The CAS' role is greatly enhanced by the selfless contribution of the 43 volunteers assisting with our service delivery. The volunteers provide additional transportation for the children in care, as well as assist in supervising non-custodial parents with access to their children.
Who are volunteers?
Volunteers are people looking for opportunities to share, to learn, to grow, to contribute, to make new friends and to tackle new challenges. Volunteers are people who have a common desire to share the responsibility for others in the community.
Volunteers are people like you...
- they are men and women from a variety of ethnic and cultural backgrounds
- they are young and old, single and married
- some are working professionals, some are retired
- some are students, some are homemakers and some may be unemployed
Many volunteers bring specific skills to the Society, while others give their caring and time to the well-being of children. The volunteers tell us that the greatest satisfaction in volunteering is the knowledge that they have contributed to a child's life.
How much time do I need to commit?
The choice is yours. Some donate a few hours of their time each week or each month. Others work almost full-time. A minimum of a one-year comitment is considered necessary for roles in which a personal relationship is developed - such as a special friend to a child or parent. However, there are shorter term opportunities available such as activity groups or special projects where help is needed occassionally, but not needed on a regular basis. Opportunities for volunteers vary from CAS to CAS.
What does volunteering offer?
Volunteering is a worthwile way to use and show your skills. It is an opportunity to meet interesting people, other volunteers, workers and the staff and families that the CAS serves. It has much to offer, but its greatest satisfaction is knowing that you have made a contribution to improving a child's life.
Volunteers at Children's Aid are community members, parents, teachers, and retirees, who choose to share their lives with vulnerable children and youth. They come from many different ethnic backgrounds, are from all age groups and are single or married/partnered, male or female.
Every year, thousands of Ontarians volunteer at their local Children's Aid to support children, youth and families. Volunteers have a wide range of skills. Some offer skills that can be used in working directly with children and youth, others offer their expertise to provide leadership and guidance to their local Children's Aid as members of the Board of Directors working with the administrators of the agency.
Your local Children's Aid is governed by an elected, volunteer Board of Directors who serve on the Board and committees for a period of time to ensure the agency provides high quality service to the community.
Overall, there are more than 5,000 Ontarians who support children, youth and families by volunteering at their local Children's Aid.
- 39 agencies involved community members in volunteer programs
- 5,751 volunteers provided services to agencies
- 21,724 hours of service (equivalent of 3,103 days at 7 hrs a day) provided by volunteers
- 27,164,073 km driven by volunteers
Source: OACAS, 2009 HR Survey
What volunteers do
Children's Aid always needs your help! There is never a shortage of opportunities for interested community members to participate in improving the lives of children and youth. Their valuable contributions enable agencies to provide enriched services to children, youth and their families. Volunteers offer a great deal of personal experience and knowledge that is invaluable to Children's Aid.
They work alongside staff and foster parents, bringing their skills, energy and commitment to protect children. All volunteers must be 18 years of age or older, must pass a criminal record check, and sign an Oath of Confidentiality.
Some of the volunteer opportunities that may be available at your Children's Aid include:
Special Friend to a parent or child: 'Special friend' volunteers provide support, positive role modeling, encouragement and guidance to a parent to child by spending time with them and sharing their experiences.
Tutors: Volunteers provide tutoring to children and adults as required.
Drivers: Volunteer drivers transport children to school, family visits, therapy and medical appointments. Drivers are reimbursed for their mileage and parking expenses.
Supervised access: To provide a safe and secure environment for children, supervised access volunteers supervise visits between family and children at Children's Aid offices.
Special events: Volunteers assist in the coordination and delivery of fundraising initiatives and the delivery of special events.
Mentors: A mentor can support either a parent or a youth in care. The mentor is a support and offers help working on things such as independence and life skills for youth or parents.
Board and committee member: Board members are all volunteers elected at the Annual General Meeting in the fall of each year and serve a two to four-year term. Members also serve on committees that work to ensure we offer the possible service to the community.