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4-H Youth Development Home »  Staff Resources & Youth Line Home » Program Management

Risk Management and Insurance

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MS Word document Understanding Your County Insurance Situation (1 page, 79 KB) - Key questions to help you understand your county insurance situation as it relates to volunteer liability coverage.

County Liability Insurance Providers - The majority of Wisconsin counties are covered by these two mutual insurance corporations. Both companies provide volunteer liability coverage at no additional cost provided locally established procedures are followed. Member counties are identified on the company web sites.

Risk management is a critical element of all 4-H youth development programs. It provides the assurances that planning for participant safety has been addressed. Besides safety, risk management plans document proper allocation of resources of the program, emergency procedures are in place and the assets of the organization protected by minimizing the negative outcome of unexpected events. Risk management is also a valued educational program and process for all youth members and volunteers and allows organizations to focus on achieving their mission. This web page contains multiple resources, tools and links for staff and volunteers.

Staff Resources

Risk Management

  • PDF File Risk Management for 4-H Youth Development Work (8 pages, 84KB) - This is the primary guideline for all 4-H Youth Development professionals and volunteers in management roles. Issues include 4-H charters, chaperons, emergency procedures, 4-H finances, insurance for volunteers and members; overnight programs, records retention, transportation and volunteers. Updated 4.2012.
  • pdf file Risk Management Frequently Asked Questions (8 pages, 87KB) - The FAQ serves as supplement to Risk Management for 4-H Youth Development Work, responding to frequently asked questions by staff and volunteers in management roles. Updated 4.2012.
  • Wisconsin State Statutes Limiting Liability for Volunteers
  • pdf file Federal Volunteer Protection Act of 1997 (1 page, 38 KB) - Provides immunity for volunteers serving nonprofit organizations or government entity if conditions are satisfied.
  • Youth Event Health Forms: 4-H Youth Development staff need to use the UW System Youth Event Health Form for all events, activities and programs that require a health form. This form has been reviewed and approved by UW System Legal Council and Risk Management. No other health forms are to be used. Health forms for adults are not required. Youth that are 18 years and older can sign their own form. Authorized facsimile or scanned signatures will be accepted.
  • UW System Risk Management Forms - 4-H Youth Development staff members need to use the UW System Youth Event Health Form for all overnight programs posted above. A participation waiver form in both a long and shorter version which includes both an agreement for assumption of risk, indemnification and release and consent for emergency treatment is located under the liability section on the UW System Office of Safety and Loss Prevention Forms web page. These forms replace the field trip forms and should be used for waivers and permission slips. You will find these newer forms are more concise and easier to understand than past forms. You will find additional forms, such as a general incident report form, that can assist you in planning educational programs. Both the long and shorter version are available in Spanish.
  • Registration forms for programs need to include appropriate requests for accommodations statements as required by the American with Disability Act (ADA). Sample statements are at The University of Wisconsin-Extension Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO)/Affirmative Actions (AA) Statements.
  • pdf iconPaying Volunteers Frequently Asked Question (3 pages, 40 KB) Updated 6.2011. Avariety of Wisconsin statues and IRS rules affect 4-H Organizations and other group that are considering paying volunteers. This FAQ provides critical data that needs to be consider before this decision is made. For 4-H Clubs and Groups that pay with 4-H Funds a volunteer beyond reimbursable expenses, an Agreement for Personal Services must be in place. Theword icon Paying Volunteers Sample Agreement for 4-H Clubs and Groups is to be used to start this process. (2 pages, 35 KB)
  • pdf iconConsidering Expenditures of Over $500, Capital Equipment and Gifts (102 KB) Regardless of the source, all 4-H funds are public funds and must support educational programming for youth. When 4-H groups are considering major expenditures, (over $500), purchasing capital equipment (an asset which has a useful life of more than one year, or accepting a capital equipment gift, special consideration must go into the decision. The 4-H Group needs to secure approval from the 4-H Youth Development Staff person in writing prior to the purchase using this decision tree.
  • PowerPoint File Risk Management "101" Terminology (8 slides, 65 KB) - Power point presentation covering basic risk management terminology, prepared by Dave Pulda, Risk Manager, UW System Office of Safety and Loss Prevention, and Debbie Beich, Risk Management Specialist, UW System Office of Safety and Loss Prevention.
  • PowerPoint File Risky Business is Everybody's Business (35 slides,2.52 MB) - Power point presentation covering risk management terminology, strategies and roles for staff, including special considerations with finances, chaperones and working with youth. This presentation updated May 2012.


