Candidates for State 4-H Leadership Council Administrative Positions
Attached is a copy of the candidate profiles for the positions of president and reporter. The document is also posted on the 4-H webpage at http://oklahoma4h.okstate.edu/leadership/filing.html.
All council members on the 2012 ballot have exemplified dedication, responsibility and leadership with minimal direction during their first term as a district or at-large representative and met or exceeded 80% of the expectations of their Quarterly Progress Reviews.
Speeches will be done at the Roundup opening assembly on Wednesday July 25th. Candidates will answer questions posed by voting delegates during the Town Hall meeting on Wednesday evening.
During the filing period no one eligible under the terms of the council bylaws filed for the positions of vice president and secretary. These vacancies will be filled by the council at their August meeting under the provision of Article V, Section 3.
How this will work
Article IV, Section 1B, states that administrative positions of VP, secretary and reporter are to be "elected from the class of representatives elected the previous October at District Conferences." No one from the class of 2011 filed for the positions of VP or Secretary. A second call was made, and no one filed by the second deadline. This meant these positions must be left vacant through Roundup and filed by the Council at the August meeting. "In the event of a vacancy for all other administrative positions the vacancy will be filled by electing a current member of the council to complete the remainder of the term."
One outgoing member (class of 2010) expressed an interest in a position during the first filing period, and a returning council member (class of 2011) expressed an interest after the second filing period. These individuals would qualify as "current members of the council" at the time we fill the vacancies (August 2012), thus they would be able to complete the term of office.
In the very near future Charles will have a team of youth and adults reviewing the current council system and structure. They will be seeing what seems to be working well, what may need to be dropped, and considering ways to make sure the council is working to develop leaders and empowering them to lead statewide. As that team is finalized, we will let you know who they are so you can provide your input.
Charles Cox and Karla Knoepfli
Tough Lessons for Organizations Serving Vulnerable Clientele
By Melanie Lockwood Herman 6/27/2012 issue of Nonprofit Risk Management Center E-News
Last week’s verdict in the criminal case against Jerry Sandusky offers a sobering reminder about the risk of sexual misconduct or abuse facing every nonprofit that provides services to vulnerable clientele, including children, individuals with disabilities and the elderly. While it remains true that vulnerable service recipients are statistically safer while participating in programs sponsored by nonprofits than they are in their own homes, the compassionate leaders of today’s nonprofits must be aware of the potential for harm and avoid the naïve thinking that puts our clients at undue risk.
My takeaway reminders from the recent verdict include:
- Any adult in your nonprofit who is "above suspicion" shouldn't be. During the 20-year history of the Center we have been retained on numerous occasions to conduct post-incident reviews for client organizations that have faced allegations of abuse. During several of these engagements we were told that the alleged—and eventually convicted perpetrator—was "an ideal citizen," "beloved volunteer," or"“walked on water as far as we were concerned."
- Never ignore or discount reports of misconduct involving vulnerable clients. During the Sandusky trial the jury and public learned that reports of misconduct made by a graduate student in 1998 were not investigated. As difficult as it may be to imagine that a trusted insider has perpetrated a crime or violated your policies regarding the care of clients, allegations of wrongdoing must be investigated promptly and thoroughly. When inappropriate conduct or injury is alleged, it is imperative to determine what happened, how it happened and identify immediate steps to prevent further harm.
- Criminal history background checks do no inoculate your agency from the risk of misconduct. Despite the volume of information now available on predators, including the fact that most have committed multiple offenses before their first arrest, too many nonprofit leaders continue to rely on background checking as a principal or sole youth protection measure. Background checks are simply one tool in what should be an evolving toolkit of practical strategies.
- Never assume that your staff and volunteers have a shared understanding of what constitutes permitted and impermissible behavior. Many onlookers in the Sandusky case were shocked to read about the inappropriate “games” the now convicted coach played with young participants. Guidelines that clearly specify permitted and strictly prohibited conduct are a "must" for nonprofits serving vulnerable clients.
