Youth Safety in Communications and Virtual Meetings

4-H Canada recognizes that throughout the response to COVID-19, staff and leaders are finding new ways to virtually engage our youth members and with one another. Continuing activities that promote connections with peers and 4-H leaders can reduce the vulnerability for isolated youth and is a positive mental health activity for all participants.

Attached are guidelines for youth safety in communications and virtual meetings, and mental health resources for leaders and youth. The guidelines have been adapted from Youth Safety at 4-H in Canada policies, the Canadian Centre for Child Protection guidelines for establishing boundaries for online schooling, and Kids Help Phone.

As always, the safety of our youth is everyone’s top priority. All provincial and national policies must continue to be followed for leader screening, supervision, the Code of Conduct and incident reporting. Virtual meetings and activities are an adapted vehicle for delivering 4-H and ensuring learning to do by doing. Please reach out to your provincial office for direction on what parts of the program are appropriate to move to a virtual format during COVID-19.