As a volunteer with DFPS, there are many ways you can help children, their families, and aging adults or individuals with disabilities. The opportunities listed below are for one or more programs.
Opportunities involving direct access to clients or confidential information require a thorough background check and training. You will be asked for permission to have the background check.
Not all opportunities are available in all areas at all times. Check with your local volunteer coordinator for a complete list of volunteer opportunities in your area.
Below are some of the most common volunteer opportunities at the Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS):
Are you interested in a career in human services or social work? If so, please consider interning with the agency. As a DFPS intern, you will have an opportunity to work with children or vulnerable adults, gain hands on experience, and build your professional skills for resume purposes. We welcome interns year round. To learn more about our internships, visit the internship page on our website.
We are looking for volunteers like you who are attentive, empathetic, and engaged to sit with children while they are in the hospital. Children in the hospital need you to keep them company, comfort them, read to them, or help them eat. This is a great opportunity if you are a retired medical professional, first responder, teacher, or just someone who loves nurturing children.
Often times the elderly or individuals with disabilities are homebound and live alone. We are looking for volunteers like you to visit with adults who are elderly, or who have disabilities, to provide companionship and a helping hand. You may visit people in their home, in a skilled nursing facility, or in the hospital. This is a great opportunity if you are a retired medical professional, first responder, teacher, or just someone who loves spending time with people.
Assisting Parents and Vulnerable Adults with Transportation
Reliable transportation is a significant need for parents who are involved with CPS, and for adults who are elderly or have disabilities. You can help parents get to court appointments, parent education classes, counseling sessions, and visits with their children. You can also take adults who are elderly or have disabilities to various appointments. You must have a valid Texas Driver’s License, be properly insured for personal liability and property damage, have a valid license plate and inspection sticker, and have seat belts in your vehicle.
Delivering Medications to the Homebound
Due to a lack of transportation, homebound elderly often have difficulty picking up their prescriptions, which can cause serious health and medical issues. We need volunteers like you with reliable transportation to pick up prescribed medications and deliver them to homebound elderly adults or people with disabilities.
If you live in the Austin area, you can volunteer with the Texas Youth Hotline, a 24-hour crisis center that provides support to youth and families in need by answering calls, chats, and texts. Volunteers like you address caller concerns, help them consider choices, provide resources, and develop a sensible solution. You need to be 18 years old, pass a background check, attend 20 hours of training, and volunteer four hours every other week. You can also help distribute hotline materials in your community at fairs, schools, or businesses.
Help the Emergency Resources Rooms
Emergency Resources Rooms exist around the state to ensure that youth and elderly and disabled adults receive basic provisions. We need volunteers like you to help sort, organize, and inventory donations.
Resource Rooms provide items like:
- Child and adult diapers
- Ensure meal supplements
- Baby formula
- Cleaning supplies
- Durable medical equipment
During the holiday season, you can help sort, match, wrap and distribute presents to families and children. This is also a perfect opportunity for your volunteer group.
Create a Personalized Scrapbook for a Foster Youth
You can help children find forever families by assembling a personalized scrapbook for a child. These scrapbooks help prospective adoptive parents learn more about the children who are available for adoption. This is ideal if you are crafty and have a love for scrapbooking. This opportunity can be done from home.
Volunteers like you also help in DFPS offices by filing, answering phones, making copies, and welcoming visitors. You must be organized and professional. This is a great opportunity if you want to learn how an office works, or are a retired professional looking to maintain their administrative skills.
Make Quilts or Blankets
You can make blankets or quilts for a child or adult in need. These blankets are a wonderful way to provide comfort and security. This is a great virtual project for you to complete from home.
Special Events and Activities
Throughout the year, DFPS hosts a variety of events in the community. We need volunteers like you to help with the coordination, planning, and execution of events like:
- Back to school backpack giveaways
- Prom in the spring
- Child Abuse Prevention Month events
- Elder Abuse Prevention and Awareness month events
- Financial Exploitation Awareness month events
- Recognition and award ceremonies.