Volunteer Application Process

Welcome! The journey to join our of remarkable team of volunteers starts here! Our volunteers come from a variety of educational backgrounds and life experiences. Many are students, home-makers, in the workforce or retired persons who have chosen to contribute their time and talents to support children and families in our community.

All volunteer applicants, regardless of the role they are interested in pursuing, undertake the same approval process. The process includes a face-to-face interview, references (minimum of 2), medical clearance, comprehensive criminal background screening VSS (Vulnerable Sector Search), driver’s record search and CPIN (Child Protection Information Network) record search.

Thank you for your interest in volunteering with us. Together we can make a difference in a child’s life. Lend a hand by sharing your time and talents with Family and Children’s Services Niagara!


Volunteer Role Descriptions

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.
Child care 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. Child care is usually provided in a community setting in association with the specific program.
Child care 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 child care. Periodically child care can be provided as relief dependent upon each individual family situation.

The Agency operates two (2) 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 assist 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.
A Driver’s Assistant (usually a spouse or family member of the volunteer driver) who provides “companionship & assistance” to the volunteer driver and his/her passengers throughout the course of provided transportation services under the direction and guidance of Agency staff.
The Agency 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 the Agency works with during the Holiday Season. Through the generosity of community donors, volunteers and staff, new toys, clothing and gifts have been provided to many children and their families over the years. The Holiday Hero will organize, wrap and oversee the donations for the Agency staff 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 well as directly to our families and foster homes as required.
Public Relations Volunteers occasionally assist in promoting the agency and distributing information pertaining to the services, resources and activities of the agency and its role in the community. Volunteers also assist with fundraising events to help raise money for special programs such as Summer Smiles campaign that helps provide children of our Agency with summer camp experiences, bursaries, etc.
A Special Friend (Mentor) volunteer spends one-to-one time with an assigned child to provide opportunities for recreational, educational and social outings to give guidance and positive role modeling. 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 upon direction from Agency staff.

The Agency provides a modern, fully equipped toy room in the three offices in order 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 toy room on a weekly basis.

Volunteers are required to provide one-to-one assistance to a child 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 learning of positive study habits.