Frequently Asked Questions
When does the summer program begin and end?
Our summer program begins June 20 and ends August 31. You must be available to start the week of June 20. Exceptions are not permitted.
I participated in the summer program last year. Should I apply this year as a “returning volunteer?”
Only applicants who completed all requirements during the prior summer are considered “returning volunteers.” All others should complete documentation as a new applicant.
I forgot to mail in my application! Can I still apply to the summer program?
Enrollment in our summer volunteer program takes place from mid-February through March. Applications received after the closing date will be placed on a waiting list.
I have to get a copy of my immunization records from my doctor. Can I submit my application without my immunization records and send them in later?
Applications missing any of the required forms and documentation outlined in the application packet will not be considered for placement. Please send in your application after you have gathered all of the required documentation including the results of a current TB (PPD) test.
Who should I ask to complete my Recommendation Forms?
You may ask a teacher, employer, business acquaintance, coach, neighbor or group leader (i.e. from an organization such as Boy Scouts) or church leader to complete your recommendation form. Forms may not be completed by a relative or peer. Please do not submit the letter separately from your application.
What is the minimum age to become a volunteer in the summer program?
As a medical facility, we are required to maintain that all volunteers are at least 15-years-old by January 1st of the current year. In order to have patient contact, volunteers must be at least 18-years-old.
What opportunities are available for 15-year-olds during the summer?
Volunteers who are at least 15-years-old can participate in our outpatient art program, Reach Out and Read and in various clerical assignments throughout Connecticut Children's. Learn more about our summer volunteer opportunities.
Will I be able to observe any doctors or nurses while participating in the Summer Program?
No, the Volunteer Program does not allow you to shadow a nurse or physician in their work. Please note that our volunteers provide services that are strictly non-clinical and are not able to shadow nurses, doctors and clinicians, or to take vital signs and observe procedures.
I'm busy during the day. Can I still volunteer?
Yes! Some areas within Connecticut Children’s need volunteer support in the early mornings, evenings or on weekends. Learn more about our summer volunteer opportunities.
How will you communicate with me?
All correspondence will be through email. Please make sure that emails from ‘@connecticutchildrens.org’ are not blocked. The email address provided on your application should be legible, current and monitored. If you do not have an email account, please create one before submitting your application.
My son received an email to schedule an interview. He's so busy with school and sports! He asked that I call to set up his appointment and check to see if there's anything else he needs to do.
We do encourage even our youngest volunteers to take responsibility for their part in the application process, because they are the ones who ultimately need to make the commitment to our program. Any inquiries regarding the volunteer process or the status of an application should be made by the applicant.
What are the interviews about? Does everyone get one? Why are they done?
This is a popular program and there are limited spaces available. The interview gives us an opportunity to meet each other and for you to see the medical center environment. It might help you decide if this is the right place for you to volunteer, and we can be assured that we are accepting students who will be well-suited and committed to the program. Unfortunately, not everyone will be called in for an interview due to the amount of applications we receive. If you don't receive an interview or a position, we encourage you to reapply next summer.
I'd like to apply to the Summer program, but I attend school out of state and won't be home until May. Can I still participate?
Acceptance into the program requires a successful in-person interview with a staff member of the Volunteer Services department. Interviews are scheduled beginning in March until all available placements are filled.
Do I have to wear a uniform when I volunteer?
All volunteers are expected to follow our dress code policy. Every volunteer is required to wear an official summer volunteer t-shirt (issued by Volunteer Services), khaki pants and a hospital issued ID badge. Dress code prohibits the wearing of blue jeans, sweatpants, exercise pants, shorts, hats, sunglasses, and open-toed shoes.
Can my sibling and I volunteer in the same area?
Connecticut Children's believes in individuality for each of our volunteers. Working autonomously is vital to the success of our program and those who volunteer. Although it is possible to be placed on the same day, at the same time, siblings are given separate placements.
Can I bring my best friend to help me out?
No. But you can encourage your friend to become a volunteer.
How many weeks of volunteering are required during the summer program?
To be most effective and successful, volunteers must be committed to the program. We have minimum commitment requirements for each volunteer program and ask that you please review all requirements before applying. Our summer program requires a commitment of three hours per week for a minimum of seven weeks to be completed between June 20 and August 31. No more than two absences are allowed during the summer program.
Can I volunteer more than once a week?
We begin with one shift per week. If you are consistently available for that first shift, you may discuss adding a second shift with Volunteer Services. There are also times that we need extra help or someone needs coverage for a scheduled vacation. Those opportunities will be shared via email.
I'm a college student and will be available to start my volunteer commitment in May. Can I apply for the summer program?
Our summer program begins June 20 and ends August 31. If you are available to start in May and have completed all placement requirements, we'd gladly have you start in May. However, a seven week commitment must still be fulfilled between June 20 and August 31.
I have a family vacation planned in July and then I'm going to band camp. Can I still participate in the summer program?
All summer volunteers must be available to start the week of June 20, without exceptions. We allow a maximum of two weeks away from the program. The weeks do not have to be consecutive. If you will need to miss more than two weeks, we suggest that you postpone volunteering until you’re able to meet the seven week commitment.
What if I am unable to fulfill my seven week commitment?
Reference letters and/or verification of hours will not be provided unless the volunteer has completed the agreed upon hours of volunteer service. Volunteers who do not fulfill their commitment will not be invited to return to the program the following summer.