Frequently asked questions about volunteering at Children's Hospital of Wisconsin
If I fill out the online application, does that mean I've been accepted into the program?
We review every application and notify those who are a good fit and match our current needs.
How long does the application and review process take?
The entire application and review process can take 6-10 weeks. We believe that our patients and families deserve the best. Our volunteers are rigorously vetted in order to provide quality volunteer support.
What if I am only looking to rock/cuddle/snuggle babies?
Our patient placements are divided by diagnosis. With respect to the fragile nature of most hospitalized infants, there are limited opportunities for volunteers to hold/rock babies.
Do you schedule group volunteer opportunities?
Patient care is designed to support a healing environment and is best served with one-to-one volunteer experiences.
I need to fulfill community service hours for my school/college/work? Can I volunteer on a short time basis?
Main Campus volunteers are required to commit to a minimum volunteer placement of 6 months.
I have been ordered by the courts to perform community service; can I do that at Children's Hospital?
Court mandated placements are not accepted.
Can I just come in for one day during the holidays?
We do not offer one-time visits due to infection control and safety requirements.
Can I bring my dog with me when I volunteer?
Therapy Dog handlers have additional requirements to become a volunteer: certification by Pet Partners or Therapy Dog International (TDI), interview with the Volunteer Services team, shadow visit with an experienced therapy dog team and 2 shadow visits with staff prior to being approved for visits at Main Campus.
When is your greatest need for volunteers?
Our greatest need are daytime hours, Monday through Friday, between 9am-3pm
Please note ~ if you are applying to volunteer and are only available on weekends and evenings, this may delay the application process.
What are the age requirements for volunteers?
We accept applications for those who are 18+ years of age.
What roles do volunteers perform at the hospital?
Information on hospital volunteer opportunities can be found here.
Can I bring my child with me?
Children may not accompany a volunteer at any time. The process to become a volunteer is to ensure the safety of our patients and families.
Can I volunteer more than once a week?
Absolutely! All volunteers begin with one placement. After three months of volunteering, our team can work with you to identify additional volunteer opportunities.
How quickly will I hear from Volunteer Services upon submitting an online application?
A member of our team will be in touch within 5-7 business days of submitting an online application.
Are certain medical tests required before I can volunteer?
The Wisconsin Department of Health and Human Services requires all hospital volunteers who may have patient contact to provide proof of measles, mumps, rubella, and varicella immunity or vaccination. Volunteers must also complete a two-step Mantoux Tuberculin (TB) test and agree to an annual flu shot.
What is the two-step Mantoux Tuberculin (TB) Skin Test?
Two-Step Mantoux Tuberculin skin tests are administered to detect the presence of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the bacterium that causes tuberculosis (TB). While volunteers can submit documentation within the last 12 months of TB test #1 from an outside provider, the 2nd TB test MUST be completed by Childrens Hospital of Wisconsins Employee Health and Wellness. Tests are performed at no cost to the volunteer and are conducted at the time of volunteer orientation and interviews. Specific information will be provided if accepted into our volunteer program.
How do I get my MMR and varicella records?
Individuals under the age of 50 should have access to their medical records via their medical provider, school or can locate immunization history on the Wisconsin Immunization Registry (WIR).
For individuals over the age of 50 that are unable to provide medical records, our department will arrange to have volunteer applicants receive a titer* blood draw.
*Titers are blood samples taken to verify that a vaccine is present and working in an individuals body. If the results of an MMR and/or varicella titer state presumed immunity, this will serve as official medical documentation. Additional vaccinations, should they be needed, are the responsibility of the volunteer.