Most people who choose to work with youth are caring, responsible people who, at all times, have the needs and best interests of the youth in mind. They are members of caring communities that are significant in helping young people on their journey to competent and contributing adulthood.

Extension staff members and volunteers have the potential to profoundly impact the well‐being of 4‐H youth members. In addition to providing safe, caring environments for youth, Extension staff and volunteers must also be positive role models. These individuals must focus on positive communication with 4‐H youth, address challenges in a positive manner, and concentrate on the individual needs of all youth.

The responsibility for the well‐being of 4‐H youth lies with all individuals involved in the 4‐H program. The Montana State University Extension Volunteer Certification process is designed to help carefully select and match appropriate individuals with the youth‐related efforts that best meet the needs of everyone involved.