Adult Volunteer Program

The Adult Volunteer Program is designed specifically for those 18 and older who are not enrolled in college. Volunteering at one of CHOP’s many locations provides an opportunity to partner with healthcare professionals while supporting patients and families in a healthcare environment. The purpose of the Adult Volunteer Program is to improve the experience of patients and families at CHOP.

A volunteer is required to commit to a minimum of three hours per week through a regular volunteer placement (although some placements such as Reach Out and Read require less).

  • Commitment requirements

    The Volunteer Services Department requires that candidates commit to volunteering at least once a week for a three- to four-hour shift. Our commitment agreement requires volunteers to provide service hours for at least six months and for a total of 100 service hours. At this time our needs are Monday through Friday between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.

  • Adult Volunteer Program application process

    The screening process may take six to 10 weeks depending on how fast clearances are sent to Volunteer Services. Going through part or all of the screening process does not guarantee a volunteer placement. All volunteer placements are filled according to current needs and the volunteer’s time commitment.

    To make sure you’ve completed every step on the adult volunteer onboarding process, download and complete this onboarding worksheet.

    1. Apply onlineWe are currently only accepting applications for those with availability on weekdays (Monday-Friday) from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Completing an online application is the first step to becoming a CHOP volunteer. Once an application is submitted it is reviewed by a Volunteer Services staff member.
    2. In-person interview – Once your application is reviewed, an in-person interview will help us assess your volunteering needs and help the Volunteer Services staff determine if volunteering at CHOP is a good fit for you. Prepare for this interview by thinking about ways you would like to be involved in the hospital environment. Interviews are scheduled online once your application is approved for processing. Not all candidates that interview are accepted into the program.
    3. Complete background check - Pennsylvania law requires all individuals working with children to complete the following background checks: FBI Fingerprinting, PA Child Abuse Clearance, Criminal Record Check, and seven-year Social Security Trace. Adults have the option to complete background checks independently or through the Volunteer Services Department. The background will be submitted by Volunteer Services if you are accepted into the Adult Volunteer Program. This process can take 10 to 12 weeks and is managed by a third-party vendor that will provide a volunteer candidate with instructions. A Volunteer Services staff member will provide you with detailed instructions once a candidate is accepted into the program. Want to get a head start on your background check before your interview? Although we cannot determine until after an interview if a candidate is accepted into the program, running your own background check speeds up the screening process; it will take five to six weeks. Download instructions for completing this process on your own.
    4. Complete medical clearance – All volunteers must complete a CHOP Medical Clearance Form prior to acceptance into the program. This form can be printed and taken to a medical professional for completion. Completing this form does not guarantee acceptance into the program. Download the Medical Clearance Form.
    5. New Volunteer Orientation – Mandatory orientations happen the first Tuesday of every month, from 9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.
    6. Placement discussion with a Volunteer Services Liaison – This is where we help candidates determine a volunteer placement according the availability and preferences.
    7. Unit specific training – The department/unit supervisor will train you on department/unit specific needs.
    8. Start volunteering!
  • Flexible vs. fixed volunteer scheduling
    • Flexible scheduling – Volunteer different days and times each week, managing your schedule online. This benefits those who require flexibility. We ask that volunteers commit to the same number of required volunteer hours each week.
    • Fixed scheduling – Volunteer the same day and time each week during the entire volunteer experience. Fixed scheduling benefits those looking for consistency and routine.
  • Volunteer placements – CHOP Campus (34th Street, Philadelphia)

    Bedside Buddy Nursing Program

    In this placement, volunteers collaborate with the nursing department Hospital-wide to support patients and families with one-on-one bedside needs. This placement relies on teamwork. Volunteers will work individually and in groups to meet Hospital needs.

    This placement offers flexible scheduling for four-hour shifts every day of the week:

    • 8 a.m. – noon
    • 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
    • 12 – 4 p.m.
    • 2 – 6 p.m.
    • 4 – 8 p.m.

    Child Life support

    Volunteers play a crucial role in the support of the Child Life profession within the Hospital’s inpatient units and outpatient areas. When volunteering in this role, a volunteer can expect to engage in play and activities at the bedside with a patient, support playroom activities, and assist with the important role of toy cleaning in order to eliminate the chance of infection. This role allows volunteers to partner with a member of the child life staff to normalize the Hospital environment for patients and families.

    This placement offers flexible and fixed scheduling for varying three-hour shifts every day of the week.

    Outpatient Services Volunteer support

    This new volunteer role enhances the experience of patients and families visiting the Hospital in an outpatient setting. Volunteers provide floater support in various clinics and outpatient facilities within the Main Campus and at the new Buerger Center for Advanced Pediatric Medicine.

    A floater role allows volunteers to provide support with wayfinding, greeting, escorting of patients and families throughout campus, providing one-on-one patient and sibling support to parents and caregivers. Providing floater support also allows volunteers to host play activities in outpatient waiting areas and support the Buerger Welcome Center in hosting reading circle and other play activities that are managed by the Welcome Center.

    This placement offers flexible scheduling for four-hour shifts every day of the week:

    • 8 a.m. – noon
    • 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
    • 12 – 4 p.m.

