Working with children effectively requires a unique set of characteristics as well as certain qualifications. This is highly important to
ensure the wellbeing of every child and the protection from unqualified or even harmful people around them.
The organizations have a list of requirements that volunteers need to join these programs and apart from the qualifications
you will need to prove “on paper”, there are some personal qualities you have to bring to the table as well.
Volunteering at a program with children simply is not for everyone. To find out if you fit the requirements, here is a list of characteristics which are good to have when deciding to volunteer with children.
Have a look and think about whether or not you fit this description. To volunteer at a program with children, you will need:
- a caring and patient nature
- good communication skills
- the ability to work as part of a team
- the capacity to think on your feet and stay calm in stressful situations
- problem-solving ability
- good organizational and time management skills
- a non-judgmental approach and respect for diversity
- a professional attitude to work
- a strong regard for health and safety
Although it’s not required for you to tick all the boxes, it’s a good guideline to take into account while considering doing voluntary work with children.
The other qualifications necessary really depend on the program you have selected and how much you will be involved. If your main tasks will be to provide afternoon activities, assisting with
cooking or helping out with homework for example, most organizations happily welcome volunteers who are excited to work with children and speak English, even if they don’t have previous work experience in this field.
A good knowledge of the English language is important to be able to communicate with other staff and volunteers. In some cases, like South America, it’s encouraged to have a
basic understanding of Spanish. It will help with getting around and make communicating with the local team members of the program, who often lack English skills, much easier.
When working with infants, there will be stricter rules but this needs to be verified in greater detail with the organization. In any case, volunteers have to agree to a criminal background
check prior to joining a project working with children and organizations very carefully select volunteers they find suited for their work. The same goes for projects working with traumatized
children or children with special needs. Volunteers with experience in childcare or who have a background in psychology, education or counseling are more than qualified to volunteer for these projects.
Volunteering with children is an excellent opportunity for anyone looking to contribute to a meaningful cause and have a soft spot for the young ones in our society. Take
a look at the endless volunteer with children projects on our platform. You’re bound to find something that sparks your interest.