Why Was the MSU Extension Volunteer Selection Process Developed?
Most people who choose to work with children and vulnerable adults are caring, responsible people who have the needs and best interests of those they serve in mind at all times. They are members of caring communities who are significant in helping young people on their journey to competent and contributing adulthood and help those with disabilities achieve their full potential.
Michigan State University Extension continues to respond to the needs of program participants by providing experiences led by volunteers. MSU Extension must make sure that the process of selecting individuals to serve as volunteers adequately identifies, selects, trains and supports those interested in volunteer leadership. As Extension workers and volunteers, we strive to do all we can to ensure that individuals who come to our programs are treated with respect and dignity, and are provided with safe, caring environments in which to learn and have fun.
Whether we are staff members or volunteers, teens or adults, all of us who work closely with young people and vulnerable adults have the potential to have profoundly impacts on the well-being of others. In addition to providing safe and appropriate environments, we must also be positive role models–focusing on how we communicate with others, our methods of problem-solving and discipline, and how sensitive we are to the individual needs of all program participants.
The responsibility for the well-being of children and vulnerable adults lies with each and every one of us. The Michigan State University Extension Volunteer Selection Process is designed to outline a process that carefully selects and matches appropriate individuals with efforts that best meet the needs of everyone involved.
What Is the Selection Process for MSU Extension Volunteers?
This selection process is for volunteers who desire to work directly with youth and/or adults who have severe mental, physical or emotional disabilities during the course of their participation in MSU Extension programs. Its purpose is to help ensure the appropriate selection and placement of volunteers for MSU Extension activities involving youth. It’s also designed to provide documentation on volunteer selection and placement. A similar process is used for MSU Extension staff who work with youth programs.
When Is the Process Used?
New staff and volunteers aged 19 and over, who will have ongoing or unsupervised access to children aged 19 and under and/or to adults who have severe mental, physical or emotional disabilities during the course of their participation in MSU Extension programs, are subject to the MSU Extension Volunteer Selection Process. "Ongoing" is defined as more than four meetings or gathering times or in-depth contact (such as overnight events and out-of-state or exchange trips). "Unsupervised" would mean that the person is alone with children or vulnerable adults for significant periods of time (15 minutes or more). This includes volunteers who work with any MSU Extension programs involving youth or vulnerable adults, including 4-H organizational leaders, 4-H project leaders, activity leaders, chaperones, resource persons, adult host family members and Proud Equestrian Programs (PEP) therapeutic riding volunteers, etc.
4-H VSP full packet
Please contact the Oakland County MSU Extension 4-H staff at 248-858-0889 if you have questions about the Volunteer Selection Process.