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Alert

Effective Nov. 1, 2023, clients and families, visitors, vendors and staff are required to wear a mask while moving throughout the hospital, including while in elevators, in spaces where clients receive care or participate in research. A medical grade mask will be available upon entry.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the application process for becoming a volunteer?
  1. Submit an online volunteer application, including two completed reference forms
  2. Attend a screening interview (on-site or virtual)
  3. Meet all screening requirements, including a Vulnerable Sector Check and Holland Bloorview’s immunization compliance standards

  4. Participate in Online Orientation, Introductory Training, and program-specific training

 

Successful completion of the application process does not guarantee a volunteer placement at Holland Bloorview.

How old do I have to be to volunteer?

Holland Bloorview requires volunteers to be:

  • Aquatics only - volunteers may be accepted at age 14 or 15 with Bronze Medallion or Bronze Cross Lifesaving Society Award.
  • Robotics only - volunteers may be accepted at age 15 with previous experience as a member of a FIRST Robotics competitive team/club. Please make sure to include information about your experience if submitting an application.
  • 16 years old+ for select positions in outpatient and community programs, working with children and teens with disabilities who are not currently hospitalized. For example, Music and Arts, All-Abilities Soccer, Robotics, Ronald McDonald Playroom, etc.
  • 17 years old+ for most inpatient programs, for example, Therapeutic Playroom for clients aged 0-6 and Therapeutic Recreation for clients aged 7-18 who are currently hospitalized.
  • 18 years old+ for most outpatient and community life skills programs.
What is the minimum time commitment required to volunteer?

To best support our clients we have a minimum volunteer time commitment for all of our programs.

September – June

  • For placements between September and June, we require a commitment of 1 shift per week (approximately 3 hours a week) throughout Fall, Winter, and Spring sessions. This typically amounts to 75 hours over the school year. Volunteer shifts occur at the same time and day each week.

Summer

  • For placements during July and/or August, we require a commitment of 5 – 10 shifts per week. The options are 5 shifts per week for both July and August or 5 full days for either the month of July or August. This typically amounts to 100-150 hours over the summer.

March Break (high school students)

  • For placements during March Break, we require a volunteer time commitment of 40 hours over 5 full days, Monday to Friday.
What are the requirements for providing a reference form?
  • All references need to be in our Holland Bloorview reference form format. You can access the form from our How to Apply page.
  • Employment and/or volunteer references are preferred. Should you not have employment or volunteer references, we will consider teachers, coaches, community leaders or other professional references.
  • We cannot accept references written by a parent, family member, friend or "friend of the family".
  • If you are retired or have been outside of the work force for some time, it is acceptable to submit former professionally-related references or references from part-time work or volunteering that you have recently participated in, such as at-home child care for your neighbours or volunteering in community centre activities.
What are the requirements for completing the Vulnerable Sector Search?

There are different types of checks that can be required to meet employee or volunteer positions as outlined in the Police Record Checks Reform Act. 

A Vulnerable Sector Check is required to screen individuals that work or volunteer in positions of trust and/or authority relative to vulnerable individuals (e.g., teachers and daycare workers, staff in long-term care and retirement homes, service providers working with individuals with disabilities). Holland Bloorview’s staff, volunteers, and clinical learners are included in this group. If you are 18 years of age or older (or turn 18 while volunteering), you will be required to complete a Vulnerable Sector Check.

Vulnerable Sector Checks are considered the most thorough type of police record checks and require a comprehensive search of national and local police databases. Due to the nature of these checks, there is a fee charged, whether the check is conducted for employment, education, or volunteering purposes. It is the applicant’s sole responsibility to pay any costs incurred to meet the police check requirements.

Further instructions on the process for obtaining this check will be provided to you at your screening interview, depending on which region you reside in.

All police check results will be returned via email to the applicant.

What are the immunization requirements?

Accepted applicants will be required to provide proof of immunity to: rubella, measles, mumps and varicella (chicken pox) as well as documentation of a 2-step Tuberculosis (TB) skin test.

A Holland Bloorview immunization form will be provided to you at your screening interview. This form is to be completed by your physician or nurse practitioner.

The two-step TB skin test requires four visits to your doctor and therefore can take several weeks to complete. OMA/OHA guidelines state that blood screening (QuantiFERON - TB Gold Plus) is NOT accepted as a form of Tuberculosis testing. This must be completed as a 2 step skin test.

It is the applicant’s sole responsibility to pay any costs incurred to meet the immunization requirements.

Staff, students and volunteers are expected to do everything they can to prevent the spread of the flu at our sites and getting the flu shot on an annual basis (or wearing a mask if you can’t) is an effective way to do this.

COVID-19 vaccination is mandatory. If you have any questions about this policy, please email volunteers@hollandbloorview.ca.

What volunteer opportunities are available?

We have a variety of volunteer opportunities available at the hospital to support our clients, their families and our staff. Details of current available volunteer opportunities can be found in the Client Programs Volunteer section of our site.

Volunteer Resources does not offer clinical practice, clinician shadowing opportunities, internships or observership placements. Please see our Research & Education page for more information.

Where do I find the volunteer application?

