sign up as a volunteer through your local 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. 


All New Volunteers are Screened

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.

Complete the online 4-H Volunteer Interest Survey

The 4-H Volunteer Interest Survey is the first step in becoming a new 4-H volunteer. Please contact your county 4-H staff for the link to the survey. Go to your county 4-H website for the contact person in your county.

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

All new 4-H adult volunteers must complete a Live Scan background check with the California Department of Justice.

Locations where Live Scan fingerprinting services are available

Required training for New Volunteers

All new 4-H volunteers are required to take the New Volunteer Training online courses in the eXtension system. 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.

For a tutorial on using the eXtension system to complete the Volunteer Training, please see our eXtension Support Site.

eXtension Courses

The eXtension system is a learning management system. In order to confirm you have completed the courses, you will need:

  • Login for the eXtension system. You will need an email address to create a login. Instructions to create an account in eXtension will be sent to the Family email address you enter in the online enrollment system.
    • If you do not receive an email, please verify that the email entered in 4-H Online is correct before contacting your county 4-H Representative.
  • Your County Enrollment Key - this should come from your county 4-H representative.

Paper Enrollment Forms

If you used a paper enrollment form, please check with your County Extension Office for the instructions to create an account in eXtension and your course enrollment key.

Only approved volunteers may work with 4-H youth

Volunteers are approved after completing the following:

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

Your county 4-H representative should notify you when you have been approved.


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

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

All 4-H adult volunteers must be approved annually. 

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