4-H LIFE program staff guide

The 4-H LIFE program staff guide was developed as a resource for those who are interested in replicating the 4-H LIFE program.

Our hope is that this guide will encourage land grant university extension faculty and staff, correctional center administrators, human and social service professionals, and others who are interested in impacting the lives of children with an incarcerated parent or family member to begin their own 4-H LIFE program.

The 4-H LIFE guide is rich with references to supplemental materials available below that can be modified according to the needs of the program. Each correctional center will have its unique population, regulations, facilities and culture.

4-H LIFE Guide - A Program for Children with Incarcerated Family Members (PDF) (49 pages)

Supplemental Materials

The materials are provided as samples primarily from the University of Missouri Extension 4-H LIFE Potosi pilot program. Please check with your state correctional center and MU Extension for current forms used.


Chapter 1

  1. 4-H LIFE Evaluation Methodology, April 2002 (PDF)

  1. 4-H LIFE Impact Report including Focus Group Protocol, Aug 2002 (PDF)

  1. 4-H LIFE Impact Report including Evaluation Instrument, May 2003 (PDF)

  1. 4-H LIFE Case Study by National Collaboration for Youth, November 2005 (PDF)

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Chapter 2

  1. Constitution and Bylaws for the LIFE 4-H at PCC (PDF)

    Constitution and Bylaws for the LIFE 4-H at PCC revised 2011 (PDF)

  1. Offender 4-H LIFE Membership Application (PDF)

  1. Permission for Family Contact (PDF)

  1. 4-H LIFE Program Expectations and Goals (PDF)

  1. Curricula Used at Potosi 4-H LIFE (PDF)

  1. Missouri 4-H is… (PDF)

  1. 4-H LIFE Club Agenda (PDF)

  1. Family Activities Used at Potosi (PDF)

  1. Family and New Friend Get-Acquainted Bingo (PDF)

  1. Missouri 4-H Youth Group Enrollment Form Y631 (PDF)

  1. Missouri 4-H Member Enrollment Form Y630 (PDF)

  1. Guidelines for 4-H Single Project Clubs (PDF)

  1. Sample Letter to MU Extension 4-H Youth Specialist (PDF)

  1. Sample Letter to Caregiver (PDF)
    (Regarding local 4-H)

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Chapter 3

  1. About University of Missouri Extension (PDF)

    Missouri County MU Extension Centers (PDF)
    Online directory at

  1. Missouri Department of Corrections Steps to Become a Volunteer in Corrections (PDF)

  1. Volunteer Recruitment Flyer (PDF)
    (General public)

  2. FCN Facts and Issues: Why Maintain Relationships? (PDF)

  3. Invitation Letter to Caregivers to Join 4-H LIFE (PDF)

  4. Youth Interest Survey (PDF)

  5. 4-H LIFE Program Participant Recruitment and Eligibility Process Flowchart (PDF)

  6. Sample of Monthly Memo to the Correctional Center (PDF)
    (for Visit and Supply Approval)

  7. 4-H LIFE Family/Club Meeting Expanded Description (PDF)

  8. 4-H LIFE Reflection Survey (PDF)

  9. 4-H LIFE Resources (PDF)

  10. Suggested Reading for Children of Offenders and Their Families (PDF)

  11. Suggested Reading for Parents or Caregivers (PDF)


          Missouri Contact: Robert Wilkerson
National Contact: Lynna Lawson

The 4-H LIFE program is supported by University of Missouri Extension, the Children, Youth and Families at Risk (CYFAR) Initiative, the Missouri Children's Trust Fund, the National 4-H Council and the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) Program.