Volunteers

Volunteer

Support a Child with Your Time and Talents

 
 

Volunteer today and improve the life of a young child!

Whether you help with fundraising, event planning or sharing your time with children and families, you can make a difference!

Looking for general volunteer opportunities? Complete our easy online interest form!

Volunteer Orientation

Join us for a 30-minute volunteer orientation to learn more about how you can help Arizona's largest nonprofit dedicated to early childhood development strengthen the foundation children need for a great start in life! This volunteer orientation is not required to volunteer at Southwest Human Development or special events, but is a great opportunity to learn more about the various volunteer opportunities to find the best fit for you.

Click here for more information

Upcoming Events

Volunteers are a key part of special events that support the programs and services of Southwest Human Development! Here is a list of upcoming events that we are currently seeking volunteers to support.

  • Saturday, April 26 - Festival of Tales
    Festival of Tales is a fun day of reading, literacy and cultural activities for children and families that includes storytelling, arts and crafts, games, face painting, live music, food trucks and much more! Volunteer opportunities include book distribution, children's activity coordination, parking attendant, and more! Email volunteer@swhd.org to learn more.
      
  • Saturday, May 2 - Walk With Me
    Walk With Me is a 1.25-mile family fun walk and Humana Vitality Derby 5K. Our 7th annual Walk With Me event has fun activities for adults and kids of all ages, music, food, a community resource expo, and an official After Party at Distrito! Volunteer opportunities include setup/clean up, children's activity coordination, route direction/cheerleading, water/snack station, and more! Sign up to volunteer!
     
  • Saturday, May 16 - Quilts for Kiddos
    Southwest Human Development will be partnering with Bernina Connection to create beautiful quilts for foster children in our Kinship Care & Adoption program. If you are an avid quilt maker or sewer, a beginner of the trade, or just want to learn, come and join us! Email volunteer@swhd.org to learn more.

Ongoing Opportunities

Here is a list of current volunteer opportunities available, but we're always happy to customize a volunteer opportunity for you or your group! Be sure to check back often, as volunteer opportunities change throughout the year.

Agency Advocate - Agency advocates will spread the word about Southwest Human Development’s mission and services. Advocates support the community outreach department by representing the agency and engaging parents and children at community events throughout Maricopa County.

Child Care Provider - Child care providers will support the families who are in the process of becoming foster care licensed. Child care providers will provide supervision and activities for the children of caregivers attending evening foster care training sessions.

Lifebook Creator - Lifebook creators will support families who are providing homes for children who have been removed from their parents due to abuse or neglect. A Lifebook documents the child’s history, birth through their experience in the foster care system and lifebook creators would spend time with the child and the family in their home to help build and create these books.

Mentor - Mentors will support families who are providing homes for children who have been removed from their parents due to abuse or neglect. The mentor invests his/her time to get to know the child by talking and doing activities together. Meetings with the youth would take place at the family’s home or a community location.

Raising A Reader Classroom Aide - Raising A Reader classroom aides will support the work of Southwest Human Development's Raising A Reader by educating families about the importance of early literacy during Raising A Reader workshops.

Seeker - Seekers will reach out to businesses to request specific in-kind donations of goods that are needed by the families we serve.

Tutor - Tutors will support families who are providing homes for children who have been removed from their parents due to abuse or neglect. These children are in need of many types of instruction, including, but not limited to, tutor, sports coach, or music teacher. Instruction would take place at the family’s home or a community location.

Video Editor - Video editors support Southwest Human Development by completing video projects (typically 30 seconds to 2 minutes in length) that create awareness of the agency's programs and services, and other special projects.

Volunteer Application

Based on the volunteer position you are interested in, please complete one of the following volunteer applications:

Basic Volunteer Application Packet
Volunteers who will not work directly with children in their volunteering role/position must complete the Basic Volunteer Application Packet.

Extended Volunteer Application Packet
Volunteers who will work directly with children in their volunteering role/position must complete the Extended Volunteer Application Packet.

Please email your completed volunteer application to volunteer@swhd.org, or mail it to:

          Southwest Human Development
          Attn: Volunteer/Development
          2850 N. 24th Street
          Phoenix, AZ 85008

For questions or to receive additional information about volunteer opportunities, please contact Annette Sutfin at (602) 633-8416 or volunteer@swhd.org.

Volunteer Descriptions


AGENCY ADVOCATE


Agency Advocates will spread the word about Southwest Human Development’s mission and services. Advocates support the community outreach department by representing the agency and engaging parents and children at community events throughout Maricopa County.

