Virtual Parent Befriender
Volunteering with our Digital Parent Support Service can make a huge difference to the lives of families. Being a parent or carer to a child or young person can often be difficult without emotional support and guidance there to help. Many parents feel confused by what information is available or struggle to access services close to home.
Our new Digital Parent Support Service tackles these issues in a new and innovative way by using a network of volunteers from across the country to support parents through telephone calls, email and text message. Our volunteer virtual befrienders provide one to one weekly support to parents and carers enabling them to build greater resilience to the challenges of parenthood.
What our volunteers do
We need volunteers who have gained skills through their own personal or working life experiences and would particularly welcome applicants aged over 50. Volunteers are asked to commit to supporting parents and carers for a minimum of 2 hours per week through Family Action’s virtual parent support service.
As a volunteer virtual befriender you will:
- Use your skills and life experience to help families.
- Build trusting and open relationships with parents and carers, through regular telephone, text message and email communication.
- Virtually support parents to manage issues such a child behaviour and wider family relationships more effectively.
- Know when to provide advice and guidance and when it’s better to just listen.
- Help parents to cope with challenges that often cause family breakdowns or lead to crises.
- Support parents to recognise their own emotional and physical health needs.
- Direct parents and carers to information about services that can enable their families to live well.
- Be available for a minimum of 2 hours per week to carry out befriending appointments by telephone, email or text message.
Training and support
We are committed to ensuring all our volunteer virtual befrienders are provided with the support, supervision and training they need to feel confident communicating with parents.
As part of your on-going training and support you will:
- Attend training to build your skills and knowledge before you start supporting parents virtually. This includes dealing with challenging and emotional calls, safeguarding and effective communication.
- Have the chance to learn and develop new skills.
- Receive support whenever you need it from dedicated volunteer coordinators.
- Engage in regular telephone group supervision sessions.