Child & Adolescent Psychiatry Volunteer Event Guidelines

Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Volunteer Event Guideline:

It is our pleasure to welcome you as our guests and we are very grateful to have you join us.   We would also like to give you some guidelines to make sure you enjoy your volunteer experience!

Here are some tips to make this a fun, successful and stress free event:

  1. It is important that you be on time. This means arriving 5-10 minutes early if possible. If you arrive late, please phone the point person ahead of time so arrangements can be made to meet you and bring you to the designated area.
  2. The collective safety of the children, staff, and volunteers is the most important aspect of our time together. In the unlikely event that any serious acting out or conflict occurs, please leave the room immediately and walk to the nurses’ station. Do not offer any help or assistance during a crisis and follow all instructions staff give.
  3. Dress appropriately for the planned activity.
    • No heavy, large or loose jewelry that could potentially get lost in a patient area or could cause injury.
    • No tight clothes and/or too much skin exposure (ie. short skirts/tank tops). Remember that you are coming into a restricted area with young and physically developing children. Please refrain from wearing anything that might be perceived as “distracting.”
  4. Do not share and/or exchange any personal information with the kids you meet. That includes social media names, phone numbers, where you live, where they live, why they are in the hospital, etc. If a child shares anything that seems uncomfortable or alarming, please share with the appointed group leader so that the information can be handled by the staff on the unit in a timely manner.
  5. Do not give to, or accept anything from a child.
  6. Do not make any pacts, promises or plans for the future.
  7. If you feel uncomfortable at any time simply talk to a staff member immediately.

Considerations and Suggested Items to bring for snacks:

  • Small Individual packets of snacks, such as chips, cookies
  • Individual yogurt tubes
  • Avoid nut products
  • Avoid any packaging that has sharp edges (such as yogurt cups)
  • We have a maximum census of 15 kids. While we don’t always have 15 kids in an activity, when bringing snacks it is best to plan for our maximum so that all kids can enjoy your generosity.
  • No plastic bags are allowed on the unit. If you have to stop for the snacks on your way to Bellevue and have no other options than brining plastic bags, please give them to your Children of Bellevue point person upon arrival and they will dispose of them.

Basic Information About the Units You are Visiting:

  • The Child & Adolescent Inpatient Units are locked units. When we arrive on the unit you will be asked to lock all of your personal belongings, including cell phones, in a safe location.  (Note that you will have to leave your cell phone unless you’ve expressed a need to have it on you, i.e. a pressing family issue or other similar reason.)
  • The children are admitted for three main reasons: danger to themselves, danger to others, or an inability to cope in their day-to-day lives. That being said, only kids who are equipped to handle these volunteer nights will attend them, and the staff is incredibly well trained and acquainted with their needs.

Your presence is a highlight in their experience in the hospital. It is very much appreciated by all staff and especially the kids because it helps them to feel appreciated.  They truly enjoy having positive social exchanges with you.

Thank you for taking time out of your day to join us.  Please email Patrick Tekula to sign up, it will guarantee your place at the volunteer night of your choice. You will be sent these guidelines again as a form you must sign, date, and bring in with you the night of the event.

Please also note that we appreciate a minimum of 24 hours notice if you need to cancel in order to fill your slot.