We have a very successful youth volunteer program. Approximately 75 teenagers ages 12-16 years old volunteer at our home during the summer. (275 residents) The program is run by a coordinator that works full time only during the summer. Usually we employ a college student, but our last one graduated & is now teaching, so she still can work with us in the summer! The program has evolved over a period of several years - learning years for us.
The Youth Corps Coordinator is responsible for recruitment, training, assignments, discipline - and fills in in the activity department as needed.
We do have a set of rules we expect the volunteers to adhere to. Discipline can and may include expulsion from the program.
All volunteers regardless of age must complete a mandatory training with the coordinator and then further training "on the job". They are also required to follow facility policies (such as break times, immunizations, cell phones, etc)
Yes, we have had several whose mothers made them come. (We can tell almost immediately who those kids are)
At one time employee parents treated us as babysitters - we have been firm with our policies and that has faded.
Currently, I have 3 part time employees - all 3 were former youth corps volunteers. Several others have gone on to nursing careers within the home. It's a great way for them to get their foot in the door and a great way for us to screen potential employees.
This program would not be as successful without the full time coordinator. We are very fortunate to have the support of the administration in this.