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Volunteer

Family Mentor

Start date: Ongoing
Last updated 
A refugee family gathers on the couch for a photo. Photo: Jenna Reich

The Family Mentor volunteer provides support to refugee families by acting as a community guide and conversation partner. Volunteers meet weekly with the family to assist with practical needs and make referrals to IRC staff.  Family Mentors provide friendly encouragement as refugees move towards self-sufficiency and become established in their new homes.

Activities Include:

  • Familiarize refugees with how to access crucial community resources including: transportation systems, grocery stores, and libraries.
  • Reinforce Job Readiness and Job Retention skills including: interview techniques, employment applications, money handling, and common work place vocabulary.
  • Engage the client in conversational English appropriate to their skill level.
  • Be a friendly and stable presence in a refugee family’s life.
  • Provide insight into American culture.

Requirements:

  • Able to work independently to identify and address client needs in a limited-English environment.
  • Conduct oneself in a responsible and appropriate fashion as an IRC representative to the family and the Tucson community.
  • Commit to interacting with a family for two hours per week on a regular basis with a focus on building self-sufficiency skills.
  • Strictly adhere to the IRC’s confidentiality policy
  • Able to engage in open-minded communication regarding new cultural perspectives
  • Report monthly volunteer activities accurately and on time

Minimum Commitment: 2 hours/ week for 4 months; set a consistent schedule to visit on an evening or weekend

 

Volunteer process

  1. Review our current available volunteer positions.
  2. Get to know IRC and attend a Volunteer Information Session. RSVP to our next session by sending an email to VolunteerTucson [at] Rescue.org.
  3. After you’ve attended an information session, fill out an application online. Please note which volunteer position you would like to explore.
  4. The Volunteer Coordinator at IRC Tucson will contact you to set up a brief interview.
  5. Complete a background check. The IRC kindly asks volunteers to consider a suggested donation of $50 to help us toward the cost of this requirement. Note: In addition to the background check, some volunteer opportunities require a valid Arizona Fingerprint Clearance Card. Before applying, ensure that the suggested opportunity indeed requires a Fingerprint Clearance Card. Fingerprint Clearance Cards are valid for five years and offer clearance for the carrier to work with a multitude of vulnerable populations, not just IRC clients. New fingerprint clearance card applicants should apply under ARS 46-141.
  6. You're ready to get started! Depending on your role, you'll either receive further training from your in-office department or wait to be matched with a family to tutor and/or mentor.

Additional things to note

Please note the IRC takes great care to ensure our volunteers are properly screened, trained and placed in opportunities. It may take up to two months to get placed. The IRC in Tucson has a number of different volunteer opportunities available within all programs of our organization. Please take note that all positions posted may not be available at all times.