What is the application process for becoming a volunteer?
- Submit your completed volunteer application with two professional references
- Attend a screening interview (on-site or virtual)
- Meet all screening requirements, including a Vulnerable Sector Check and Holland Bloorview’s immunization compliance standards, details of which will be provided at your interview
- Participate in Online Orientation, Introductory Training, and program-specific training
Successful completion of the application process does not guarantee a volunteer placement at Holland Bloorview.
When can I expect to hear back?
You will receive an email acknowledgement when your application has been received by Volunteer Resources.
Only those applicants selected for an interview will be contacted by Volunteer Resources. Please take note of application deadlines for school year, March Break, and summer volunteer opportunities.
Our preferred method of communication is via e-mail. Please check the e-mail address you provided on your application regularly for follow-up messages.
Where do I find the volunteer application?
The application process for becoming a volunteer at Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital is a 3-step process. Beginning with the Volunteering With Us page, the first step is learning about Holland Bloorview and what we do. The second step is "Finding a volunteer opportunity" and the application information is located in the 3rd step: "Applying to become a volunteer".
How old do I have to be to volunteer?
Holland Bloorview requires volunteers to be:
- 16 years old+ for select positions in outpatient and community programs, working with children and teens with disabilities who are not currently hospitalized. For example, Music and Arts, All-Abilities Soccer, Robotics, Ronald McDonald Playroom, etc.
- 17 years old+ for most inpatient programs, for example, Therapeutic Playroom for clients aged 0-6 and Therapeutic Recreation for clients aged 7-18 who are currently hospitalized.
- 18 years old+ for most outpatient and community life skills programs.
- Robotics only - volunteers may be accepted at age 15 with previous experience as a member of a FIRST Robotics competitive team/club. Please make sure to include information about your experience if submitting an application.
What are the requirements for providing a reference form?
- Employment and/or volunteer references are preferred. Should you not have employment or volunteer references, we will consider teachers, coaches, community leaders or other professional references.
- We cannot accept references written by a parent, family member, friend or "friend of the family".
- If you are retired or have been outside of the work force for some time, it is acceptable to submit former professionally-related references or references from part-time work or volunteering that you have recently participated in, such as at-home child care for your neighbours or volunteering in community centre activities.
What are the requirements for completing the Vulnerable Sector Search?
There are different types of checks that can be required to meet employee or volunteer positions as outlined in the Police Record Checks Reform Act. A Vulnerable Sector Check is required to screen individuals that work or volunteer in positions of trust and/or authority relative to vulnerable individuals (e.g., teachers and daycare workers, staff in long-term care and retirement homes, service providers working with individuals with disabilities). Holland Bloorview’s staff, volunteers, and clinical learners are included in this group. If you are 18 years of age or older (or turn 18 while volunteering), you will be required to complete a Vulnerable Sector Check.
Vulnerable Sector Checks are considered the most thorough type of police record checks and require a comprehensive search of national and local police databases. Due to the nature of these checks, there is a fee charged, whether the check is conducted for employment, education, or volunteering purposes. It is the applicant’s sole responsibility to pay any costs incurred to meet the police check requirements.
Further instructions on the process for obtaining this check will be provided to you at your screening interview.
Toronto residents will be required to complete the application for a VSC at Holland Bloorview, and to bring 2 pieces of identification to the appointment as per the Toronto Police Services list of Acceptable Identification.
For those applying to volunteer who live outside of Toronto, further information on how to obtain this check will be provided during your screening interview.
For all regions, police check results will be returned by mail to the individual.
What are the immunization requirements?
Accepted applicants will be required to provide proof of immunity to: rubella, measles, mumps and chicken pox and documentation of a 2-step Tuberculosis (TB) screening.
An immunization form to be completed by your physician or nurse practitioner will be provided to you at your screening interview.
The two-step TB Test requires four visits to your doctor and therefore can take several weeks to complete.
Please Note: It is the applicant’s sole responsibility to pay any costs incurred to meet the immunization requirements.
Staff, students and volunteers are expected to do everything they can to prevent the spread of the flu at our sites and getting the flu shot on an annual basis (or wearing a mask if you can’t) is an effective way to do this.
COVID-19 vaccination is mandatory. If you have any questions about this policy, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is the process if I am returning as a volunteer to Holland Bloorview?
- If you have volunteered at Holland Bloorview within the last 3 years, please contact email@example.com to discuss your interest.
- If you are a past Holland Bloorview volunteer who has been inactive for more than 3 years, meaning that it has been 3 years or longer since you were last scheduled in a program, you will need to reapply through our application process. Please visit the How To Apply section of our site.
What volunteer opportunities are available?
We have a variety of volunteer opportunities available at the hospital to support our clients, their families and our staff. Details of current available volunteer opportunities can be found in the Client ProgramsVolunteer section of our site.
