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Become a Helpline Volunteer

Parents and families are under more stress than ever before with COVID-19, Shelter in Place, social inequities and racial injustices. Our Parenting Stress Helpline is even more essential and trained volunteers are the key to making sure our Helpline is there for parents when they need someone. Volunteers are invited to join the work of the Family Support Program Team. The Family Support Program includes the Parenting Stress Helpline, the Foster Parent Advice Line, Positive Parenting Classes and workshops, and Fatherhood Classes.

The Parenting Stress Helpline is the gateway to the services offered by Family Paths as well as to resources in the community. Those living in the San Francisco Bay Area interested in volunteering should consider becoming a Volunteer Parent Support Counselor. Parent Support Counselors benefit the community by providing phone counseling, case management, crisis support, and resources and referrals to all parents, including foster/adoptive parents, relative caregivers, and other service providers.

Before becoming a volunteer on the Helpline, a pre-service training is mandatory. The Fall Pre-service training is currently full. Our next pre-service training will be in Spring 2022, dates TBD.

Volunteers benefit from joining an agency that is committed to social justice as well as being part of a team of like minded people who are committed to supporting families in our community with respect, integrity, compassion and hope. We especially welcome those who speak other languages in addition to English and people from the diverse communities that Family Paths is a part of.

This rewarding volunteer opportunity is great for:

  • students in the mental health/social work field or other health related fields
  • mothers, fathers, and caregivers who wish to support fellow parents
  • retirees who wish to share their life experience and skills
  • folks living in the San Francisco Bay Area
  • anyone who wishes to make a difference in the lives of parents and families

Volunteers receive training in advance through our 32-hour Volunteer Pre-Service as well as ongoing training and support thereafter during every helpline shift. Training topics include: Active Listening, Impact of Trauma on the Brain, information on Mental Health issues, Domestic Violence, Substance Abuse, Child Abuse and Mandated Reporting, Resource Parenting and Cultural Humility.

Time Commitment and Duties:

  • Volunteer on one 4-hour shift per week in the office for one year
  • Attend trainings offered by Family Support usually scheduled on an evening or a Saturday and/or attend clinical trainings offered by the agency usually scheduled on weekdays
  • Answer phones, make case management call backs, complete referrals to agency services, link callers to resources in the community, support fellow volunteers and staff
  • Assist in updating our Community Resource Database
  • In addition to volunteering on the helpline you may be able to:
  • Volunteer to help in one of our parenting classes
  • Volunteer to help at an outreach or other event
  • Volunteer to help prepare materials for classes and outreaches

If you are interested in learning more about this essential position, please send an email to ksangabriel@familypaths.org to sign up for one of our next Virtual Volunteer Info Sessions. Dates TBD.

Additionally, please complete the volunteer application below.

NOTE: If you, your children or an immediate family member have received any services at Family Paths, please WAIT 2 years after services have ended to apply to become a volunteer. After this time has passed, we would welcome the opportunity to talk with you about your interest and readiness to volunteer.

To Apply:

Click HERE to view information about Family Paths’ Parenting Stress Helpline volunteers.