The volunteer program is an integral element that supports and enables the delivery of services at Geneva Centre for Autism and the achievement of the Centre’s mission to empower individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder, and their families, to fully participate in their communities. Our dedicated and passionate volunteers bring unique perspectives and skills to our programs and services. Volunteers are at the heart of our community and their commitment is invaluable to the families we serve.
Geneva Centre for Autism proudly adopted the Canadian Code for Volunteer Involvement (CCVI) in February 2016. We adhere to high standards of best practice for engaging volunteers as recommended by Volunteer Canada. As a model framework, the Canadian Code of Volunteer Involvement states the values and benefits of volunteer involvement as well as guiding principles and standards of practice when engaging volunteers.
These are the steps to becoming a volunteer:
Step 2: Check Current Volunteer Opportunities
Step 3: All volunteers are required to participate in an interview, submit references, results of a TB test and an appropriate vulnerable screening police check.
Examples of Volunteer Opportunities available at Geneva Centre for Autism:
Children’s Group and Transition Services Volunteer (After School, Weekend, Summer Camp) – Volunteers assist staff working with children and youth with ASD in a group setting in recreational, skill building and transitional programming. Volunteers assist staff with children and youth during session by participating in group activities, modelling positive social interaction and encouraging the children and youth to have fun. Clients have the opportunity to develop social interaction and leisure skills in the after school and weekend programs. After school shifts for volunteers are Tuesday to Friday 3 pm to 9 pm. The weekend shifts for volunteers are Saturday or Sunday from 9 am to 4 pm. During July and August, volunteers are needed in our summer camps working Monday to Friday 9 am – 4 pm for two consecutive week blocks.
If you are energetic, enthusiastic and want to gain experience working with children and youth with ASD, consider a volunteer placement as an after school, weekend or summer camp group and transition services volunteer.
Toronto Partnership Autism Service – Intensive Behaviour Intervention (TPAS-IBI) – This is an indirect volunteer position where the volunteer assists the IBI staff team, as needed. Tasks include creating visual aids, entering data, and other clerical/admin tasks. The volunteer will support the team’s clients with ASD (ages 3 – 7) over the lunch hours and during group activities. Volunteers will have the opportunity to learn through training observation, and must be able to identify/assess situations where help is needed and take action. Limited opportunities are available. This placement requires a six month commitment working two half day shifts per week, covering the lunch hour. This is not an entry level volunteer placement.
Pathways of Extended Learning – Culinary Pathway – Volunteers assist staff working with individuals with ASD participating in a sixteen week culinary vocational training program. Students participate in a blended training experience in a working café, combined with classroom instruction. Volunteers will be supporting participants in the classroom during training modules (safety, food handling, professional preparation, etc.) and in the fully functional café, where participants will practice culinary and customer service skills. Volunteers are asked to commit one regular weekday (Monday to Thursday) working 9 am to 3 pm for the full 16 week training program. Experience working with individuals with ASD, and food service experience preferred.
Pathways of Extended Learning – Life Skills Pathway - Volunteers assist staff with the participants learning independent life skills. This is an intensive half-day program which provides individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder an opportunity to learn, reinforce, and practice life skills related to the home environment. With a chance to practice on-site in our model apartment, participants will learn about topics such as cooking, housekeeping, laundry, groceries, money management, and safety principles.
This pre-vocational program includes both classroom lessons, as well as experiential components. Duties will include set up, clean up, helping to facilitate the group, data entry, helping with 1:1 support when needed (while supervised). Previous experience working with individuals with autism is an asset. ABA experience is an asset. Volunteers are needed one regular weekday per week (Mondays to Thursdays) working either 9 am to 12 pm or 1 pm to 4 pm. The program runs for approximately 12 weeks.
Pathways of Extended Learning – Professional Preparation - This intensive half-day program will provide individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder an opportunity to master concepts of social thinking, professional conduct, resume development, and interview preparation. This program will include group work, classroom lessons, as well as experiential components which will provide individuals with opportunities to practice both on-site within the Geneva Centre and off-site with community partners. One goal of this program is to help prepare students for a focused learning opportunity in a career area of interest (i.e. such as an internship or post-secondary specialization). An additional goal is to help students find and retain competitive employment. Ratio 1:5 Volunteers are needed one regular weekday per week (Mondays to Thursdays) working either 9 am to 12 pm or 1 pm to 4 pm. The program runs for approximately 12 weeks.
Adult Group & Transition Services Volunteer – Volunteers assist staff working with adults with ASD in a group setting in recreational, skill building and transitional programming throughout the year to provide participants with the opportunity to develop social interaction and leisure skills. Some clients may have high behaviour support needs. Volunteer shifts are held on Saturdays working 9:00 am to 4:00 pm.
Pathways Adult Group Day Service – Volunteers assist staff working with adults with ASD in the development of life, leisure, self-management, social and community skills. Programming is held Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Volunteers are asked to commit one half day per week.
Adult Social Clubs – Volunteers assist staff with one of the member-driven groups where adults with ASD socialize with peers, access social support and engage in leisure activities. The program is held in the late afternoon or early evening on Mondays to Thursdays.
Please note: Not all volunteer opportunities listed above are available or offered at all times. Days and times when programming is held may vary from the times shown above. For a listing of currently available opportunities, please click on Current Volunteer Opportunities.