    Cosmetology

    In this placement, volunteers collaborate with the Child Life Department Hospital-wide to perform hair styling services. This placement offers flexible scheduling every day of the week or on an as needed basis. We ask that you commit to at least one three-hour shift per month. This new role is designed to offer a very unique and much needed service for our long-term patients and families. Stylists will work with the Hospital staff to meet the requests of our patient population and offer this complimentary service. Volunteers interested in this role must have an active cosmetology license.

    Ronald McDonald Family Room

    Volunteers provide compassionate hospitality to families on the inpatient Oncology and Cardiac Units. Meet and greet patients, families and visitors to the Hospital in a calm, professional and friendly manner. Restock various supplies including coffee, snack and beverages. Assist with any meal donation being offered during shift (set-up and clean-up). Interact with families and visitors who visit the Ronald McDonald Room; offer snacks or beverages (not to patients), facilitate activities (i.e. craft project, game night, etc.). Occasionally interact with donors or vendors (i.e. massage therapists, hair stylists, catering).

    This placement offers fixed scheduling or three-hour shifts. The following shifts are currently available:

    • Monday: 4 p.m. - 7 p.m.
    • Wednesday:  9 a.m. - noon; 4 p.m. - 7 p.m.
    • Friday: 9 a.m. - noon; 4 p.m. - 7 p.m.
    • Sunday: 9 a.m. - noon

    Galaxy 51-Seacrest Studios

    Galaxy 51 is the patient television network found on channel 51 of any CHOP television. Programming allows children and staff to PRODUCE IT, PICK IT, PLAY IT, and PERFORM IT from the hospital bedside or LIVE in Seacrest Studios, the multimedia studio located in the Hospital’s Colket Atrium. Patients are also encouraged to work with the GALAXY 51 team to create and produce their very own projects from video diaries to music videos. 

    Volunteers in this role assist patients with engaging in programming at bedside, in unit playrooms, and in the studio such as promoting tune-in with flyer distribution, hosting watch parties, assisting with call-in song requests and shout outs, assisting in game play, or bringing patients to the studio from their rooms. 

    This placement offers fixed scheduling for varying three-hour shifts during the studio’s hours of operation:

    • Monday and Wednesday: 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
    • Tuesday and Thursday: 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.
    • Friday: 11 a.m. -. 6 p.m.

    Occupational Therapy (Main Campus)

    Volunteers in this role collaborate with the Occupational Therapy program by supporting patients, families and staff with tasks that maintain the safety and cleanliness of the occupational therapy environment. This is a great opportunity for adults or college students looking for exposure to the Occupational Therapy profession.

    This placement offers fixed scheduling in three-hour increments.

    School program

    Volunteers in this role collaborate with certified teachers throughout the hospital to deliver school services to patients at CHOP. This is a great opportunity for adults with a teaching background.

    This placement offers flexible and fixed scheduling for varying three-hour shifts every day of the week.

    Wayfinder

    This new volunteer role enhances the experience of patients and families visiting the Hospital. Volunteers in this role partner with the welcome desk staff to provide a welcoming environment for the often overwhelmed patient, family, and/or visitor, escorting them to their destination anywhere throughout the CHOP campus. This is a great opportunity for volunteers who specialize in customer service.

    This placement offers fixed and flexible scheduling for four-hour shifts every day of the week:

    • 8 a.m. – noon
    • 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
    • 12 – 4 p.m.
    • 2 – 6 p.m.
  • Volunteer placements – offsite

    Patients, families and staff use the support of volunteers at various off-site locations. Each site has different needs with the same CHOP culture.

    Specialty Care, Bucks County and Specialty Care, King of Prussia

    Volunteers in this role assist site staff by greeting, providing directions and information, and offering assistance to patients, families and visitors. They also support professional services of the Child Life program or clinical staff by supporting patients, families and staff through appropriate interactive play, appropriate diversional activities, and other tasks contributing to the comfort of patients and families while waiting for appointments or during treatments.

    This placement offers flexible scheduling in three-hour increments.

    Specialty Care & Surgery Center, Voorhees

    Child Life support

    Volunteers play a crucial role in the support of the Child Life profession within the Hospital units and outpatient areas.  When volunteering in this role, a volunteer can expect to engage in play and activities at the bedside with a patient, support playroom activities, and assist with the important role of toy cleaning in order to eliminate the chance for infection. Overall this role allows volunteers to partner with a child life staff to normalize the Hospital environment for patients and families.

    This placement offers flexible scheduling for varying three-hour shifts: Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. or 1 – 3 p.m.

    The Application for the Adult Volunteer Program at CHOP at Voorhees, NJ, is open year round. Complete an application today. Please note: College students will not be processed through this program.

    Specialty Care, Market Street (Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences)

    Psychiatry and Behavioral support

    Volunteers in this role support the psychiatry clinical team with supportive play; greeting patients, families and staff in a calm, professional and friendly manner; and assisting the Autism Integrative Care Program with Autism Registry. This is a great opportunity to learn while providing patient and family support.

    The application for the Adult Volunteer Program at 3434 Market Street is open year round. Complete your application today. Please note: college students will not processed through this program.

  • Reach Out and Read program – offsite and outpatient

    Volunteers of the Reach Out and Read program engage children of all ages with books and reading aloud in an outpatient waiting room at a primary care doctor's office in West and South Philadelphia, Burlington Township, NJ and the suburbs of Pennsylvania. Volunteer readers also help restock shelves with books. Learn more about volunteering with Reach Out and Read.