Using Volunteers

Recruiting and using volunteers is a good way to expand program services. However, volunteers need training, supervision, guidance, and encouragement, and this requires time from paid staff. Without the involvement of trained staff, volunteers will feel discouraged and quit, or worse, provide ineffective and potentially dangerous services. Programs can provide a wide variety of volunteer opportunities, allowing volunteers to choose from a continuum of tasks, from routine maintenance to those requiring special talent or skills. Parents are usually the mainstay of any Early Childhood Family Education program volunteer force. Other sources are junior or senior high school students who need to volunteer for school, church, scout, or other youth projects. (Remember the younger the volunteer, the more supervisory time may be required of staff.) Senior citizens also make excellent volunteers. Note: School districts require background checks for any volunteer working with children.