Frequently asked questions about volunteering

What jobs do volunteers perform at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin?
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 or help staff in daily tasks to improve the healing environment. Some volunteers work in non-patient care areas or behind the scenes doing clerical work, supporting special projects or making deliveries. Others help families in the Family Resource Center or in the Gift Shop. All volunteers spread joy.

Do you schedule group volunteer opportunities?
Infection control policies and procedures limit our ability to offer group volunteer opportunities.

Do you have a baby-rocking program?
No. 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, listen to parents’ 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 service hours or just meet my school’s requirements?
Children’s Hospital makes every effort to ensure patients and families have a safe environment for healing. The volunteer application process does not lend itself easily to other organization’s 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 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.

Volunteer process and application

How do I get started?
Print out and complete the volunteer application, including the reference form.

Who should fill out my reference form?
The reference form should be completed by a professional contact, such as a coach, teacher, supervisor/manager or mentor. It cannot be completed by friends or family members. Once the application is completed, mail it to the address on the application.

What are the age requirements for volunteers?
Volunteers must be at least age 16 years and have a signed Parental Consent Form in order to volunteer at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin. Parents are not able to bring children under age 16 to volunteer.

What is the time commitment to be a volunteer?
Each volunteer is required to work at least two hours per week for six consecutive months. If they choose, volunteers are able to dedicate more time to the hospital.

Can I volunteer more than once a week?Absolutely! All volunteers start with one placement area. After a successful three-month trial period, Volunteer Services will help volunteers who wish to pursue additional placements.

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 to 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 documentation

Are certain tests or immunizations required to volunteer?
Yes. We require a TB test and immunizations for measles, mumps, rubella and chicken pox (varicella).

Where do I get a TB test?
If you have received a TB test within the last 12 months, please provide documentation to Volunteer Services. If you have not received a TB test within the last 12 months, your first TB test will be administered by a Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin Employee Health and Wellness nurse 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. Records may not be available for individuals born before 1980. A measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) and chicken pox titer will need to be performed before volunteering. In this case, individuals may submit an application without medical documentation and options will be discussed during the interview process. These tests are quite expensive, so Volunteer Services asks that every attempt be made by the applicant to obtain records.

I want to do a toy drive. What types of toys or games can I donate?
Visit our toy donation guidelines to learn more.