Would you recommend Family Paths, Inc.?
I first came across this volunteer opportunity when I was looking for a place to sharpen my active listening skills to better work with clients in my field. The 4 hour weekly committment was just enough for me to handle while completing my master's degree.
The training that was provided by Family Paths was also very helpful. By the end of the training I felt very prepared to handle the hotline calls. Staff is very supportive and helpful when you get stuck or need some help taking a call or finding resources for a caller.
I have been volunteering for a little over a year and I have really enjoyed my experience thus far. It can be very emotionally charged at times but very rewarding. I have had callers call back just to say thank you because they were greatful to have someone to talk to in their time of need. We also provide an option to provide weekly call-backs to callers who may need additional support. Callers are very appreciative to know that someone is thinking of them.
The pre-service training was fantastic. Covering a wide variety of family issues, this training prepared me to work on the hotline by teaching valuable and applicable real-world skills. Cogently organized and thoughtfully executed, the training, although at times intense, is very much worth it.
Working on the line itself is a true eye-opening experience. I plan on pursuing my graduate degree in counseling, and this experience has helped to propel me along my path.
All in all, it is not for the faint of heart. But the benefits gained - increased confidence, pragmatic skills, and the gratitude of the callers - make this volunteer opportunity worth its weight in gold.