Lesson 5 - Referrals, Confidentiality and Volunteer Hours

Referrals: When, Where and How to Refer Clients Out


Referral List

Tracking Your Volunteer Hours 


Lesson 6 - Supporting Our Volunteers

How Guiding Parents Supports Volunteers






Referrals: When, Where and How to Refer Clients Out

As a Parent Volunteer, you are not expected to be a professional therapist / counselor / doctor.  If something is said or occurs that concerns you, feel free to contact Guiding Parents.


The following may indicate that a family or individual needs additional professional assistance:

  • When a person expresses fears that they might hurt themselves or their child

  • When a person describes actual verbal, physical or sexual abuse

  • When a person speaks of a pattern of not eating or sleeping well or of uncontrollable emotional outbursts


Trust your instincts, but always feel free to contact Guiding Parents if you feel uncomfortable about any situation.


There may be times when you want to speak to the Support Program Coordinator about a match, please get the parent’s permission before you do so. There may be times when a match isn’t right. If this happens, notify the Program Coordinator. Your honesty will be respected and appreciated. The goal is that you and the parents referred to you have positive experiences with your connection.


Tips to alert you when you need to ask for help:

  • When the parent’s negative emotions are directed to you making it too difficult to provide support

  • When there has been a misunderstanding about the parent’s needs , and that has led to an inappropriate match

  • When you feel unable to cope with the issues the parent is bringing to you or when the parent needs professional counseling instead of or in addition  to a Parent Volunteer match

  • When you need additional information to help parents get their questions answered

  • When your life situation changes and you no longer have the time you need to devote to the match


Contact the Parent Support Program Coordinator at




A trusting relationship between parents lies at the very core of a successful match. Respect for confidentiality is critical to the development of a trusting relationship. Violating the confidentiality policy compromises this relationship. It is also a breach of privacy. For these reasons, Parent Volunteers are expected to respect confidentiality at all times.

“It is the policy of the Parent Support Program to maintain privacy and confidentiality regarding all families. At no time is any identifiable information about a family to be shared without their permission.”



Referral List

While providing support to parents, you may need to refer them to external organizations or other resources. An online Referral List is available for you. We maintain information on community organizations, government agencies, businesses, hotlines and websites available in the New York City area. The list is updated periodically. To save time, please review the Referral List before searching for a referral on your own. If you would like to add an organization, agency or business to the Referral List, please send your recommendation to


Disclaimer: The Referral List is provided for informational purposes only. This information should not be considered complete or up to date, and inclusion on or exclusion from our referral lists should not be understood as an indication of approval or disapproval by Guiding Parents, Inc.



Tracking Your Volunteer Hours

Your time is valuable to us. Please help us acknowledge your contribution to Guiding Parents by taking a couple of minutes each day, week or month to submit your volunteer hours on (please create an account on the OurVolts website before you begin logging volunteer hours). You can also track your hours and email a monthly total to






How Guiding Parents Supports Volunteers

While volunteers support our clients, Guiding Parents is here to support volunteers. We offer Parent Volunteer Debrief Meetings and Conference Calls allowing volunteers to reflect on their experience and identify what they’ve learned about themselves and others.