Could you be a volunteer mentor
To become an eligible volunteer you must:
- Be at least 18 years of age
- Hold a valid Working With Children Check or be willing to acquire one (we can help you obtain this, free of charge)
- Have your own transport or access to reliable public transport
- Be able and willing to spend 1 hour most weeks (plus travel) with a child in care over a 12 month period (we work with the days and times you are available)
- Maintain confidentiality at all times
- Possess a love of learning and the ability to create a fun-filled environment
- Be flexible, reliable, resilient and non-judgmental
- Have a basic understanding of the English language, literacy and numeracy (e.g. counting, telling time, using money)
What happens next?
Following submission of an application, you will undertake a screening process to ascertain suitability to fulfill the role of a Pyjama Angel. The process involves a 45-minute interview (virtual or face-to-face), 1 day of training, and reference checks following training.
We don’t expect you to have all the answers and are here to support you throughout the course of your placement, including with resource suggestions and ideas. If you have any questions, please give us a call on (07) 3256 8802 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
The application process
STEP 1. Complete an online application form.
STEP 2. A member of our team will be in contact with you to arrange a time for an interview, which may be virtual or face-to-face.
When you attend your interview, please bring the following:
- Your Driver Licence
- Your Medicare card
- Your Working With Children Check (WWCC/Blue Card) if you have one – if not, that’s ok! It’s free for volunteers and we’ll guide you through the process.
QLD applicants: If you don’t already have a Blue Card, you can apply online, and then send us your account number.
NSW applicants: If you don’t already have a WWCC, you can apply online, and then take your application number and proof of identity to a Service NSW Office.
VIC applicants: If you don’t already have a WWCC, you can apply online.
STEP 3. Attend an in-person training session.
STEP 4. Following training, we will complete your reference checks and link your Blue Card to our organisation.
VIC applicants: You will also need to complete a Police Check which is available at a discounted rate.
STEP 5. We then begin the search to place you with a child in care!
The Pyjama Foundation does not currently operate in ACT, NT, TAS, SA or WA. Please fill out this online form so we can add your contact details to our database, and will be able to contact you if we expand to these states later in the future.
Frequently Asked Questions
Application & Onboarding
What days and times can I volunteer? Is there some flexibility?
Our goal is to find a mutually beneficial time for you, and the family or home you will be visiting. Simply tell us your availability (whether it be a weekday, weekend, morning, afternoon, or evening) and we will look for a family to match. It may take longer to find a placement if your availability is limited, however, we can usually always find someone! Generally, the most requested timeslots from Carers are weekdays between 3:30pm and 7pm (for 1 hour within this range). However, every home is different.
How much travel is involved?
We aim to find a foster home as close as possible to you, so that it is sustainable for you to visit each week. In most cases, we aim for 30 minutes driving time or less from work or home, whichever is convenient for you. In some instances (particularly if you live in the city), it might not be possible to find a young person that lives within a half hour radius. Prior to going ahead with the placement, we will always double check logistics with you to ensure you’re happy to visit at the proposed time and location. If not, that’s ok! We can keep looking.
How much time is involved from when I decide to sign up?
After completing an online application, your application will be assessed, and you will be invited to attend an interview which will take roughly 45 minutes. If successful, you will be invited to attend an in-person training day. Training takes 1 day and usually runs from 9am to 5pm on a Saturday or Sunday. These are usually held monthly in capital cities, and every few months in regional areas. This session is the biggest investment of your time. After training and completion of compliance checks, we look to match you with a young person to visit for 1 hour per week (plus travel).
Is it safe to visit a young person in a Foster Care home?
Weekly visits occur in the young person’s home under the supervision of their Carer, who must remain in the home for the duration of the visit. If you are visiting a residential care facility, the child or young person will be under the supervision of a Youth Support Worker or Child Safety Officer. Prior to establishing the visits, a Risk Assessment is conducted in consultation with the young persons’ Child Safety Officer, to ensure the home is suitable to undertake the visits and that the Carer is supportive of the Pyjama Angel visiting.
I’m not an expert in anything. Would I make a good mentor?
You do not need to be an expert! We are here to support you every step of the way. We provide training, ongoing check-ins, and guidance throughout your placement, ensuring you have the necessary resources and assistance to support the young person effectively. Part of the experience is letting go and learning things together. We are far more interested in personal qualities, like patience, flexibility, reliability, and resilience. Many of the children that are on our waitlist are just wanting someone to spend one on one time with them and in so doing, help with fundamental skills like communication, learning to trust another person, and other relationship-building skills. Many of the children and young people we support have suffered trauma and instability throughout their life. They’re looking for someone who can show up and won’t give up on them even if they show signs of hesitation to begin with.
I don’t have much experience with kids.
Although it can be a bonus, you do not have to have had much experience with kids. We’re here to prepare you through our training day where we go through all the fundamentals. We also host a range of professional development sessions for our volunteer mentors called “Spread Your Wings” (both in-person and virtually) where we introduce you to key and relevant topics which you can learn and apply to your placement.
Visiting Your Young Person
What happens if I am away (due to holiday or sickness) and miss a visit or two?
We ask our Pyjama Angels to visit most weeks over a 12-month period to provide some stability for young people in care. However, it’s completely okay if you have a holiday planned or need a week off every now and then. Carers and kids have weeks off too! We simply ask that you and the Carer let each other know in advance of any changes to scheduled visits.
Will the visits always be in the foster home?
Visits must occur in the foster home with the Carer present for at least the first 9 months. Following this, each placement is assessed on a case-by-case basis and depending on the comfort level of the child, Carer, and volunteer, unsupervised outings may be considered. However, these are not an expectation.
Can I take my kids to visit?
As our program is centred around providing one on one time for young people in care, this wouldn’t be the right setting for other kids to attend. For the comfort and safety of everyone, we require our volunteer Pyjama Angels to be over the age of 18.