Volunteers in Schools
Volunteers with SVPACT come from all walks of life. One aspect of volunteering that they find most difficult is trying to feel accepted as a valued member of their school community. To facilitate this inclusion it is essential for each school to identify a Contact person, called the School Coordinator, within the school who will liaise with and be the first point of contact for the volunteer mentors. The role of School Coordinator may be given to one of the Deputy Principals, the Learning Support Team Leader or to a teacher with special interest in managing volunteers.
Volunteers bring a wealth of knowledge and experience from both their professional and family lives and provide the opportunity for inter-generational learning. They have an appreciation for, and make a commitment to, mentoring children and young people. The SVPACT links students with the wider community and provides them with mature role models, demonstrating what it is to be a caring member of society.
All volunteer mentors must hold a Working with Vulnerable People card and they have completed an Orientation Seminar to prepare them for their role. Once assigned to a school, volunteers are expected to liaise closely with the School Coordinator and/or class teacher. Volunteers operate under the direction of school staff at all times. All activities take place at the school and during school hours.
It is the responsibility of the school to select students who would benefit from having an adult mentor. Some students selected for the program may have a learning disability, poor self-esteem, lack of a mature role model or a temporary family setback. To participate in the scheme a parent/carer and student must agree; the student is expected to welcome the involvement of the volunteer.