Volunteer Ministry Program
Our volunteer ministry program began in 1999 from a need to reach out to the growing number of patients and families being treated in the Emergency Department (ED) and First Care clinic.
The volunteers visit in the waiting areas and observation units, providing a ministry of hospitality to patients and family members. Chaplain volunteers also visit our patient areas, such as the day surgery unit, and in some instances, general pediatric floors.
Ministry varies from distributing coloring sheets, crayons, pillows and stuffed animals to children, to calming anxious parents and extended family members through reflective listening. These services help ensure that less traumatic pastoral needs are met.
The interaction of Clinical Pastoral Education students with lay volunteers offers an educational enhancement for both groups, and connects Children’s Health to the broader faith community.
All chaplain volunteers must complete specialized training provided by senior chaplains. Pastoral Care has trained more than 150 volunteers and, on average, maintains an active roster of 25 participants in the program. Training includes a volunteer orientation through Volunteer Services and an additional 12-hour orientation in the department of Pastoral Care.
For quality improvement, the chaplain volunteers meet monthly for continuing education, which includes content presentations and a review of verbatim material provided by a Clinical Pastoral Education supervisor or supervisory resident.
For more information, please contact Karen Eckenfels at 214-456-2822.