Insurance is an important way to transfer the risk. Providing accident and liability insurance for 4-H volunteers and members is a priority.

  • PDF File Insurance Frequently Asked Questions (8 pages, 58 KB) - Insurance questions and answers related to 4-H Youth Development programs.
  • County Liability Insurance - The majority of Wisconsin counties are covered by one of two mutual insurance corporations. Both companies provide volunteer liability coverage at no additional cost provided locally established procedures are followed. Coverage is secondary liability coverage and only applies to individuals completing the Youth Protection process and currently in good standing as a volunteer. 4-H Youth Development staff should discuss the county insurance situation with the county UW-Extension department head.
  • Private Liability Insurance - For counties not covered under a mutual insurance plan, secondary volunteer liability coverage is available through a number of private companies. CIMA is an example. UW-Extension does not endorse any particular company.
  • PDF file Personal Insurance Recommendations for 4-H Volunteers (1 page, 30 KB) - 4-H volunteers should be encouraged to carry adequate homeowner's and automobile insurance since their coverage will be primary when conducting an activity in their home or driving their personal vehicle while volunteering. PDF Icon Personal Insurance Recommendations for 4-H Volunteers - Spanish Version (1 page, 26 KB)
  • Accident Insurance for Leaders and Members - County 4-H organizations should purchase accident insurance for volunteer leaders and members.  Purchasing the $1.00 a year plan from American Income Life is recommended.  Those participating in high risk activities including horse project, athletic league sports, ATV, and motorcycle participants have a $2.00 annual fee.
  • 4-H Leader Organizations owning property or equipment are encouraged to secure property insurance through a local insurance agent or as a rider on an existing policy if possible
  • MS PowerPoint Presentation Insurance "101" Terminology (31 slides, 203 KB) - Power point presentation covering basic insurance terminology, prepared by Dave Pulda, Risk Manager, UW System Office of Safety and Loss Prevention, and Debbie Beich, Risk Management Specialist, UW System Office of Safety and Loss Prevention.

Training Resources

These training resources can be used with staff, volunteers and youth.

PowerPoint icon Risk Management Overview (30 slides, 1.7 MB) - Power Point presentation providing an overview of risk management terms, strategies, liability protection, areas for special consideration, financial management and resources. The Power Point is appropriate for use with volunteers.

pdf file Risk Management Process (1 page, 38 KB) - Risk analysis, risk response and risk review are important steps in planning and conducting programs.

pdf file Risk Management Checklist (1 page, 37 KB) - 4-H Youth Development programs require special considerations in planning to make sure safety is first. The checklist serves as guide for decision making for program planners. A special risk management checklist for shooting sports volunteers is located on page 6 of Wisconsin Shooting Sports Staff Guidelines for County Programs

pdf file Risk Management for 4-H Youth Development Volunteers (4 pages, 90 KB) - Handout for 4-H Youth Development volunteers covering basic risk management guidelines and procedures. The handout is adapted from the Risk Management for 4-H Youth Development Work document posted in the Educational Resources section of this web page. Updated 4.2012.

pdf icon Risk Management "Band-Aid" - Front and back of a handout featuring ten risk management tips and a link to the 4-H Youth Development risk management information. The handout is prepared in a two per page format. Consider laminating the handout to encourage volunteers to keep it as a reference piece. (2 pages, 52 KB) 2 per page

  • Power Point Icon Risk Management Challenge (52 slides, 277 KB) - Quiz board highlighting key risk management information. This learning activity is most appropriate as a follow-up to a beginning risk management presentation, such as the Risk Management Overview Power Point posted above. Intended for volunteer audiences. Categories include Insurance, Finances, Risk Management Terms, Risk Management Strategies, and Potpourri.
  • Word Icon Risk Management Simulation Game (7 pages, 66 KB) - The purpose of this game is to increase and to apply knowledge of the process for analyzing, planning and implementing risk management strategies in 4-H youth development programs, activities and events.  It is expected that participants have received basic risk management information on which this experience will build. Preparation work is needed.
  • A series of 4 lesson plans have been developed to be used in local workshops.

Additional Resources