Multicultural Aged Care Illawarra utilises volunteers and encourages volunteer work within the organisation to compliment the care and services currently provided to our residents by our staff.
Volunteers are only engaged in tasks that, without their assistance, would not be undertaken or would not be completed for a considerable period of time.
Volunteers are not used as an alternative to paid employment or to displace paid staff.
Volunteers with Multicultural Aged Care Illawarra may receive expense reimbursements for costs incurred in undertaking the work they do; however, the payment does not represent wages, salary, or payment for contractual services.
Multicultural Aged Care Illawarra recognises the importance of volunteers in improving the daily life style and enjoyment of our residents, this policy provides a guideline for the attracting, managing and recognition of volunteers within the organisation.
Chief Executive Officer
Welfare/ Volunteer Coordinator
This policy applies to all Multicultural Aged Care Illawarra volunteers.
Who is a Volunteer?
A volunteer is a person who performs work for Multicultural Aged Care Illawarra on a voluntary basis; the voluntary worker receives no payment for services rendered.
Multicultural Aged Care Illawarra accepts, at its discretion, volunteers who are enthusiastic and committed to the organisations values and goals. Volunteers must agree to work under the direction of the organisation, consistent with its regulations and policies.
In return for their valuable contribution, Multicultural Aged Care Illawarra will provide volunteers the opportunity to gain knowledge, experience and satisfaction from involvement with one of Australia’s leading multicultural aged care providers.
A voluntary worker does not have a legal obligation to carry out work, as does an employee; and the volunteers are free to work at times of their choosing. There is no limitation on the hours a volunteer may work, however Multicultural Aged Care Illawarra recognises that a maximum of sixteen hours a week is considered a reasonable benchmark.
Volunteer Recruitment and Placement Procedures
The recruitment of volunteers shall be undertaken with the same scrutiny as paid employees, with each applicant being assessed as to appropriateness and fit for the designated task (s) according to predetermined criteria and guidelines. Assessment of tasks undertaken by volunteers shall be made (periodically) to ensure the tasks do not jeopardise the health, safety or welfare of the volunteer, other team members, staff or residents.
Volunteers will be selected for programs based on their skills and Multicultural Aged Care Illawarra’s current volunteer requirements.
All potential volunteers will be interviewed by the Quality/Volunteer Development Coordinator, the interview will ensure that all parties come to a mutual agreement about the skills required for the volunteer role, a volunteer role description will be provided and a commitment of hours agreed upon.
Successful volunteers are required to have a strong interest in and commitment to the organisation and to honour their commitment in time and quality of service and to perform the agreed tasks.
The Quality/Volunteer Development Coordinator will meet with volunteers regularly to ensure there are regular opportunities for feedback about the Volunteer Program.
Volunteers are required to complete the following documentation prior to commencement with Multicultural Aged Care Illawarra’s Volunteer Program and have a current criminal record check:
- Volunteer Personal Details Form
- Volunteer Agreement
- Confidentiality Agreement
Volunteers may receive maintenance payments to carry on the work concerned but the payment does not represent wages, salary, or payment of contractual services.
Examples of maintenance payments include:
- Fuel and travel expenses
- Telephone costs
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- Costs associated with reasonable wear and tear on personal tools and equipment used “on the job”; and
- Reimbursement for attending prescribed training
For reasons of security and safety, all volunteers will be supplied with identification which must be worn at all times. Volunteers are required to register their attendance on the Volunteer Attendance Register located in the reception area of the village and to comply with Multicultural Aged Care Illawarra security policies.
Volunteers at Multicultural Aged Care Illawarra will be fully covered under Voluntary Workers Insurance while engaged in volunteer work with us.
Under the Aged Care ACT 1997, all staff and volunteers wishing to work or volunteer in Residential Aged Care and Community Aged Care services are required to undergo an Australian Federal Police National Police check prior to commencing volunteer duties with us.
Volunteers cannot incur expenditure on behalf of the village, nor should they incur personal expenditure in the course of their volunteer services in the expectation that expenditure will be reimbursed without the specific and prior approval of the Welfare/Volunteer Coordinator.
Volunteers must not disclose any personal, sensitive or commercial information regarding Multicultural Aged Care Illawarra, or its staff, obtained in the course of their duties.
Volunteer Training and Development
All volunteers are required to attend the first available Orientation Course following their commencement in the Volunteer Program. The Orientation Course provides an overview of the organisations Vision, Mission and Values and will cover areas such as Privacy, Infection Control, Security Awareness and Emergency Procedures.
Volunteers will have access, subject to availability, to in house training which will assist them with their volunteer work.
The Quality/Volunteer Development Coordinator will interact with volunteers regularly to ensure that any training and development issues can be identified and discussed.
Volunteers shall not be an alternative to paid workers. Multicultural Aged Care Illawarra shall take exceptional care to be able to clearly define the employment relationship and the voluntary work as separate and non-competitive roles:
Tasks that may be considered as suitable to be undertaken by a volunteer include:
- visiting residents;
- reading of letters or books;
- assisting to operate a canteen or shop within the facility;
- assisting with crafts, particularly where the volunteer has a particular skill / talent;
- chaperone on outings and/or providing or assisting with transport;
- assisting with chaplaincy;
- assisting with delivering meals and feeding;
- assisting with fund raising activities, e.g. fetes, street stalls, etc;
- shopping or other personal business for residents, e.g., mailing letters, etc;
- providing entertainment and assisting paid staff with diversional activities;
- assisting with tasks of daily living, e.g., make up, hairstyling, shaving, manicuring.
A nominated Multicultural Aged Care Illawarra employee is employed to provide support and assistance to all of the organisations volunteers, this is an important role which will ensure:
- there is an appropriate balance and mix of volunteers within the organisation;
- a liaison role exists between employed staff, volunteers, residents and management;
- the development of a program which acknowledges the worth and contribution made by volunteers;
- new volunteers are recruited, inducted and trained;
- resident general needs and wishes are met.
- volunteers receive appropriate recognition and encouragement for their contributions, including through:
- inclusion in general staff meetings;
- recognition as part of the care / service team within the facility.
- attendance at training and development programmes;
- constant feedback;
- certificates of appreciation;
- volunteer days to highlight the role of volunteers in the organisation.
Volunteer Rights and Responsibilities
- To be made aware of the policies and procedures of Multicultural Aged Care Illawarra
- To have access to appropriate induction and training
- To be treated as a co‐contributor and member of the team
- To be given a suitable placement
- To have a role description
- To receive feedback from staff and management
- To have appropriate insurance cover
- To have appropriate occupational health and safety protection
- To have appropriate work space and resources
- To have support, feedback and debriefing
- To comply with Multicultural Aged Care Illawarra policies, practices and procedures
- To make an informed decision to work as a volunteer with the organisation
- To work within the description of tasks suitable to skills and experience
- To keep Multicultural Aged Care Illawarra matters confidential as appropriate
- To inform the Coordinator if unable to undertake or complete a task
- To report all accidents, hazards or incidents to their supervisor as soon as possible
- To act as a member of the team
Work Trials and Work Experience
Voluntary service should not be confused with the trialling of a potential employee to evaluate skills and abilities, or the provision of work experience.
Where a person seeks work experience to gain an understanding of the industry and offers to undertake that experience in a voluntary capacity, it must be clear there is no automatic right to employment as a result of that experience. The duration of the work experience period should be predetermined and limited. As work experience is primarily a means whereby an individual may assess his / her perception of a job against reality, the work experience should, in the main, be a process of observation, rather than hands-on activity.