RESPONSIBILITIES:
Help set up Southwest Human Development’s table display at community events. Greet visitors to the table and talk to them about Southwest Human Development programs that are relevant to their family or community. Using materials provided by the community development specialist, the agency advocate will organize children’s crafts and games at community events.

QUALIFICATIONS:
Love being with people! Knowledge of or desire to learn more about Southwest Human Development’s programs dedicated to early childhood development. A little creativity is a plus since volunteers will need to help young children with simple craft projects or games while their parents receive information about programs for their children. Some previous experience working with young children.

TIME COMMITMENT:
Volunteers will commit to shifts of at least two hours on the day of the event. Events can be held weekdays, evenings, and weekends.

WORK ENVIRONMENT:
Varies. Office environment as well as public places such as schools, libraries, parks, and conference centers.

PHYSICAL DEMANDS:
Sitting, standing, bending, and light lifting.

Back to top


CHILD CARE PROVIDER


Child Care Providers will support the families who are in the process of becoming foster care licensed. PS-MAPP is the state-mandated 30 hour foster parent training curriculum. Often times, caregivers need assistance with child care during the 10 three-hour evening sessions. The child care provider will provide supervision and activities for the children of caregivers going through PS-MAPP.

RESPONSIBILITIES:
Enjoy working with children. Supervise children at all times. Create activities that are age-appropriate. Assist with set-up and take-down of childcare area. Establish boundaries and safety plan. Request parent assistance when needed. Communicate concerns to parent and/or PS-MAPP trainer. Attend all 10 evening sessions. Tidy room after childcare is complete.

QUALIFICATIONS:
All volunteers must complete the volunteer process-orientation, application, in-person interview and training. Must be at least 21 years old. Completion of a criminal self disclosure. Completion of Department of Child Safety background check through the DES Direct Care Position form. Possession of a fingerprint clearance card. Ability to make arrangements (i.e. travel) to be at Southwest Human Development office. Two personal references are required.  Please provide an email address for your references.  Family members cannot be used as references. Experience with children

TIME COMMITMENT:
One PS-MAPP class is typically five weeks long, with two three-hour sessions (Mondays and Wednesdays from 6-9 p.m.) per week. Child care providers are asked to commit to providing care at all 10 sessions. Schedules will be provided in advance.

PHYSICAL DEMANDS:
Ability to lift 35 – 50 pounds. Ability to stoop, bend, and squat to child’s eye level for appropriate amounts of time. Ability to sit for periods of time on the floor with children. Ability to get up and down from floor without assistance. Ability to run after a child, if necessary. Ability to climb flights of stairs. Ability to play with children, skip, run, and hop.

SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS:
If you are unable to attend a scheduled session, please notify the PS-MAPP trainer as soon as possible. If you have child-friendly movies or activities you’d like to bring, please have materials approved prior to utilization in childcare. You are not expected to toilet children. Parents will be asked leave classroom to care for any special needs the child may have.

Back to top


LIFEBOOK CREATOR

Lifebook Creators will support and assist families providing homes for relatives’ children who have been removed from their parents due to abuse or neglect.  A Lifebook documents the child’s history, birth through their experience in the foster care system. A Lifebook encourages a child to retain connections to important people or events in their lives and may assist the child in reconciling their past experiences with their current lives.  A Lifebook Creator would spend much time with the child and the child’s family in their home, as well as in the community researching significant others, homes, schools, etc.

RESPONSIBILITIES:
We are looking for individuals with a willing heart and good people skills; ability to work independently; a heart for children of all ages and those who care for them. Enjoy working with young people and their families in a collaborative manner. Willing to provide a commitment to a consistent time and number of hours each month to work on the Lifebook with the youth until the book is complete. Utilize scrapbooking skills to put the book together in a creative and personal manner. Research the child’s history and any significant past events/people through phone, internet, in-person interviews, etc. Photography (pictures of important places and/or people). Maintain contact and schedule appointments with the youth and family. Maintain contact and meet with Family Support Specialist and Kinship Manager. Track hours spent with youth and summarize contact with youth/family. Complete and have family sign communication log.

QUALIFICATIONS:
All volunteers must complete the volunteer process-orientation, application, in-person interview and training. Must be at least 21 years old. Completion of a criminal self disclosure. Completion of Department of Child Safety background check through the DES Direct Care Position form. Possession of a fingerprint clearance card. Ability to make arrangements (i.e. travel) to meet with youth at home or community destination. Two personal references are required.  Please provide an email address for your references.  Family members cannot be used as references. Ability to research on the internet and take pictures. A talent in scrapbooking, crafts, and/or artistic creativity.

