Youth-adult partnerships are at the heart of the 4-H mission, and are a guiding principle for how 4-H leaders, staff, and volunteers work with young people.

All members of a community (including young people) have a role in creating a strong and healthy community. Sustained positive relationships between young people and adults support the healthy development and well-being of youth, while also benefiting adults, organizations, and communities.

Youth-adult partnerships occur when:

  • Young people are seen as assets to their communities as much as adults.
  • Adults create ongoing opportunities for young people to share leadership with them in community settings.
  • Youth contribute what they uniquely bring to the group and to the community.
  • Youth and adults engage as equals in planning, implementing, and evaluating programs that shape the development of youth, as well as their communities.

In 4-H, youth-adult partnerships take many expressions. They may be achieved in youth and adults working cooperatively to lead club meetings, organize fundraising events, plan summer camps, carry out community service-learning projects, or support youth voice and representation on councils.

Youth-adult partnerships are one of the most challenging but rewarding parts of 4-H! Please see the link on this page for more information and additional resources.

Additional resources

Here is a collection of resources we feel can help you strengthen your youth-adult partnerships.