How to Become a Volunteer?
Each year around late September Home-Start recruits volunteers. We are looking for people who have parenting experience and have a little time on their hands, maybe their own children have left home and the empty nest might be filled by passing on years of experience in parenting to a young family.
We run a preparation course over 8 weeks, during this time there is time for the Potential Volunteer to get an understanding of Home-Start and it also gives Home-Start an opportunity to assess the suitability and reliability of the Potential Volunteer.
This preparation course prepares the potential volunteer for some of the challenges and achievements they may encounter while visiting a family. At the end of this course there is a separate assessment of each potential volunteer, this process identifies the potential and suitability for Volunteering Positions.
The Matching Process between Volunteer and Family.
When all processes have been completed The Co-ordinator will commence the matching process between family and volunteer. Once the volunteer is placed, he/she will visit a family once a week for about 2 hours or for as long as the family requires.
We have found over the years that once the child starts school the parent sometimes makes links in the community or might do a course and because of this there is less requirement for a volunteer and the relationship between parent and volunteer comes to a natural end.
Very often the volunteer and the parent go on to become friends and at this stage the official role of Home-Start volunteer to this family would cease, the volunteer would then be matched with another family.
We take references, identification and proof of address and then apply for Garda Vetting on all our volunteers. All of our volunteers and staff alike are required to complete A Tusla Certified Children First on line e,learning programme on Child Protection. This is a requirement in all Child Care Facilities in the Country.
Once the course has been completed, we ask for a commitment of a minimum of 1 year, providing the Potential Volunteer has successfully completed a final assessment, as building relationships with families take time.
We provide regular Volunteer Support Group Meetings as well as one to one support for all our Volunteers.
Cathy Kelly – Volunteer Coordinator/Family Liaison