TIME COMMITMENT:
The volunteer will be given an opportunity to express their hour(s) of preference when they are selected for an assignment. Lifebook Creators who commit to working with a foster youth through SWHD are required to meet with the child anywhere from weekly to monthly until the Lifebook is completed (approximately 3 months). We request the instructor meet with the child for at least one hour during each visit.

PHYSICAL DEMANDS:
Strength and mobility demands will vary depending on the volunteer opportunity, but may include the following: Ability to lift 35 - 50 pounds. Ability to stoop, bend, and squat to child’s eye level for appropriate amounts of time. Ability to sit for periods of time on the floor with children. Ability to get up and down from floor without assistance. Ability to run after a child, if necessary. Ability to climb flights of stairs. Ability to play with children, skip, run, and hop.

SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS:
If you are unable to meet with the youth/family, please contact the family immediately and notify the family support specialist afterward. There is absolutely no transportation of any children who are wards of the court. Lifebook Creators will not meet with the youth alone; visits must be supervised by the caregiver. There is no mileage reimbursement.

Back to top


MENTOR

Mentors will support and assist families providing homes for relatives’ children who have been removed from their parents due to abuse or neglect.  One of our program goals is to ensure these children have people in their lives that care.  This goal depends greatly on volunteers who want to make a difference in someone’s life.  A mentor is a “special friend” to one of our youth in foster care.  The mentor invests his/her time to get to know the child by talking and doing activities together.  Meetings with the youth would take place at the family’s home or a community destination.

RESPONSIBILITIES:
We are looking for individuals with a willing heart and good people skills; ability to work independently; a heart for children of all ages and those who care for them. Enjoy spending time with a young person. Willing to provide a long-term commitment to a consistent time and number of hours each month. Set up activities and/or discussion topics to share with the child. Maintain contact and schedule appointments with the youth and family. Maintain contact and meet with Family Support Specialist and Kinship Manager. Track hours spent with youth and summarize contact with youth/family. Complete and have family sign communication log.

QUALIFICATIONS:
All volunteers must complete the volunteer process-orientation, application, in-person interview and training. Must be at least 21 years old. Completion of a criminal self disclosure. Completion of Department of Child Safety background check through the DES Direct Care Position form. Possession of a fingerprint clearance card. Ability to make arrangements (i.e. travel) to meet with youth at home or community destination. Two personal references are required.  Please provide an email address for your references.  Family members cannot be used as references. Experience with children.

TIME COMMITMENT:
The volunteer will be given an opportunity to express their hour(s) of preference when they are selected for an assignment. Mentors who commit to working with a foster youth through SWHD are required to meet with the child anywhere from weekly to monthly for six months. We request the mentor meet with the child for at least one hour during each visit.

PHYSICAL DEMANDS:
Strength and mobility demands will vary depending on the volunteer opportunity, but may include the following: Ability to lift 35 - 50 pounds. Ability to stoop, bend, and squat to child’s eye level for appropriate amounts of time. Ability to sit for periods of time on the floor with children. Ability to get up and down from floor without assistance. Ability to run after a child, if necessary. Ability to climb flights of stairs. Ability to play with children, skip, run, and hop.

SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS:
If you are unable to meet with the mentee, please contact the family immediately and notify the family support specialist afterward. There is absolutely no transportation of any children who are wards of the court. Mentors will not meet with the mentees alone; visits must be supervised by the caregiver. There is no financial compensation in regard to activities. There is no mileage reimbursement.

Back to top


RAISING A READER CLASSROOM AIDE


Raising A Reader Classroom Aides will support the work of Raising A Reader in educating families about the importance of early literacy.

RESPONSIBILITIES:
Participating with families attending the Raising a Reader session. Reading to a group of 10-20 children and their parents. Helping to lead the group in songs and games (singing talent not required!). Assisting with craft projects (e.g. passing out crayons, helping children use glue or scissors, etc.).

QUALIFICATIONS:
A passion for helping children learn to love books! Some experience working with children under age five and/or their parents. Enjoys reading out loud, doing crafts, and singing with children.

TIME COMMITMENT:
We request that the volunteer make an eight week commitment to this program. Sessions are held once per week for two hours each week. Volunteers should arrive 15 minutes before the start of the session to help staff set up and greet families as they arrive.

WORK ENVIRONMENT:
Varies. Raising a Reader sessions are held at schools, community centers, and apartment complexes.

PHYSICAL DEMANDS:
Ability to sit on the floor for up to 30 minutes. Clapping, hopping, stretching, lifting, bending, and stooping might be required.

Back to top


SEEKER

Seekers will reach out to businesses to request in-kind donations of goods that are needed by the families we serve.

