Youth & Family Services Volunteer

POSITION: Youth & Family Services Volunteer
DEPARTMENT: Youth & Family Services
REPORTS TO: Youth + Family Services Manager
LOCATION: Lewiston, Maine OR South Portland, Maine

Position Summary: Along with a licensed professional counselor and/or Dempsey Center staff member(s) the Youth & Family Services Volunteer will help organize and facilitate Youth & Family Programs including family nights, workshops at the Center, outdoor or adventure-based activities off-site and possibly teen summer camp.  Youth & Family Services (YFS) Volunteers will help children and families to connect with one another and other children and families impacted by cancer through activities like yoga or cooking classes, expressive arts activities and play to increase resilience, reduce isolation, and find joy and hope in the present moment. The ideal Youth & Family Services volunteer would have experience working with children or adolescents and their families and would be excited to jump in and help setting up, assisting with and tearing down expressive arts and/or outdoor adventure programs. YFS volunteers are responsible for accurately representing the Dempsey Center’s mission and philosophy to the clients and to the general public.

Commitment: At least 1 year and up to three-year commitment to assigned support group.

Time Frame:

  • Length of commitment: at least 1 year
  • Hours required monthly: 3-5, dates and times will vary based upon programs and events scheduled
  • Community events and adventure-based programs frequently take place outdoors and in the evenings or on weekends to accommodate families’ schedules.

Essential Duties/Responsibilities: 

  • Assisting youth and families to complete program activities (ex: pumpkin carving, cooking, art project stations etc.)
  • Arrive for events 30-60 minutes early in order to set-up and then greet arriving members.  Start and end program events on time. Help with packing up supplies and clean up after events.
  • Communicate adequately with Healing Tree Program Manager to coordinate participation and role in the event, including providing adequate notice if unable to attend an event due to illness so that additional support can be arranged
  • Fostering a caring and safe atmosphere by talking to and engaging in play with youth clients, helping to provide supervision as needed
  • Providing structure within which group activities will occur
  • Creating safety by keeping boundaries, respecting confidentiality and following staff direction
  • Assisting the Center in spreading the word about its programs and volunteer opportunities
  • Participate in volunteer orientation and ongoing training and evaluation


  • Successfully complete volunteer training
  • Over the age of 18
  • Excellent listening and conversation skills
  • Sensitive to the emotional highs and lows that can accompany the cancer experience
  • Assess distress in youth and adult participants and respond appropriately
  • Self-awareness of one’s own issues and an attitude of responsibility for one’s life (choices, feelings, relationships, triggers)
  • High respect for diverse lifestyles, values, beliefs, and ways of moving through the world
  • Attitude of acceptance toward all feelings
  • Exceptional listening skills
  • Empathic and caring, open minded and dependable
  • A healthy sense of humor and ability to play and have fun

Required Skills and Experience:

  • Familiar with a variety of art mediums (watercolors, acrylics, craft materials) and able to offer age-appropriate instruction to others on same.
  • Good communication skills required; ability to interact comfortably with clients and Center staff.
  • Compassionate and empathetic
  • Able to maintain composure when exposed to strong emotions (grief, sadness) in others
  • Ability to work independently.
  • Conscientious & responsible

General Requirements:

  • Must attend Dempsey Experience Training
  • Maintains professional behavior, dress and appearance at all times while volunteering
  • Must use discretion and take confidentiality seriously; HIPAA-specific training will be provided.

Required for All Volunteers:

  • Background check
  • Annual Influenza Immunization or Declination Notice
  • COVID-19 vaccination + Bivalent Booster

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at the Dempsey Center
The Dempsey Center promotes a culture of inclusion and seeks talented staff from diverse backgrounds. The Dempsey Center encourages applications from qualified candidates of every age, race, national origin, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, ability, and veteran status.

At the Dempsey Center, we celebrate diversity, advance equity, and create a culture of respect and belonging built on safety, human dignity, and bravery.