Frequently asked questions about volunteering
Volunteer at Children's HospitalWhat do volunteers at Children's Hospital do?
Volunteers complement patient care by providing parents time off the floor to take care of themselves, play with the children, help out at special events and/or assist staff in daily tasks to better the healing environment. Some volunteers work in nonpatient-care areas or behind the scenes doing clerical work, special projects or deliveries. Others dedicate their time to helping the families in the Family Resource Center or in the Gift Shop. All volunteers spread joy with their great smiles!Do you have a baby rocking program?
We do not have a specific baby rocking program. However, some of our placements may include holding infants under the direction of a nurse. Volunteers also may be asked to stock linens or supplies, greet parents and listen to their needs or guide parents to a unit.I need to fulfill community service hours for my school. Do I have to commit to Children's Hospital's required number of service hours or just meet my school's requirements?
Children's Hospital makes every effort to assure patients and families have a safe environment for healing. The volunteer application process does not easily lend itself to service hour requirements.
I have been ordered by the courts to perform community service. Do you offer opportunities for court-mandated service?
Court-mandated placements are not accepted.
Can I come in for one day to volunteer during the holidays?
Infection Control policies and procedures limit one-time volunteer opportunities. Please see the application page for more information.
Can I bring my dog in to see patients?Please visit the volunteer opportunities page for more information about the process for the animal-assisted activities program. Animal-assisted therapy certification is required to pursue this option.
Application and process
How do I get started?
Print out and complete the Volunteer Application including the Reference Form. The Reference Form should be completed by a professional contact such as: a coach, teacher, supervisor/manager, mentor etc. It should not be completed by a friend or family member. Once the application is completed, mail it to the address on the application.How old do I need to be to volunteer?
Volunteers must be at least 16 years old and have the Parental Consent Form signed in order to volunteer at Children's Hospital of Wisconsin. Parents are not able to bring their children under the age of 16 to volunteer. All volunteers must be 16 years of age.
What is the time commitment to be a volunteer?
Each volunteer is required to volunteer for a minimum shift of 2 hours per week for a time period of 6 consecutive months. Volunteers are able to dedicate more time to the hospital, if they choose.
Can I volunteer more than once a week?
Absolutely! All volunteers start with one placement area. After a successful 3-month trial period, if a volunteer wishes to pursue additional placements, the volunteer services team will assist him/her in the process.
Who should fill out my reference form?
A professional reference including, but not limited to: a coach, teacher, supervisor/manager or mentor. It should not be completed by a friend, family friend, neighbor or family member.
How long does the application process take?
The application process is fairly lengthy and depends on when the application is received in relation to orientation. This process can be up to two or three months.
When will I hear from Volunteer Services about my application?
Individuals submitting completed applications will receive an email confirmation outlining the next steps. Incomplete applications are returned to the applicants without further process.
Immunizations and Medical DocumentationWhere do I get a TB?
If you have already received a TB test in the last 12 months, please provide documentation to the Volunteer Services Department. If you have not, your first TB test will be administered by Children's Hospital of Wisconsin Employee Health and Wellness Nurse on the day of your orientation. A second TB test is required and must be performed and read at Children's Hospital.
How do I prove that I'm immune to measles, mumps, rubella and chicken pox (Varicella)?
Immunization records can be viewed on the Wisconsin Immunization Registry website or from your physician. Individuals born prior to 1980 may not have these records available. A MMR and chicken pox titer will need to be performed prior to volunteering. In this case, individuals may submit an application without medical documentation, and options will be discussed during the interview process. As these tests are quite expensive to perform – the Volunteer Services Department asks that every attempt be made by the applicant to obtain records.
Group Volunteering and Donations
I want to do a toy drive. What types of toys or games can I donate?
For donation guidelines, please visit: www.chw.org/toys.
I have a group that wants to come in for one day and volunteer. How can we schedule this?
Infection Control policies and procedures limit our ability to offer group volunteer opportunities.