Volunteer Policy

Bath Child Contact Centre offers a facility where children of separated families can enjoy contact in a neutral meeting place with one or both parents, and sometimes other family members, in a safe and comfortable environment.

In order to offer this service, volunteers are needed to:
 
  • keep attendance records
  • do the refreshments
  • prepare and clear up the Centre on the day
  • ensure that the Centre is secure and safe
  • be on hand to assist the families using the Centre
  • be present for the preparation and de-briefing sessions led by the Team Leader at the beginning and end of sessions.

Recruitment

We will use appropriate means to advertise for volunteers locally that take into account the principles of our Equal Opportunities, Diversity and Recruitment & Rehabilitation of Offenders Policies. The applicant will have to complete an application form, but help can be given with this if necessary.

The applicant will take part in a comprehensive induction process and if this is successful, the two references requested will be taken up.
 

Disclosure & Barring Service Checks

A criminal records check with the Disclosure & Barring Service will be made for every volunteer before commencing work in the Contact Centre. Further checks will be made every two / three years. Please refer to Disclosure & Barring Service Policy for further information.
 

Induction and Training

There will be an induction, prepared and delivered by two appropriately experienced persons within the Contact Centre, and a training manual given.

This will include:
 
  • the role of the volunteer
  • a list of all staff members and volunteers
  • a list of Management Committee members and sub-committees
  • copies of all the Child Contact Centre policies including this Volunteer Policy and those on Child Protection, Confidentiality, Health and Safety, Equal Opportunities and Diversity, Domestic Violence, Conflict Management, Recruitment and Rehabilitation of Ex-Offenders and Disclosure of Information Policies
– essential procedures, i.e. timekeeping, rota etc
– induction training and details of ongoing training
– information about NACCC and its Values and National Standards.

There will be a probationary period of 3 months to give the Child Contact Centre and the volunteer time to discover if they are suited to each other. A review will be made at the end of the trial period.
 

Expenses

We value our volunteers and want to ensure that there are no barriers to volunteer involvement. All out-of-pocket expenses, if required, will be reimbursed, including for travel and training. In order to claim expenses, an expenses form must be completed and given to the Co-ordinator.
 

Support

The Co-ordinator, Team Leaders and other volunteers will offer support to the volunteers. There will be a briefing session at the beginning and a de-briefing at the end of each Child Contact Centre session. This is an opportunity to raise concerns around families or to discuss any problems or issues that may arise.

The Team Leaders will feed back these sessions to the Co-ordinator.

The Team Leaders and Co-ordinator will support all volunteers.

The Co-ordinator will receive support and regular supervision sessions from the Chair of the Management Committee.
 

Insurance

The Child Contact Centre has a valid Insurance Policy which volunteers are advised to read.
 

Confidentiality

The contact process requires an explicit Confidentiality Policy which all Centre workers, which includes Management Committee, volunteers and staff is obliged to observe.
 

Resolving problems

The relationship between the Child Contact Centre and its volunteer workers is entirely voluntary and does not imply any contract. However, it is important that the Child Contact Centre is able to maintain its agreed standards of service to the children, families and referrers who use it, and it is also important that volunteers should enjoy making their contribution to this service.

If a volunteer does not meet with the Child Contact Centre’s standards, the following steps will be taken:
 
  • There will be an initial meeting with the Co-ordinator who will explain the concerns.
  • If this does not resolve the concern then a meeting with the Chair of the Management Committee will be convened.
  • If his / her work still does not meet with our standards then we shall have to stop using his / her services.
If a volunteer is dissatisfied with any aspect of the work they should:
 
  • Initially explain their dissatisfaction with the Team Leader.
  • If that does not resolve the concern, then a meeting with the Co-ordinator should be convened.
  • If that does not resolve the issue then a formal meeting with the Chair of the Management Committee should follow.
  • If after this the dissatisfaction remains unresolved and we are unable to resolve the grievance, then it would be inappropriate for him / her to continue to be a volunteer.
At all times the volunteer will be freely able to state his / her case and can have a friend to accompany him / her.

This Volunteer Policy is freely accessible to all. It will be reviewed annually and updated as necessary.