The online application form link is located on our 'How to Apply' page.

Before you submit your application, consider the following:

  1. Visit our Client Programs page to determine which program you are available for. We primarily recruit at three different times during a calendar year.
  2. Review the Step 2: Learn more about our programs page to determine which of our client programs aligns best with your interest (i.e Aquatics, Therapeutic Recreation, Ronald McDonald Playroom, etc.)
  3. Visit the 'How to Appy' page to download the Holland Bloorview reference PDF fillable form. Once you have your completed references, you can select the application form link for the program in which you want to apply. 
When can I expect to hear back after submitting a complete application?

You will receive an email acknowledgement when your application has been successfully submitted through Better Impact.

Only those applicants selected for an interview will be contacted by Volunteer Resources. Please take note of application deadlines for school year, March Break, and summer volunteer opportunities.

Our preferred method of communication is via e-mail. Please check the e-mail address you provided on your application regularly for follow-up messages.

Please note that due to privacy, the progress of any application can only be discussed with the applicant directly.

Do I need to pay for parking?

Registered Holland Bloorview volunteers who show their hospital volunteer identification badge at Main Reception are granted complimentary parking while on shift.

What is the process if I am returning as a volunteer within 3 years?
  • If you have volunteered at Holland Bloorview within the last 3 years, please contact volunteers@hollandbloorview.ca to discuss your interest and requirements for returning to volunteer.
  • If you are a past Holland Bloorview volunteer who has been inactive for more than 3 years, (i.e it has been 3 years or longer since your last volunteer shift), you will need to reapply through our application process. Please visit the How To Apply section of our website.
Does volunteer resources provide student placements?

If a student placement is a requirement of your tertiary studies, you will need to visit the Centralized Student Services page for more information.

If you are a high school student looking for a co-op placement as part of your Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) then please complete a year round/school year application.

Are there volunteer opportunities in speech and language pathology?

In order to ensure that volunteers are prepared to support SLP clinical activities, and due to the limited number of placements available in this practice area, Holland Bloorview volunteers who have contributed 75 hours in another program and have received a good evaluation, can be added to a waitlist to volunteer with a speech language pathologist. Once placed on the waitlist, there is no guarantee of a placement with a speech language pathologist.

Volunteer experience with a speech and language pathologist is an admission requirement for many Masters of Health Science programs in Speech Language Pathology. At the request of speech language pathology at Holland Bloorview, only candidates who are intending to apply to the SLP Masters program will be considered for a volunteer position with a speech language pathologist. Volunteers in their third or fourth year of undergraduate studies will be considered for these placements.

Volunteers who have completed their term with a speech language pathologist are removed from the waitlist and are no longer eligible to volunteer with speech language pathology at Holland Bloorview.

Are there volunteer opportunities in physiotherapy and occupational therapy?

In order to ensure that volunteers are prepared to support these specialized clinical activities, and due to the limited number of placements available in these practice areas, Holland Bloorview volunteers who have contributed 75 hours in another program and have received a good evaluation can request to be added to the Physiotherapy or Occupational Therapy waitlists. These are two separate waitlists, and PT and OT staff prefer volunteers who are intending to apply to graduate studies in PT or OT for these opportunities. Once placed on a waitlist, there is no guarantee of a placement in one of these programs.

What are the requirements to become a Pet visiting volunteer?

The Pet Visiting program is part of the inpatient therapeutic recreation program and runs on Tuesday evenings from 7-8 p.m

As of Fall 2022, Holland Bloorview has begun an agreement with an organization called One Health Partners (OHP) in support of the Pet Visiting program. OHP has an assessment process for dogs and handlers.

  • Interested volunteer candidates will first be assessed as an OHP volunteer, and then added to Holland Bloorview’s volunteer team once the OHP volunteer onboarding is successfully completed.
  • OHP-Holland Bloorview dual volunteers are responsible for all typical requirements for Holland Bloorview client program volunteers (requirements for handlers include Vulnerable Sector Screening, tuberculosis screening and immunization record, orientation and introductory training, etc.).
  • OHP has a general interest survey to start the assessment process for their Therapy Dog program. You can access the link here
  • For more information about One Health Partners, please email info@onehealthpartners.org
  • All volunteers must be a minimum of 17 years of age for the pet visiting program.
  • Unfortunately, children of the registered volunteer are unable to attend this program.
Can my child volunteer with me?

Parents may not register as a volunteer in client programs and services with the intention of bringing their child in as a volunteer.

Children who do not meet the minimum age requirements cannot be registered as volunteers and have a parent monitoring them during a volunteer role.

Family opportunities to volunteer in support of Holland Bloorview may be available through the Holland Bloorview Foundation (e.g. by supporting community fundraising events). Please visit their webpage for current opportunities.

Can I use my medical training as a volunteer?

No.

While we welcome volunteers with health care experience, volunteers are not permitted to act as professional health care providers within the hospital when volunteering.

Does volunteering lead to employment at Holland Bloorview?

Volunteer Resources is responsible for providing the hospital with volunteers. Volunteer Resources has no authority to offer employment and volunteers are not considered internal applicants. Volunteering may, however, provide you with experience or exposure that will later assist you in finding employment.