"…personal contact with the needy for the love of Christ develops true charity and gives it vital force."    Mary Virginia Merrick        


Steps in developing a new program:

  • Find a partner in the community. This may be a school or a social service agency.  Examples:  CCS in Atlanta partners with a school for exceptional children that allows them the use of some land for the garden that volunteers and children work on together.
  • Form a leadership committee of members who are interested in overseeing the development and on-going coordination of the new program.  Network andr consult with agencies and schools currently serving an at-risk population to see where opportunities lie for a collaboration with your chapter. 

Consider the following:

Who are your potential volunteers? What are their interests and talents?

How much money is available to support your program? (Typically, programs that require personal service are less costly than give-away programs.)

What are the needs of the constituency you are looking to serve?

Find a location for your program and a timeframe that will suit the needs of your volunteers.

Stay in communication with the leadership of your chapter throughout the development process.

You may wish to think about group based events where CCS members can rely on the support of one another. For example: A book club program where CCS members work together with groups of children in planned activities at regular intervals throughout the school year (e.g., Detroit, Toledo); or think about offering a weekly support group for at-risk parents that focus on a variety of parenting issues (e.g., Milwaukee,Toledo). 

Develop goals and objectives for the new program.

Present the plan for your new program to the board for approval and to the membership at large in order to garner their ongoing support.

Provide a group orientation for potential volunteers and other members who are interested.

The orientation should include:

  • Program goals and objectives

  • Chapter volunteer guidelines (See Section B of Challenging Poverty manual)   click on link

  • Review of Diocesan Child Protection Guidelines

  • Legal issues such as program ownership (See OMG)

  • Roles and responsibilities of all those involved

  • Profile of those who will be served, including the typical needs and problems to be addressed within the program

  • Expectations of volunteers

  • Forms and any other paperwork to be included

  • Schedule of planned volunteer training

The NCCS Office staff and members of the NCCS Board are ready to help you at every step of the way in your program development.  Consult with them at any and every stage of the development process.

Confidentiality:  NCCS members as volunteers are responsible for maintaining the confidentiality of all proprietary or privileged information to which they are exposed while serving as a volunteer, whether this information involves a single staff, volunteer, client, or other person or involves overall agency business.

Records check: Volunteers who work in any way with children may be asked to submit to fingerprinting and background checks. Additional training classes provided by the Chapter's diocese will also be required for volunteers when the program is under diocesan supervision.

The Rewards:  The potential that a well-developed and well run program has to make a difference in the lives of those living in poverty is inestimable.  It will be equally rewarding to your chapter's volunteers.

Please consult the Challenging Poverty manual for more information and greater detail on all of the above.  Some of the topics discussed in greater detail are cultural competency, insurance, maintaining open lines of communication, a discussion of what it means to be a mentor, some tips for success and common concerns.

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