Just as people need different skills to take on different family support roles, volunteers will also need different training depending on what activities they are going to undertake. As a general rule, volunteers working directly with families will need more initial training than those in office or fundraising roles. The primary aim of initial training is to equip new volunteers to do the role well.
96% of volunteers in our survey say they receive induction training and 61% receive further training. 87% of children’s centres provide volunteer training in-house.
"A complete training package should include tools which help to assess the motivation, the needs and the suitability of the volunteer for the role." Commissioner and Volunteer Focus Group
Volunteers working in family support roles can be trained in:
- Information on the service itself (induction)
- Policies and procedures
- Group working skills
- Listening skills
- Different types of families and being non-judgmental
- Health and Safety
- Boundaries and behaviour
- Mental health
- Family issues such as drug awareness and child behavior
- Signposting to other services
It is important to note that an important part of volunteering is to give opportunities for developing skills and experience. Induction training when the volunteer first starts is therefore just the beginning. Most volunteers will need further training as time goes on or as they develop their role and some may want to work towards a qualification is that is available.
Training can be done in lots of different ways:
- Group training
- Individual training
- Mentoring and shadowing
- Training from an external organisation
- Accredited training e.g. by the Open College Network
- Online training
Volunteer Induction Checklist
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