AHW VOLUNTEER FAQ
A Volunteer Clinician is a licensed mental health professional who commits to working with one client, offering one free hour of therapy per week, for as long as the client would like. As current and former foster youth may have experienced significant loss and disruption in their lives, this long-term commitment has a profound impact on the client’s healing. Read the full job description here.
A Consultation Group Leader is a licensed mental health professional who facilitates a closed clinical consultation group online or in person for Volunteer Clinicians to discuss and get support around their cases. The size of the groups varies, as does the frequency and duration of the meetings. Some groups meet monthly, others meet weekly, for 60 to 90 minutes. Some, but not all, Consultation Group Leaders also have an A Home Within client (ie. they are also Volunteer Clinicians). Some chapters have two or three Consultation Group Leaders. Read the full job description here.
A Clinical Director is a licensed mental health professional who provides clinical leadership to their A Home Within chapter. The Clinical Director supports the Consultation Group Leaders in their chapter, who in turn support the chapter’s Volunteer Clinicians. Clinical Directors work closely with the AHW Program Manager to recruit new volunteers in their region. Utilizing funds provided by AHW, Clinical Directors organize chapter events and community building meetings. Most Clinical Directors also have an AHW client, though some do not. Read the full job description here.
Each Clinical Director is in charge of communicating chapter-specific information to their chapters’ Volunteer Clinicians and Consultation Group Leaders. Volunteer Clinicians update their Clinical Director on their progress with their client; let them know if they need additional consultation on their case; and inform them if they conclude services with their client. Consultation Group Leaders communicate the dates of their consultation group meetings to the Clinical Directors.
While Volunteer Clinicians are not required to participate in a consultation group, it is strongly recommended. Volunteer Clinicians who do not participate in a group must check in once a month with their chapter’s Clinical Director. A Clinical Director will reach out to a Volunteer Clinician if they have not heard from them for a while.
Consultation Groups provide Volunteer Clinicians with a lot of support from both their peers and their Consultation Group Leader. The Consultation Groups are generally closed so there is consistency and continuity among group members. The groups provide a sense of community and support. While the focus of the groups is on supporting the clinical progress of the AHW clients, Volunteer Clinicians can also get support around their non-AHW clients as well.
If a Volunteer Clinician has a concern about an AHW client—e.g. the client may need a higher level of care—they can reach out to the Consultation Group Leader for support. The CGL will either provide support directly or refer the matter to the Clinical Director. If further guidance is needed, the CD can consult the Director of Programs and Research, a member of the AHW national office staff.
AHW provides FREE Continuing Education (CE) events throughout the year. These events are open to all current and potential AHW volunteers. In addition to AHW’s national series of CE events, chapters hold their own events, which are eligible for CE credit if approved by AHW in advance.
AHW volunteers have access to an online library of articles and publications from fellow AHW volunteers.
1. Join an extraordinary nationwide community of therapists who are committed to ensuring that as young people in foster care or transition from foster care they are able to embrace life with resilience:
"I feel very inspired by my experience working with like-minded clinicians at A Home Within, who share a belief in the importance of the mission of providing long term psychotherapy to foster youth. It is a wonderful feeling of community and shared purpose and I’m very honored to be involved in this work." —Ayelet Barkai, Clinical Director of Boston AHW Chapter
2. Expand their clinical expertise while breaking down barriers for foster youth to access the mental health support they need to thrive.
3. Advance their careers through free continuing education credit courses.
Visit the Volunteer page on our website, and complete an online application for:
Note that you will need to provide your license, liability insurance, CV, and reference contact information.
Someone from the national office will contact you within a week after receiving your application to schedule an initial meeting over Zoom to discuss your areas of interest and expertise so we can match you with a client aligned with your practice and ensure you both have a positive and rewarding experience.
Next, you’ll be connected to your local Clinical Director if you haven’t already, and will meet with them as well.
Finally, the Program Manager and Clinical Director will work with you to determine a client to match you with, and will facilitate connecting you with them.
We make it our goal to match Volunteer Clinicians with their AHW client within one month.
No. An AHW volunteer can be located anywhere. Several of our therapists live in states where we don’t yet have a chapter, and they have access to all of our resources and national events. These therapists have access to our national virtual consultation groups, and the national office is available for support in lieu of a Clinical Director for clinicians in these locations.
Except for very few exceptions, you can only be matched with a client in your own state due to licensing restrictions.
Yes, absolutely. You can fill out the application anytime, and just let us know when you’d like to volunteer.