Organisation that you manage volunteers for:
Early Support for Parents (Volunteer home visiting program)
Paid or unpaid (if comfortable divulging):
Paid (20 hours per week)
How many volunteers do you manage?
Between 15 and 20 at any one time
Location where you manage volunteers:
Describe the kind of tasks you undertake as a volunteer manager:
- Volunteer recruitment, introducing potential volunteers to our program
- Volunteer Training, Initially training volunteers to enable them to work with families in a safe, strength based holistic way. Providing ongoing training opportunities.
- Volunteer Support, providing debriefing, volunteer meetings.
- Developing strategies to continue to do all of the above in an ever changing and competitive world
- Community Development: Program promotion, networking
- Receiving referrals
- Assessment of families, visiting families in their homes to asses suitability for the program and determine which what volunteer skills would be best suited in supporting the family. Risk assessment.
- Matching volunteers with families that will benefit from a volunteers specific skill set
- Assisting families and volunteers to access appropriate resources
- reporting, data collection and entry
How did you get into managing volunteers?
Whilst training in Community Services I became a volunteer home visitor for Good Beginnings. I went on to work for Good Beginnings and then completed my Diploma in Community Welfare. After completing my Diploma an opportunity arose, as often happens to join Early Support for Parents. One of the driving forces behind my passion for family support is being a parent of a special needs child. This gives me an added understanding of how isolating parenting can be and therefore the value of providing support and an empathetic shoulder to lean on. I have been in this position for 4 years now.
What is one of your favourite aspects of working with volunteers?
Working with our volunteers is always rewarding. When speaking with our volunteers I always feel uplifted and inspired by the dedication and passion with which they approach their volunteering and the families they work with. Volunteers from all walks of life are naturally giving generous people but this is especially evident in family support. I also enjoy learning of the progress families make towards independence from service support after working with our program.
What is one piece of advice you might give to budding volunteer managers?
Build a strong, supportive team around you and value the skills and contributions that every member brings to that team.