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Risk Management – Protecting Youth AND Volunteers

Julie Pigott Dillard

Everything we do on a daily basis involves a certain amount of risk.  When working with youth, it’s your responsibility as a volunteer to reduce and/or eliminate as much risk as possible.  By taking a pro-active approach to risk management, you’ll identify potential risks of injury and make sure steps are in place to control the situation as much as possible.

Risk can take several forms including physical, reputation, emotional and financial risk.  Taking these four areas into account when planning events and activities will protect not only the youth participant but also adults involved.

Risk reduction is the major focus of a risk management plan, and your plan should be written out. Put safety first in all activities and events with the following tools:

Plan – have an agenda and action plan for the event

  • Anticipate – review the agenda, think and visualize what might present potential problems
  • Prepare – have enough adult help with assigned jobs, have all materials you need
  • Understand – the ages, readiness and willingness of your youth

Review –

Florida 4-H policies or procedures

participation forms

out of county contact forms

event insurance

The ultimate goal is to create a safe environment for youth where they know they are cared for, where they can experience success and where youth can be a positive influence in their world.

Your county 4-H Youth Development Agent is responsible for providing you with training in risk management and will assist you in developing risk management plans for activities and events.  For further information, contact your 4-H Youth Development Agent and visit the volunteer page of