Do you have a question about volunteering with Community Caregivers? We think you will find answers to your questions below:
General volunteer questions
Q. After I’ve accepted a volunteer assignment, what are my next steps?
A. As soon as possible, you should call the client, introduce yourself, and confirm arrangements for providing the service. Remember to use your first name only, and don’t give your phone number to the client. The client should be called again just prior to the service date to reconfirm the arrangements.
On the day of your assignment, don’t forget to take your Community Caregivers ID card with you and show it to the client when you arrive. If you have any questions while you’re performing the service, feel free to call our office.
Keep track of time and mileage for all the services you perform, and then report them to our office at the end of each month.
Q. Do I have any insurance coverage while I’m providing client services?
A. As a Community Caregivers volunteer, you are covered by our Volunteer Insurance Plan from the time you leave your house until you return home from an assignment. If either you or the client gets hurt, no matter how minor the injury may be, please contact our office as soon as possible to file an incident report. Should you have an auto accident, you’ll need to notify your own insurance carrier as well.
Q. How much time do volunteer assignments usually take?
A. Most services take between 1 and 2 hours. The maximum time per assignment is 3 hours. Services that will take longer than 3 hours can be shared with another volunteer.
Q. What if Community Caregivers calls me, but I can’t accept an assignment at the time I’m needed?
A. If you are unable or unavailable to perform a requested service, just let us know that you can’t help out this time and we’ll try you again at another time. Remember, we’re a “no guilt” organization.
Q. I signed up as a volunteer and attended orientation weeks ago. Why hasn’t Community Caregivers called me with an assignment yet?
A. This can happen for a variety of reasons. Perhaps the type of service for which you’ve volunteered hasn’t been requested lately, or maybe you told us that you’re available during evenings and weekends only (we don’t usually provide client services during these hours). If you’ve said that you don’t want to serve outside of your immediate area, this can affect the number of times you’re called as well.
Please feel free to contact our office about finding other ways for you to help out. We may be able to use your talents on a committee or for a fundraising event.
Q. I have friends who would like to become Community Caregivers volunteers. What should they do to get started?
A. Just have them send us an email expressing their interest and providing us with their complete contact information. We’ll send them a packet of information with further instructions.
Q. What if I’ve accepted a volunteer assignment and then become ill or otherwise unable to carry it out?
A. If you’ve already accepted an assignment and find that you are absolutely unable to carry it out, call the office at 456-2898 as soon as you become aware of the situation. The more time we have to make other arrangements, the better.
Q. I’d like to teach my children about the rewards of volunteerism. Can I bring them with me to client assignments?
A. Families may volunteer together, as long as children under 18 years of age are supervised at all times by a parent or legal guardian. All adults in the family are required to attend a volunteer orientation session, and we suggest that children over 13 attend the orientation with them.
Transportation volunteer questions
Q. What if a client wants me to take them somewhere else after I’ve already completed the original transportation assignment?
A. If a client asks you for an additional service or errand, you may politely decline. You have no obligation to go anywhere other than the pre-arranged destination(s), but you may do so if the additional service fits comfortably and conveniently into your schedule. Be sure to report the extra time and mileage, and ask the client to call our office at least 10 days in advance to arrange errands in the future.
Q. Can I get reimbursed for mileage?
A. We are unable to provide mileage reimbursement, but the miles you drive are a tax-deductible contribution to Community Caregivers. If you’d like to have a summary of your volunteer time and mileage for tax purposes, we’ll be happy to send it to you upon request.
Client relations questions
Q. If a client asks me to help them again at a later date, can I do so without going through the Community Caregivers office?
A. No. We need to record and manage all client service calls, and all volunteer activity. The client should submit a request, through our office, for the additional help. If you’d like, you can let us know ahead of time that you’re willing to fill such a request.
Q. What if a client tries to pay me or give me a gift in return for the service I’ve provided?
A. Volunteers cannot accept tips, gifts or other direct compensation. If the client offers to take you to lunch or to buy you a treat (an ice cream cone, for example), you may accept the invitation if doing so feels comfortable and fits conveniently into your schedule. Appreciative clients can make a monetary donation to the Community Caregivers organization if they want to; just drop the donation off at our office or ask the client to send it to us at 2021 Western Avenue, Suite 104, Albany, New York 12203.
Q. I have concerns about the general health and welfare of a client. What should I do?
A. If it’s not an emergency situation, but you’re concerned about the client’s general well-being, call the Community Caregivers office at 456-2898. Let us know about your concerns if you notice a change in the client’s condition, such as increased forgetfulness or reduced stamina, or if you arrive at the client’s residence and are unable to make contact. We will follow up.
Q. What if there’s a medical emergency while I’m with a client?
A. In an emergency, your main responsibility is to call 911 in a timely fashion. When this is done and help is on the way, follow up with a call to the Community Caregivers office (456-2898). For more emergency guidelines and procedures download our Emergency Procedures file (PDF) here .