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An introduction to volunteering with us

A life lived with friendship, is a life fully lived.

It’s great that you are interested in volunteering - many people like you volunteer with us every year and find the experience of helping a family and developing a relationship with a child or young person/young adult with a disability rich and rewarding.

In just a couple of minutes, you’ll find out a bit about Extended Families and the services we provide, plus what it’s like to be a volunteer.

To navigate through the presentation, click on each slide number (there are two in this section) and then click 'next chapter' to move to the next section.


Extended Families is an organisation committed to child safety.

Why volunteer?

You’ll also have some of your questions answered, such as:

  • Who volunteers with us?
  • What will you be doing?
  • What are the families, children and young adults we support like?
  • What are the requirements for volunteers?
  • Is this for me?

What's it like?

CLICK play to listen to current volunteer Laura tell you what it's like.

About Extended Families

Extended Families continues to support a number of families involved in our Volunteering Programs, however with the introduction of the National Disability Insurance Scheme NDIS  we have had to continue to make changes to the way we operate our Volunteer Program. The volunteering role continues to remains the same.

We believe that having joy in your life and being a part of your community is important.


Through the gift of friendship, you’d be providing companionship and practical support in the day-to-day lives of families with a child or young person with a disability aged between 0 – 30 years of age.

What do our volunteers do?

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Volunteers visit a young person or child and support them reach goals identified in their NDIS plan either within the home environment or community.

Your regular visits with the child, young person or family may include:

  • Reading stories and playing games
  • Walks or a visit to a favourite café
  • Local community events
  • Helping a child or young person access leisure or recreational activities such as a sporting club, dance class etc
  • Assisting parents with medical appointments
  • Helping build and practice skills through informal activities and the relationship, for example; communication, social skills, and using public transport 

Who are the young people, children and families?

Just as you would find in any community our families come from many backgrounds and a variety of social, cultural and economic circumstances, but all are in need of a bit of extra support, and as such have been successful in obtaining funds from NDIS to request the support of the Volunteer Program. 

Likewise, the young people and children have a range of disabilities, from autism spectrum disorder, developmental delay or acquired brain injury, through to intellectual, physical and neurological disabilities.

Who volunteers?

Our volunteers enjoy spending time with children and young adults and want to make a difference in the lives of those with special needs and their families.

You may have other reasons – looking for some practical experience to back up your study or profession, you might be a new-comer who wants to be more involved in your local community, or maybe you have a bit of spare time and just want to help however you can.

We welcome volunteers 18 years and older from all cultural backgrounds!

Why volunteer?

You can make a huge difference to the family with a child or young person with a disability, but there are plenty of benefits for you too.

You’ll get to:

  • Feel a sense of purpose and satisfaction through helping people
  • Meet people and families and share experiences (to include 18-30 yrs)
  • Make long lasting relationships
  • Develop your skills and take advantage of training opportunities
  • Build life experience and personal qualities

Requirements

OK, so you’ll need to be able to give us a 12 month commitment (from the time you are matched to a family, child or young person) of about 2-4 hours weekly, fortnightly or sometimes each month, be reliable, and have good communication skills.

You should expect to support the goals identified by the person and/or family that will be outlined in their NDIS plan. You should also expect some travel – up to 30 minutes if you are driving, or an hour by public transport. Having your own means of transport is a definite advantage. A reliance on public transport could limit the volunteering opportunities offered to you. 

Health and safety, including child safety, are important parts of everything we do. Once a prospective match has been identified, you’ll undergo an assessment, which involves a police check, ‘working with children check' and a DWES (Disability Worker Exclusion Scheme) check, as well as character references, a health assessment, and a-one-on-one interview.

Once you have completed the e-learning course (that’s the next step!) you will complete a simple form and a Regional Coordinator will make contact with you. This gives you an opportunity to ask any further questions and for the Coordinator to obtain some more information about yourself and pass on any updated information related to becoming a volunteer. 

Volunteering can be a rewarding experience. We look forward to working with you should you choose to proceed. 

Support from us

Once you are an accredited volunteer with us we’ll provide you with ongoing support like additional information and training. Your regional coordinator will work closely with both you and the family and/or young person you are matched to.

Matches are reviewed regularly, and you’ll be given support at all stages, particularly at the beginning of your match.

You might become ‘instant friends’, but it may take 12-months or so for your relationship to really blossom.

Once it does, it can last a lifetime!

What's it like?

CLICK play for some volunteer's thoughts on their experiences.

Summary

Extended Families supports a diverse range of families, young people and children and is seeking the same in our volunteers. No matter who you are or where you are from, we would love to hear from you!

By volunteering, you’ll not only be supporting a family, child or young person with a disability learn social skills, build confidence  and participate in community activities, you’ll be helping to create positive change.

Keen to help out? Still have lots of questions?

Great! Click slide 2 below for the last slide and some more information.

Introduction complete

The next step is to complete a special online learning information course that will go into more detail about us, volunteering, the children and families, and the process to get you there.

So let’s get started!

CLICK here to complete a simple form and we will enrol you in the course and send you the link and log-in via email.

It’s that easy!

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Living with a disability can be difficult. We support people aged 0-30 and their families in Melbourne and the Mornington Peninsula to build friendships and connect with their community.

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Suite 1, 95 Bell Street
P.O.Box 275
Coburg Victoria 3058