The Bucks County Children and Youth Social Services Agency provides child protection services to children and families.
Our agency is operated by the county in order to comply with state laws regarding the protection of children. Our main responsibility is to respond to all referrals of child abuse, neglect, and exploitation. Most of our calls come from schools, medical professionals, and families. However, anyone can call. The philosophy of our volunteer program is to assist the social work staff to keep families together. We work to prevent the placement of children and facilitate the return of foster children to their parents.
Our volunteers play an integral part in keeping the family unit together. Volunteers work with children and families who have become our clients after the case is opened for service. Our primary goal is to promote family unity and self-esteem among our clients. Volunteers receive training to perform the following roles:
- Mentors: Volunteers work with youth on a one-to-one relationship to provide recreational activities, life skills education, and drug use prevention education. By modeling, the volunteers teach young children positive life skills and steer them away from destructive behaviors.
- Parent Educators: Support socially isolated parents and provide basic information concerning childcare needs.
- Tutors: Work with clients of all ages toward a specific educational goal. Agency staff will coordinate educational objectives with classroom instructors.
Any adult who can communicate with others, understand and accept those from different backgrounds and lifestyles, and maintain confidentially, if eligible. Available transportation is necessary.
Training & Time Required
Volunteers are required to attend 12 hours of training to provide the knowledge and background necessary to work with clients. They must also attend at least three of the monthly volunteer meetings where they will have the opportunity to exchange ideas with other volunteers. We ask for a time commitment of two to three hours per week for a minimum of six months to ensure our client's consistency and to gain their confidence.
Volunteers can accept or refuse any assignment. We try to match volunteers both geographically and my interests. We do not assign volunteers to cases where there is excessive violence or drug/alcohol abuse, or severe mental health problems.
We provide an on-going support system for our volunteers by having monthly meetings, which allow volunteers to share ideas and cases. The social worker assigned to the case is available at all times for consultation and support. The volunteer coordinator and supervisor provide added supervision and consultation.
Since 1981, we have been matching volunteers with families in need. Our volunteers have brought a better quality of life to children.