Volunteering Is Work of the Heart

Have something to give to your community? We will find a role for you.

Many people are often surprised by the wide range of volunteer skill sets that we can put to fantastic use at FACS. From cuddling newborns to driving families to medical appointments, helping out with math homework, or serving on our Board of Directors, if you’ve got the urge to give back to Niagara, chances are we can help you find an opportunity that’s a great match.

Interested in learning more about volunteering with FACS? Contact our Volunteer Department at 905.937.7731.

Let’s address some of the questions and concerns you may have about volunteering with FACS.

Is there a specific age or stage of life that is preferred for FACS volunteers?

We have a wide array of volunteer opportunities for individuals of all stages in life, including:

  • Post-secondary students looking for volunteer placement hours and work experience
  • Individuals seeking employment in need of current work experience
  • Working adults wanting to give back to their community
  • Active retirees who enjoy spending time with children

What are some of the things that I can do as a FACS volunteer?

We work to provide our volunteers with positions that allow them to do activities they enjoy. Some of our volunteer roles include:

Cuddle newborn babies at a local hospital or other locations as determined. Work with staff regarding the determined needs of the infant and family to provide optimal care as directed. To be on call and available as needed, for varying lengths of time.

Childcare for children of various ages is required to allow parents involved in agency-sponsored programs (Positive Parenting, Strengthening Families) to attend weekly group sessions, typically from September to June. Childcare is usually provided in a community setting in association with the specific program.

Childcare is provided to allow parents to attend necessary appointments such as counselling sessions, health care appointments, parenting courses, etc., when they have no alternative means of childcare. Periodically childcare can be provided as relief dependent upon each individual family situation.

FACS operates two childcare centres in St. Catharines. Volunteers are needed to assist with the children with a minimum commitment of at least one morning or afternoon per week. The volunteer will help with crafts, snacks, and interactive play upon direction from Agency staff.

Drivers provide transportation services for our children, youth and families throughout the Niagara Region and surrounding areas. Volunteer drivers provide the opportunity for the Agency to extend services to children, youth, and families to attend appointments and visits that are vital to their growth and development.

FACS offers programs after regular business hours, and therefore volunteers are needed to supervise the reception area and direct clients to appointments, group meetings and programs.

This special program benefits children, youth, and families with whom FACS works during the holiday season. Through the generosity of community donors, volunteers and staff, new toys, clothing, and gifts are donated to many children and their families. The Holiday Hero will organize, wrap and oversee the donations for FACS during this very busy time.

Volunteers are needed throughout the year to knit various items for infants and children, including baby layettes, mittens, scarves, and slipper socks. These items are distributed through our Project Noah program as and directly to our families and foster homes as required.

A Special Friend (Mentor) volunteer spends one-on-one time with an assigned child to provide opportunities for recreational, educational and social outings and offer guidance and positive role modelling. A commitment of one outing per week or every other week for a one-year term is required.

Team Volunteers provide an extension of service to clients that professional staff cannot fulfill because of limited time available. The Team Volunteer provides weekly assistance in our supervised access group environment. These include our Infant, Toddler and/or School Aged program groups. The volunteer will assist with program content, crafts, snacks, and interactive play with direction from FACS staff.

FACS has modern, fully equipped toy rooms in our three offices to provide an interesting and safe place for children of all ages to play, colour, read or play games while visiting. A Toy Room Volunteer inspects and cleans toys and organizes the room on a weekly basis.

Volunteers are required to provide one-to-one assistance to children who may be experiencing difficulties at school and need extra help. A commitment of one hour per week throughout the school year is required and is typically completed in the child’s home where appropriate.

Volunteers in the Homework Club provide tutorial assistance in a small group setting to elementary school children who are experiencing difficulties with their schoolwork and educational learning. The volunteer will assist with the completion of homework and the teaching of positive study habits.

How long does the application process to become a FACS volunteer take, and what’s involved?

We serve children, youth and families, so our application process is quite thorough. It includes a face-to-face interview, reference checks (minimum of two), medical clearance, comprehensive criminal background screening VSS (Vulnerable Sector Search), driver’s record search and CPIN (Child Protection Information Network) record search. The application process can take from 5 to 7 weeks to ensure that every applicant is screened for suitability.

What’s the best next step if I’d like to become a FACS volunteer?

Call our Volunteer Department at (905) 937-7731, and they’ll answer any additional questions you may have and get you started with the application process. If you’re ready to start an application, you can access our online volunteer application here.