You will be part of our ambitious and exciting new Peer Support Service, reaching more kinship carers across England by developing and delivering local networks of support, including new peer support groups, online chat, and access to our microsite for information, resources, and an e-learning platform.
We know that sometimes kinship carers just want to be able to reach out to another kinship carer and tell their story to someone who understands.
Supporting other kinship carers is a powerful thing and we know it’s a big commitment, but it also needs to be right for you.
We’re looking for volunteers who can be on the end of an online chat and can respond with compassion.
If you’re a kinship carer with great listening skills, this is a brilliant way to volunteer.
Location and requirements:
- You will be home-based, anywhere in England and Wales
- You will also need access to a computer or a tablet or smart phone (Android or IOS) with the internet, email, and a confidential space from which to work
Minimum age: 18
- We’ll need you to give a regular commitment of on average of 10 hours a month, ideally, including some evenings and possibly weekends as the initial pilot of Online Chat sessions may be run at set times between Monday-Sunday, depending on volunteer availability
- We ask for a minimum commitment of one year whilst recognising that people’s circumstances may change
What will you be doing?
As an online chat volunteer, your role is to:
- Supporting other kinship carers one-to-one through our online chat facility
- Respond to kinship carers and offer emotional and moral support through supportive listening and empathy through the ‘written word’
- Reflect on, and share your own experiences where appropriate, and if it is helpful to the kinship carer
- Signpost kinship carers to our advice service, our microsite, or other information and support services in their local area, including our new peer support groups
- Complete all records required after each contact to help measure impact and help us ensure we’re supporting kinship carers with the right type of service
- Contribute to the development of the service by involvement with review and monitoring (this could be as part of a focus group or one to one feedback)
- Provide feedback for case studies
- Work within the boundaries of the charity’s confidentiality, safeguarding and data protection policies
Is this role right for you?
We need current or former kinship carers who are dedicated and want to proactively make a difference to the lives of other kinship carers. In particular, we are looking for people with the following skills and qualities:
- An empathetic and compassionate manner
- Able to build a rapport with people and put them at ease
- Warmth, understanding, sensitivity
- Ability to be supportive and non-judgemental
- An ability to sensitively reflect on and share your experiences in a way that supports and empowers other kinship carers, without giving advice
- Great listening skills and good at expressing yourself in the written word
- Good at responding quickly – online chat is instant so you need to have confident typing skills (on desktop, mobile or tablet)
- Confident in basic IT skills – email, internet
- An understanding of the need for confidentiality
What will you gain from the role?
- We’ll train you to be able to use the online chat to equip you with the skills and confidence to carry out the role
- Ongoing support and supervision from our Volunteer Manager
- Options to become part of Volunteer forums, such as WhatsApp and Facebook groups
- A sense that you’re able to help someone and make them feel less lonely and isolated
- Reimbursement for reasonable out of pocket expenses (where appropriate, on production of a receipt)
- Membership to our Kinship Community network with opportunities to attend events and special kinship care events
What are the benefits of volunteering with us?
- The chance to be involved in a new service, right from the start
- The opportunity to volunteer from home at a time that suits you
- The opportunity to develop new skills and knowledge
- The satisfaction of knowing that you are making a difference to the lives of kinship carers
- The chance to feel connected with and build new relationships with other kinship carers and volunteers
- Opportunities to become involved in further developing our service
Before you start:
- Kinship will ask you to complete an application form and provide the names of two people who have known you for at least two years who can offer a reference for you. This could be a colleague or friend, but not a family member
- To support safe recruitment, we ask all our peer support volunteers to undertake an Enhanced DBS check
- You will be required to attend and complete the induction training sessions
- You’ll have conversations with our Volunteer Manager throughout the process to make sure the volunteer role is a good fit for you and for the charity
If you have any questions or would like further information about the role, please contact the Volunteer Manager by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are interested in becoming a Someone Like Me or Online Chat volunteer please complete our Expression of Interest form.