Volunteer Resources does not offer clinical practice, internships or observership placements. Please see our Research & Education page for more information.
What is the minimum time commitment required to volunteer?
To best support our clients we have a minimum volunteer time commitment for all of our programs.
September – June
For placements between September and June, we require a commitment of 1 shift per week (approximately 3 hours a week) throughout Fall, Winter, and Spring sessions. This typically amounts to 75 hours over the school year. Volunteer shifts occur at the same time and day each week.
For placements during July and/or August, we require a commitment of 5 – 10 shifts per week. The options are 5 shifts per week for both July and August or 5 full days for either the month of July or August. This typically amounts to 100-150 hours over the summer.
March Break (high school students)
For placements during March Break, we require a volunteer time commitment of 40 hours over 5 full days, Monday to Friday.
Are there volunteer opportunities in physiotherapy and occupational therapy?
In order to ensure that volunteers are prepared to support these specialized clinical activities, and due to the limited number of placements available in these practice areas, Holland Bloorview volunteers who have contributed 75 hours in another program and have received a good evaluation can request to be added to the Physiotherapy or Occupational Therapy waitlists. These are two separate waitlists, and PT and OT staff prefer volunteers who are intending to apply to graduate studies in PT or OT for these opportunities. Once placed on a waitlist, there is no guarantee of a placement in one of these programs.
***Please note that during the COVID-19 pandemic, volunteer opportunities in PT or OT programs may be more limited than usual, due to reduced room capacity at the hospital, and increased use of virtual care appointments by these clinicians.***
Are there volunteer opportunities in speech language pathology?
In order to ensure that volunteers are prepared to support SLP clinical activities, and due to the limited number of placements available in this practice area, Holland Bloorview volunteers who have contributed 75 hours in another program and have received a good evaluation can be added to a waitlist to volunteer with a speech language pathologist. Once placed on the waitlist, there is no guarantee of a placement with a speech language pathologist.
Volunteer experience with a speech language pathologist is an admission requirement for many Masters of Health Science programs in Speech Language Pathology. At the request of speech language pathology at Holland Bloorview, only candidates who are intending to apply to the SLP Masters program will be considered for a volunteer position with a speech language pathologist. Volunteers in their third or fourth year of undergraduate studies will be considered for these placements.
Volunteers who have completed their term with a speech language pathologist are removed from the waitlist and are no longer eligible to volunteer with speech language pathology at Holland Bloorview.
***Please note that during the COVID-19 pandemic, volunteer opportunities in SLP programs may be more limited than usual, due to reduced room capacity at the hospital, and increased use of virtual care appointments by these clinicians.***
Does volunteer resources provide student placements and shadowing?
Volunteer resources does not offer student placements, clinical practice, internships or observership placements. Please see our Research & Education pages for more information.
Can my child volunteer with me?
Parents may not register as a volunteer in client programs and services with the intention of bringing their child in as a volunteer.
Children who do not meet the minimum age requirements cannot be registered as volunteers and have a parent monitoring them during a volunteer role.
Family opportunities to volunteer in support of Holland Bloorview may be available through the Holland Bloorview Foundation (e.g. by supporting community fundraising events). Please visit their website for current opportunities.
What are the requirements to become a Pet visiting volunteer?
The Pet Visiting program is part of the inpatient therapeutic recreation program and runs on Tuesday evenings from 7-8 p.m. ***Please note that in-person Pet Visiting is currently on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic.***
- All pets (dogs and cats only) must be a minimum of two years old.
- Written proof the pet is in good health and has received all relevant immunization shots is required from the vet on an annual basis.
- All pets must be house trained and obedient, comfortable on a leash and have a temperament suitable to participate in a program of this nature.
- All pets must pass a “pet screening”. Dogs must have successfully completed the Canadian Kennel Club’s “Canine Good Neighbour” program and handlers must present proof that their dog has passed the CGN test.
- All volunteers must be a minimum of 18 years of age for the pet visiting program.
- Unfortunately, children of the registered volunteer are unable to attend this program.
Specialized skills and employment
Can I use my medical training as a volunteer?
While we welcome volunteers with health care experience, volunteers are not permitted to act as professional health care providers within the hospital when volunteering.
Does volunteering lead to employment at Holland Bloorview?
Volunteer Resources is responsible for providing the hospital with volunteers. Volunteer Resources has no authority to offer employment and volunteers are not considered internal applicants. Volunteering may, however, provide you with experience or exposure that will later assist you in finding employment.
Am I entitled to free parking while volunteering?
Registered Holland Bloorview volunteers who show their hospital volunteer identification badge are granted parking privileges while on duty.
If you have questions, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 416-422-7033