Thank you for your interest in becoming an IN*SOURCE volunteer! We hope to use this time to answer some of our most frequently asked questions about our volunteer training and support:
HOW DO VOLUNTEERS HELP?
Volunteers work in their local communities to provide support and information to other parents and help them address school-related issues as they pertain to school-aged children and special education. This is done by phone, face-to-face meetings and, in some cases, by attending meetings with parents. In addition, many volunteers assist IN*SOURCE staff in trainings on topics about parent involvement in the special education process.
HOW DO I GET THE TRAINING I NEED TO BE A PARENT SUPPORT VOLUNTEER?
Helping other parents is a significant responsibility, and IN*SOURCE is committed to providing intensive training to our volunteers. As a prerequisite, we ask that volunteers be familiar with Indiana's special education law, Article 7. We offer this course online or in the classroom.If you have attended Article 7 training offered by another organization that will most likely suffice. Just give us a call so we can discuss it. Then, we combine online and classroom training to offer in-depth information as well as opportunities to learn from other parents and IN*SOURCE staff, while minimizing time away from home and travel. Online classes are self-paced and cover introduction to our volunteer program, using Article 7, the history of special education, IDEA (the federal law), pre-referral services, procedural safeguards, special education in Indiana and transition to adult life. Each online class has a download section where you can view and print a transcript of the dialog and other resources, and there is an interactive component so you can communicate with us if questions arise. Following each class, you take a short quiz. A score of 80% or higher is needed to advance to the next class. Once you have completed all the online classes, you will be invited to attend an instructor-led class in your area. This class will cover communication skills, the individualized education plan, dispute resolution, case-conference preparedness, and other ways to be involved. You will have opportunities to practice skills and discuss issues with IN*SOURCE staff members, and you will be armed with a wealth of written resource materials.
DOES THE SUPPORT OF THE IN*SOURCE STAFF STOP AT THE CONCLUSION OF THE INITIAL TRAINING?
IN*SOURCE provides ongoing support to our volunteers through monthly volunteer newsletters and webinars and frequent opportunities for continuing education and networking with other volunteers. Phone support is available to assist volunteers working with families. Substantial written resource materials are initially distributed at training, and updated information is mailed on a regular basis. A primary function of the IN*SOURCE staff is to support volunteers in the valuable assistance they provide to parents in their communities.
HOW MUCH TIME WILL I HAVE TO INVEST IN THE PROGRAM?
After the time is invested in the completing the training program, your time commitment is dependent upon the demand for your assistance from parents and, of course, your availability. Some volunteers average an hour or two per week during the school year--some more, some less. We ask that our volunteers participate in at least one of the in-service opportunities offered by IN*SOURCE each year and participate in at least one continuing education activity that is relevant to special education each year, and continuing education does not have to be an IN*SOURCE sponsored event.
WHAT IS THE COST?
All assistance from IN*SOURCE is free of charge, and this includes our training. In fact, when you complete the classroom portion of the training, you receive a stipend of $75.00.
If you are interested in becoming a volunteer, thus joining a vital and growing network of parents in Indiana who are providing valuable assistance to others in their communities, please visit http://insource.org/get-involved/parent-support-volunteer/ so that you can be considered to participate in this important and exciting venture. If you have additional questions, please contact Beth Ernsberger, our Volunteer Coordinator. Thanks again for your interest. We look forward to hearing from you!