RESPONSIBILITIES:
Establish relationships with local merchants and store managers to request products that will allow us to better serve the children that we work with.   In some cases, sending mailed letter requests to stores asking for gift cards and then picking them up.  Families that we serve need everything from basic necessities like socks, t-shirts and underwear as well as diapers and fire extinguishers for safety.  Some families might need batteries for smoke detectors or toiletries.

QUALIFICATIONS:
Fearless! If you’re willing to ask, you might receive, but not always!  We need someone who is personable, willing to ask for things and quickly explain the need.  A great storyteller can go a long way!   Knowledge of or desire to learn more about Southwest Human Development’s programs dedicated to early childhood development. It will be necessary to coordinate with the Development team to understand where relationships already exist and where they are being build.

TIME COMMITMENT:
Volunteers will commit to as little as one day per week or as much time as you’re willing to commit. 

WORK ENVIRONMENT:
Varies. Some in the office (letter writing) and much out “in the field.” Having own transportation is a must.

PHYSICAL DEMANDS:
Sitting, standing, bending, and light lifting.

Back to top


TUTOR


Tutors will support and assist families providing homes for relatives’ children who have been removed from their parents due to abuse or neglect. These children are in need of many types of instruction, including but not limited to tutor, sports coach, or music teacher. Instruction would take place at the family’s home or a community destination.

RESPONSIBILITIES:
We are looking for individuals with a willing heart and good people skills; ability to work independently; a heart for children of all ages and those who care for them. Enjoy working with young people. Willing to provide a long-term commitment to a consistent time and number of hours each month for a specific position, i.e. tutor, music teacher, sports coach. Desire to share a talent, expertise, or skill set with a child. Maintain contact and schedule appointments with the youth and family. Maintain contact and meet with Family Support Specialist and Kinship Manager. Track hours spent with youth and summarize contact with youth/family. Complete and have family sign communication log.

QUALIFICATIONS:
All volunteers must complete the volunteer process-orientation, application, in-person interview and training. Must be at least 21 years old. Completion of a criminal self disclosure. Completion of Department of Child Safety background check through the DES Direct Care Position form. Possession of a fingerprint clearance card. Ability to make arrangements (i.e. travel) to meet with youth at home or community destination. Two personal references are required.  Please provide an email address for your references.  Family members cannot be used as references. Personal knowledge and/or professional experience in a specific type of skill (math, reading, sports, music).

TIME COMMITMENT:
The volunteer will be given an opportunity to express their hour(s) of preference when they are selected for an assignment. Instructors who commit to working with a foster youth through SWHD are required to meet with the child anywhere from weekly to monthly for six months. We request the instructor meet with the child for at least one hour during each visit.

PHYSICAL DEMANDS:
Strength and mobility demands will vary depending on the volunteer opportunity, but may include the following: Ability to lift 35 - 50 pounds. Ability to stoop, bend, and squat to child’s eye level for appropriate amounts of time. Ability to sit for periods of time on the floor with children. Ability to get up and down from floor without assistance. Ability to run after a child, if necessary. Ability to climb flights of stairs. Ability to play with children, skip, run, and hop.

SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS:
If you are unable to meet with the youth, please contact the family immediately and notify the family support specialist afterward. There is absolutely no transportation of any children who are wards of the court. Instructors will not meet with the youth alone; visits must be supervised by the caregiver. There is no financial compensation with any fees surrounding instruction. There is no mileage reimbursement.

Back to top


VIDEO EDITOR

Video Editors support Southwest Human Development and the Development Department by completing video projects (typically 30 seconds – 2 minutes in length). Necessary to use professional judgment and work in partnership with Development team.

RESPONSIBILITIES:
Create a compelling story, complete with storyboard approved by Development Department. Ability to create, shoot and edit video. Oversee and manage audio components (i.e. music, voice over, etc.). Recommend additional video components needed to create a compelling video. Provide written weekly update during the length of the project.

QUALIFICATIONS:
Commitment to the mission of Southwest Human Development. Experience scripting short films. Proficient with professional-level video editing software (Adobe Premiere Pro, etc.). Arizona Driver's License required.

TIMEFRAME:
Varied. Approximately 4–6 weeks depending on project.

WORK ENVIRONMENT:
Indoor/outdoor for video shoots. Editing to take place at Southwest Human Development or remotely.

PHYSICAL DEMANDS:
Ability to sit or stand for extended periods of time. Ability to carry 25-50 lbs. of equipment.

Back to top


For questions or to receive more information about volunteer opportunities,
please contact Annette Sutfin at (602) 633-8416 or volunteer@swhd.org.