Volunteer Drivers

One of the most difficult positions to fill in a child’s treatment plan, is that of the volunteer driver. Contrary to the title, Drivers do get reimbursed for their mileage and waiting time at an appointment, so although it is not a salaried position, there is reimbursement.

Why do we need Drivers? Many of the children who come into foster care continue to have visits with their biological families and siblings during and after the court process. Sometimes, children will meet with their families two or three times a week. Sometimes it may only be once a month. These visits are court ordered and must not be missed.

In most cases, it is best if the foster parent and biological parent do not meet on an ongoing basis. Sometimes the bio parent may be angry at the foster parent - blaming a foster parent for the separation from the child. 
Although this may not be logical, it is easy to understand why a parent might resent a stranger raising their child.

It can be too difficult to sustain positive, ongoing interactions between foster and biological parents. Also, the foster parent often has other children at home and so is unavailable to do drives. These are a few of the reasons why we might need drivers to take children to visits.

These visits can be very emotional for foster children. A good driver can provide some consistency and a safe place for the children before and after their visit. While we do not encourage our drivers to do any ‘counselling’ with the children, drivers often sing songs, play games, provide musical tapes or colouring books in the car. Just knowing that they will be seeing a positive, caring adult can be important.
What is required to be a Volunteer Driver?
  • A recent police clearance with Vulnerable Sector Screening
  • A clear Child Welfare Check from the local Children’s Aid Society
  • A clean driver’s abstract
  • A reliable vehicle that meets safety standards
  • Up-to-date auto insurance
  • Availability during days, evenings or weekends
  • An enjoyment of children and patience for ‘car driving behaviour’
  • Comfortability driving to new places, on the highway,
  • accessing directions
What are the benefits of being a Volunteer Driver?
  • Tax free income that does not need to be claimed
  • Fun relationships with children on a time limited basis
  • A sense of contributing to the well-being of a child and providing
  • a needed service to the community
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