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Volunteer FAQs

  • What kinds of things do volunteers do

    Volunteers at the RCH assist in many different ways and areas, with the overarching aim of supporting children, families and staff.

    Supporting children

    Volunteers are assigned to wards to support patients, which can include assisting the Educational Play Therapy Program or supervising play activities in Specialist Clinics and Day Surgery.

    Supporting families

    Volunteers are often called upon to assist in the care of siblings of patients, or to provide support to the families of patients by offering respite care so parents can meet privately with their child's health professionals, go for a walk or take a break. Volunteers often provide invaluable support just by being a warm, friendly person with whom to have a chat. 

    Supporting Staff

    Providing way finding assistance, showing families how to use the online check-in system or providing information on the hospital facilities are some of the ways Volunteers assist staff at the Front Enquiry Desk, Emergency Department and at Specialist Clinics.

    What other volunteer opportunities are there

    If the outlined volunteer roles do not interest you here are some other ways in which you can help The Royal Children's Hospital.

    Will volunteering help me get a job at the hospital

    There is no guarantee that volunteering will assist you to get a job at the hospital and we discourage applications from candidates whose motivation is to improve their career prospects rather than aiming to improve the experience of patients, families and staff at the hospital. 

    Who can volunteer

    Prospective volunteers must:

    1. Be aged over 18
    2. Be able to commit to volunteering at least three hours each week (or each fortnight for an after-hours role)
    3. Be able to commit to volunteering for at least 12 months
    4. Have no criminal history of violence, drug offences, sex offences or crimes against children, and be willing to obtain a Police Check and Working With Children Check when requested to do so.
    5. Be able to contribute skills and experience gleaned from at least 12 months paid work, or volunteer experience in a similar role, with referees able to attest to this.

     See How to become a volunteer

    What if I don't meet the criteria

    Contact Volunteering Victoria on 9642 5266 or search Go Volunteer or Seek Volunteer for more volunteering opportunities.

    Most public hospitals within Victoria also have Volunteer Programs. Contact the hospitals in your area to find out about their opportunities.

    Your local council can also advise you of Volunteering opportunities in your area.

    Once I start what is expected of me

    Our Volunteers must commit to:

    • the RCH values
    • being punctual, reliable and to inform us of any absences
    • respect patient's and family's privacy, confidentiality and cultural differences
    • work within strict professional boundaries
    • work cooperatively with staff and act as part of a team
    • maintain standards of safety and infection control
    • wear hospital identification while on duty
    • wear appropriate clothing
    • register their arrival and departure for each shift.

    Can I choose where I work

    Volunteers are allocated roles based their availability, skills and experience and in keeping with the hospital's priorities.

    What shifts are available

    The shifts available vary depending on the role, program and hospital priorities.  

    However most roles operate within the following:

    Day volunteering

    Between 8:00am and 5:30pm                    

    After hours volunteering

    Between 4:30pm and 12:00am Weekdays
    Between 9:00am and 12:00am Weekends

    How do I apply

    You can now apply to volunteer by completing an online application.  For links to the online application, refer to the page  How to become a volunteer

    What does the application process involve

    • Review the information provided on the volunteer program you are interested to ensure you meet the selection criteria and minimum requirements.
    • Go to the How to become a volunteer page and complete the application process outlined 

    If your application is successful:

    • you will be asked to attend an interview
    • after the interview, we will conduct referee checks
    • we will then ask you to obtain a National Police Check 
    • we will then ask you to obtain a Working with Children Check (if you don't already have one)
    • we will invite you to attend our Induction Training.

    What about Corporate Volunteering

    Unfortunately we are not able to offer short-term, single day volunteering for groups.

    Can I undertake my high school community service or Duke of Edinburgh Award volunteer requirements at the RCH

    No. Due to the minimum age and time commitment required, our volunteer program is not suitable for school community service or Duke of Edinburgh requirements.

    Can I do work experience or a work placement

    Volunteering is not a substitute for work-experience or a work placement. Candidates seeking work-experience or work placements should refer to the RCH Careers page.

    I'd like to help out in the Starlight Express Room

    The Starlight Foundation is responsible for the volunteers in the Starlight Express Room. You can contact the foundation on 1300 727 827, or visit www.starlight.org.au, for details.

    Can I bring my dog to the hospital

    The Pet Therapy dog volunteers are coordinated by Lort Smith Animal Hospital, North Melbourne, with the dogs, and owners, undergoing a thorough selection process. If you are interested in becoming a pet therapy volunteer, contact Lort Smith directly on 9328 3021 or see their website at www.lortsmith.com

    I would like to raise funds for the hospital

    The RCH Foundation is responsible for our fundraising efforts. Please see the RCH Foundation's website for details on how you can help.