- Changes in program scope, size or delivery warrant a close-up look at the effectiveness of youth protection measures. The publicity surrounding the Sandusky case recently led the leaders of two leading nonprofits to engage the Center for an independent review of youth protection measures. The leaders of these client organizations recognized that as their organizations evolve, strategies to provide a safe environment must also evolve.
- No risk management strategy can prevent all harm. Don't wait until harm is alleged before deciding how you will respond to allegations. Nonprofit leaders are well-served to consider today how they will respond in the wake of allegations of misconduct involving a vulnerable client. Not even the nation’s largest and most respected agencies can guarantee a safe environment. Every organization should take the time to consider how it will respond with compassion even in the glare of a media spotlight.
To learn more about how to develop effective youth protection and other risk management strategies, attend the Center’s annual conference, the 2012 Risk Management and Finance SUMMIT for Nonprofits. Early bird registration is available at: www.nonprofitrisk.org/summit/program_2012.asp.
If you are looking for an authoritative guide to risk management for your youth serving nonprofit, check out The Season of Hope: A Risk Management Guide for Youth-Serving Nonprofits, which offers practical guidance.
Melanie Lockwood Herman is Executive Director of the Nonprofit Risk Management Center. She welcomes your ideas about any risk management topic, feedback on this article and questions about the Center’s resources at Melanie@nonprofitrisk.org or (202) 785-3891. The Center provides risk management tools and resources at www.nonprofitrisk.org and offers consulting assistance to organizations unwilling to leave their missions to chance.
ATV Safety Resource
Do you want to provide some educational resources in your county to address ATV safety but not an entire ridercourse program? Consider promoting the ATV Safety Institute (ASI) Online courses.These are a great way to learn the fundamentals of the ATV riding, with an emphasis on risk management and avoidance. The free online safety courses on the ASI website (www.atvsafety.org) are custom designed for each specific adult, teen (12-15 years old) and youth (6-11 years old) audience.
These online courses are a great way to learn about ATV safety strategies, but you don’t have to stop there. Upon completion of the age appropriate ASI Online E-Course, the student can simply show their printed certificate of completion and be eligible to participate in the free, specially designed S-Course version of the popular ASI RiderCourse – actually operating and riding ATVs.
Attached is a link to a brochure you may wish to use at events you have this summer.
Volunteers Needed for Kids Craft Area at OKC Fair
The Oklahoma State Fair is once again coordinating a kid's craft area on weekends in the Creative Arts Building at the OKC State Fair. They need youth volunteers to assist children in making crafts. If you have 4-H members who are interested in volunteering and have experience in overseeing and assisting children doing crafts, please complete the attached form. Four-H members must be 14 years of age and able to work a 2 to 3 hour time slot. The dates available are September 15, 16, 22 and 23. Tickets will be available for those who are selected to work. If you have questions, please contact Stefanie Heinrich at the Oklahoma State Fair, (405) 948-6700. The application form is attached and will be due to the Fair by August 31, 2012.
Interactive Displays at OKC Fair
At the Oklahoma City Fair, there are opportunities for groups to do interactive displays in the 4-H exhibit area on the weekends (Sept. 15, 16, 22 and 23). The guidelines and application form are attached. If you need additional information, please call me at (405) 744-8891. The deadline for being considered is August 31, 2012.
Food Demonstrations at OKC Fair
This year, we have the opportunity for individuals or groups to do interactive food demonstrations. They will be 30 minutes in length, which will include prep and cleanup. The dates are Sunday, September 16, from 10 am - noon and then on Wed., September 19, from 6 - 8 pm. If you have someone or a group that is interested, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Tulsa State Fair Service Project Opportunity
The Tulsa State Fair is collecting quilts for kids. Information about this program can be found at http://quiltsforkids.org/. For more information, please contact Kara Eschbach at the Tulsa State Fair 918.744.1113 ext. 2012.