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Hertfordshire County Council

Are you kind, flexible, positive, and good at making new relationships? Could you provide real support that makes a difference to a young parent’s life? Do you have time to share and can make a commitment? 

If so, are you ready to become an Ohana Champion? 

 

Ohana supports young parents who are care experienced.

We are looking to recruit kind and enthusiastic volunteers from a wide range of backgrounds, ages, and interests to become Ohana Champions.

Being a parent is the hardest job in the world and often comes with little or no training. For young parents who are care experienced, the traditional family support networks may often be limited, and this makes the job even harder.

Our experience of Covid 19 has highlighted how easily we can all become disconnected and isolated from family, loved ones and each other.

As an Ohana Champion we believe that you can make a real difference by, supporting parents to grow their confidence, skills, resilience, and support networks. Helping them to be the parents that they want to be for their children.

You will be asked to provide emotional and practical support to parents and their children, by building a meaningful and positive relationship, to do this Champions are being asked to provide a minimum commitment of 2 years. 

Please note this volunteer role is subject to an enhanced DBS check. 

What will I be doing?

We have worked together with the Young Parents and we've all come up with this list of ways you can support them:   

  • Have a cuppa and a chat, so that they can talk through things that maybe worrying them.
  • Support them with attending meetings, appointments, or groups.
  • Support them with understanding and completing forms or applications.
  • Help them planning and doing tasks such as shopping, budgeting, paying bills, tidying, cleaning, and preparing healthy meals.
  • Other practical support, like helping them to move to a new house, or basic DIY.
  • Help them to think about and plan for giving birth and preparing to be a parent.
  • Support them to plan and do fun activities with their children.
  • Help them grow their confidence, so that they can find and build new relationships.
  • Help them to find information or point them in the right direction of local or national organisations, that can help them with things that worrying them. 

What skills or experience do I need?

This is not a professional or paid role and we are not expecting experts but individuals that are able to provide ongoing and supportive relationships.

Ohana Champions and parents will be matched based on factors such as interests and likes, skills, needs, geography and availability etc. A tailored support agreement will be drawn up between Parent and the Champion so everybody is clear on when and what has been agreed, this will be periodically reviewed to make sure everybody is happy.

  • Offer a regular commitment
  • Be flexible and reliable
  • Promote inclusion and not judge
  • Be supportive and confident
  • Be calm and a good listener
  • Have experience of babies and children, through your own life experience or employment
  • Understand the need for privacy and confidentiality  
  • Drive and have access to transport (desired)
  • Know when the young parents or their children may need more help than you can provide 
  • Understand and abide by the Hertfordshire County Council Policies and procedures in relation to Safeguarding, Confidentiality, Equal Opportunities

How much time do I need to give?

How much time you spend volunteering will depend on your availability and the needs of the young person you are matched with. We'll look to match you with a young parent who needs the levels of support you are able to offer the time for. We ask that you're available to commit to 2 years volunteering - this is important so you can build a good working relationship with the young people you are working with. 

Where will I be located?

Volunteer opportunities are available across the county.

What will I gain from the role?

  • The opportunity to use your life experience
  • Be part of a supportive team
  • Learn new skills and meet new people

What support will I be given?

  • Excellent training, including an induction programme that covers topics such as safeguarding, mental health and listening skills. 
  • Regular supervision and support, including 1:1s, group and telephone support.
  • Regular opportunities to be part of a team where you can develop and share your learnings and skills.
  • Reimbursements for all reasonable expenses, including travel and refreshments.

How do I find out more?

Apply now or contact us:

Email: lifelonglinks@hertfordshire.gov.uk

or

Phone: 07866 224876 

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