Brent Volunteers Supporting Families
What is Volunteering Matters?
Volunteering Matters is the UK’s volunteering and learning organisation. Since 1962
Volunteering Matters have been creating opportunities for people to volunteer and to improve the lives of others in their communities. Amongst its many volunteer projects, Volunteering Matters runs projects which support children in care, ex-offenders leaving custody, people with learning disabilities and adults with mental health issues.
What is Volunteering Matters Volunteers supporting Families project?
Volunteering Matters’ Volunteers supporting Families project is a development of its groundbreaking Volunteers in Child Protection project (ViCP), initially set up in response to the death of Victoria Climbié and the Lord Laming enquiry that followed, and its sister project, Parent Mentoring. The project offers a pioneering approach, recruiting volunteers from the local community to provide support to families whose children are at risk or have a safeguarding plan.
The VsF aspect of the project matches trained and screened volunteers with families who have who have complex needs. Volunteers visit the family in the family home on a regular basis – sometimes up to three times a week – offering practical parenting help and encouragement, and empowering them to make changes that will improve family life and keep their children happy, healthy and safe.
How do Volunteering Matters VsF volunteers help?
VsF volunteers provide a listening ear and a helping hand to families who need support. This could involve helping with practical tasks, supporting the family to access local services or being an understanding listener for a stressed parent. As each family is different, each VsF volunteer will carry out activities with the family they are matched with according to their specific needs. Volunteer activities will be agreed in advance by Volunteering Matters and other relevant professionals. The role of the volunteer will complement the activities of Social Care teams and other professionals.
How will Volunteering Matters VsF support volunteers?
Volunteers attend an initial interview with their local Volunteering Matters Project Manager. After this, volunteers receive two and a half days of training, which includes contributions by
the local Social Care team. Volunteers receive ongoing training in their role, including regular support groups and supervisions. All reasonable out-of-pocket expenses are reimbursed. Typically, volunteers will:
- Visit the family regularly at set times
- Build a trusting relationship based on mutual respect
- Offer appropriate support to help improve parenting skills
- Carry out appropriate practical tasks to assist the family
- Provide a sound role model to children and parents
- Help the family access available community resources (for example, health information, education providers, Citizens Advice Bureau)
- Observe confidentiality
- Share issues and concerns with Social Care teams or other relevant professionals with the consent of the parents wherever possible and appropriate
- Keep written records and submit them regularly to the Volunteering Matters Project
- anager. Who can be a Volunteering Matters VsF Volunteer?
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