Yes, it is very possible to volunteer at a group home in the United States; however, one thing to note is that the requisite process to volunteer will often depend on the organization, the state it is located, as well as the precise group home you intend to volunteer for.
Nevertheless, keep in mind that choosing to volunteer at a group home can prove to be a rewarding experience, especially since you will be giving back to your community.
Truth be told, it takes a compassionate heart to volunteer at a group home. It is recommended you take your time to research and evaluate all the local group homes that operate within your neighborhood or location. Do not be shy to reach out to them to indicate your willingness to volunteer.
Note that a good number of group homes will carry out a background check to validate your identity, and you will in most situations be expected to complete certain necessary training or orientation programs. You might as well be mandated to make available personal references.
If you get accepted, ensure to carry out your duties with utmost integrity and compassion. In most group homes, you will be tasked with helping with activities, providing emotional support, or helping with educational or recreational programs.
Making the decision to volunteer in a group home is massive, but it is a viable means to make a valid impact on the lives of people in need and contribute to your community.
Steps to Volunteer at A Group Home
Volunteers can be quite helpful in a whole lot of ways within a group Home, such as helping with activities, helping with mealtime, or playing an instrument for residents. However, you can’t just walk into any group home and expect to be handed the role. There are necessary steps to take to ensure that you will be considered. Those steps include;
Table of Content
Research Group Homes
Just like it was noted above, your first step should be to find out the appropriate group home or organization that aligns with your interests and values. Create a list containing top choices of where you would want to volunteer.
You can pick your top choices depending on location, what the group Home offers its residents, the size of the facility, or other factors. Once you are done with making this list, keep in mind that you can find open volunteer positions in two ways. You can search for posted volunteer opportunities or by reaching out to a group Home directly.
Set up a Visit
Prior to choosing the group home you want, it is important you reach out to them or even consider visiting or touring the facility/facilities.
At a group home, the ideal person to reach out to is the volunteer coordinator. If you fail to obtain this information from a volunteer website, it is pertinent to verify if they need volunteers. Once you’ve confirmed, set up a time to come and speak with the volunteer coordinator and take a look around.
Even though this isn’t a job interview, it is still very important to be prepared because you never know who you will run into or what duties you will be given. Ensure to dress appropriately for the occasion, and bring your driver’s license or another form of government ID, and any references you have. In addition, be prepared to jump into an activity if the opportunity presents itself.
You should also prepare certain vital questions you would want to ask to ensure that you get the right clarification. Are you volunteering for fun or for school? Ensure to get clarification on how hours are tracked and who manages volunteers if this is important for you. Other questions to consider include:
- How many hours per week are you expected to volunteer?
- What are volunteers mostly used for?
- Do you get the opportunity to pick your assignments?
- Do you need a physical or any shots before starting?
Interview and Background Check
If your application is accepted, you have to be ready for some form of an interview or mock volunteer session. Also don’t forget that a background check is a requirement to work in a group Home.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid website acknowledges that volunteers are subject to the exact same scrutiny as an employee, and as such will have to undergo a criminal background check. In addition, drug testing is a standard practice within the industry, so volunteers should expect to submit to a drug test.
Orientation and Training
Volunteers in a group home will be working with residents directly and might need to be conversant with the precise policies and procedures as employees. Regardless of the services they will offer, volunteers need to understand some vital aspects of the industry. These include;
- Job description
- Infection control
- Abuse and neglect
Truth be told, it takes a compassionate heart to make the decision to volunteer at a group home. It is very possible to volunteer at a group home in the United States; however, one thing you need to note is that the requisite process to volunteer will often depend on the organization, the state it is located, as well as the precise group home you intend to volunteer for.