NorthStar Family Support project is dedicated to maintaining a quality programme where volunteers in collaboration with staff can unlock their potential and learn from each other in a supportive environment. NFSP provides services to the general public and we would not be able to provide added value services to them without the time, energy and commitment of volunteers.
NFSP prides itself on developing exciting volunteer opportunities for potential volunteers from all walks of life. We strive to maintain best practice in all areas of our work from recruitment to onsite support to ensure that our volunteers have the best possible experience and the opportunity to gain a thorough understanding of and contribution to work of NFSP.
- To enable volunteers to develop and contribute to all areas of the work of NFSP.
- To offer a more holistic and varied experience to volunteers.
- To work to ascertain volunteer requirements and roles with a view to developing service potential.
- To offer a variety of quality volunteer opportunities to encourage members of the local communities to volunteer in NFSP and thus gain an understanding of our work.
We achieve this through:
- Working closely with volunteers to assess requirements and role development
- Maintaining links with other agencies to promote NFSP volunteer opportunities for potential volunteers.
- Providing thorough induction, selection and training programmes for all volunteers.
- Matching volunteers’ skills with roles to ensure they are exploring their full potential.
- Striving to maintain best-practice in our work with volunteers
All volunteers and employees operate under NFSP organisational Policies & Procedures. The following are some of those relevant to volunteering:
- Volunteer Management Procedure
- Professional Boundaries
- Code of Conduct
- Equal Opportunities
To provide a framework of guidelines that deals broadly with the practical aspects of involving Volunteers.
To provide a Policy that can develop a good and consistent practice involving Volunteers.
To respect and accommodate the diversity of volunteers’ backgrounds and to be sensitive to the diversity of arrangements and relationships that this creates.
NFSP ensures that those volunteers offering a regular commitment are properly integrated into the organisational structure and that mechanisms are in place for them to contribute to its work.
NFSP recognises volunteers as a core part of the team in roles which complement, but never substitute, the work of paid staff.
NFSP expects that staff at all levels will work positively with volunteers and, where appropriate, will actively seek to involve them in their work.
NFSP recognises that volunteers require satisfying volunteering experiences including personal development and seeks to help volunteers meet these needs, as well as providing the necessary training for them to undertake their voluntary activity effectively.
NFSP implements a fair, effective and open system in the recruitment and selection of volunteers.
NFSP strives to create a diverse and inclusive volunteer programme and is committed to ensuring equality of access to its volunteer opportunities and equality of treatment for volunteers in all its policies and practices.The NFSP Co-ordinator regularly reviews the makeup of the volunteer team through diversity monitoring.
NFSP uses appropriate means to widely advertise for volunteers on both a local and global (where required) level that takes into account the principles of its Equal.
The Company implements a recruitment and selection process that is appropriate to the role offered to potential volunteers. NFSP aims to allow both parties to give and receive sufficient information to assess whether the volunteer opportunities available match the potential volunteers’ skills, qualities and interests.
All applicants for volunteering with the Company are required to complete an application form; assistance can be given with this if necessary.
Additional measures may be implemented depending on the nature of the volunteer role.
The Company undertakes other checks (Garda) to ensure a volunteer’s suitability to undertake a voluntary role with vulnerable adults and children, as appropriate.
If unsuccessful, applicants will be offered an opportunity to discuss the outcome and identify possible alternative volunteering activities within or outside of the Company.
Induction and Training
All volunteers, whether volunteering for ongoing, short-term or “one-off” roles, undergo an induction/briefing that provides all the information appropriate to their role to help them understand the work of the Company and fulfil their role.
Induction arrangements vary according to the service and the nature of the voluntary activity to be undertaken.
Where possible, volunteers are offered additional training to enable them to fulfil their voluntary role more effectively.
Trail Periods for Volunteers
Volunteer Role Description and Agreement
Support and Supervision
Whilst all staff have a role to play in supporting volunteers the NFSP Co-ordinator have responsibility for the overall management of volunteer involvement including overseeing the implementation of this policy. Volunteers have the opportunity to attend individual and/or group supervision meetings (where appropriate) where they are provided with support to feedback on progress, discuss future role development and raise any ideas or concerns. This may be offered through a variety of systems, such as briefing/debriefing, supervision, volunteer forums etc.
All staff required to undertake such duties are provided with training in the management, supervision, support and training of volunteers.
Communication and Recognition
The Company recognises the core role that volunteers fulfil within the organisation. It endeavours to communicate with volunteers in appropriate ways, for example, meetings, notice boards and email. It also recognises the importance of seeking volunteers’ ideas and opinions at regular intervals each year by various means.
The Company appreciates the valuable contribution its volunteers bring to the organisation and makes regular efforts to recognise and celebrate them.
The Company provides volunteer references on request.
An exit evaluation of the volunteering experience is provided for all volunteers leaving NFSP to enable them to give feedback on their experience.
Data Protection and Confidentiality
The Company is committed to ensuring the well-being and safety of its volunteers and, in turn, expect volunteers to contribute to maintaining a safe volunteering environment.
All volunteers are covered by NFSP employer liability insurance policy whilst they are on the Company premises or engaged in voluntary activity on NFSP behalf. In the event of specific activities that require personal liability insurance, this will be highlighted in the volunteer Role description before any activity is undertaken.
Volunteers are thoroughly inducted into NFSP and introduced to all relevant health and safety aspects to their area of volunteering following local Health and Safety Policies.
All services identify possible areas of risk specific to the involvement of volunteers and produce written risk assessments for eliminating or minimising such risks. Volunteers are expected to cooperate with staff and follow Risk Assessments relating to their volunteering.
Where a volunteer, as a direct consequence of his or her voluntary activity with the Company suffers emotional harm to the extent of requiring counselling or therapy, the Company will support the volunteer in exploring suitable options.
The Company aims to treat all volunteers fairly, objectively and consistently. NFSP seeks to ensure that volunteers’ views are heard, noted and acted upon promptly and aim for a positive and amicable solution based on NFSP guidelines for settling differences. If a volunteer has any problems or complaints about volunteering, they should talk to the NFSP Co-ordinator. NFSP takes the concerns of its volunteers very seriously and will make every reasonable effort to resolve any difficulties.
In the event of a problem, all relevant facts should be obtained as quickly as possible.
Support will be provided by NFSP Co-ordinator to the volunteer while it endeavours to resolve the problem informally. If an informal resolution does not prove possible, the Company Grievance procedure will be referred to. If a volunteer’s behaviour is repeatedly or seriously unacceptable, they will be asked to leave the organisation.
If circumstances arise where the organisation deem a volunteer not a good fit for a particular role, they may be asked to change their role or will be signposted to other volunteer opportunities outside the organisation.
The role of the NFSP Co-ordinator
- To maintain an overview of NFSP strategies in recruiting, recognising and retaining volunteers.
- To collate, monitor and evaluate trends and statistics on Volunteer Programmes.
- To offer training and support to individual volunteers and volunteer Teams.
- To ensure the dissemination of volunteering ‘good practice’ principles throughout the Company.
- To promote volunteering to the wider community.
Get in touch
(061) 459 260
28 John Street
M-F: 9am - 5pm