Volunteers may be freely used to raise funds for YAP and its sister agencies and endowment funds. Conversely, volunteers should only be used with great caution as mentors or in other roles that would put them in contact with YAP clients. If volunteers are to work as mentors and thus have regular contact with YAP clients, a number of precautions must be observed. For example, volunteer mentors must:
- undergo the same background and reference checks as YAP employees who are working in their state (see YAP Hiring Policy);
- complete a detailed written application and personal interview;
- agree to an unannounced home visit if a program director seeks to conduct one;
- complete whatever training is required for a YAP employee who performs similar work;
- submit to regular supervision and planning sessions with a program director;
- obey all applicable state and federal regulations, including those which may limit their client contact;
- abide by the same licensing and insurance requirements (automobile or otherwise) that are applicable to YAP direct service employees, such as Advocates;
- sign an agreement that will describe, among other things, the volunteer's primary duties and time/service commitments; and
- be willing to work with YAP clients entirely or predominantly in groups and in the presence of YAP employees, at least at the outset of the volunteer's work with a YAP client.
While wages are not to be paid to YAP volunteers, a program may decide to reimburse a volunteer for his/her prior-approved YAP-related expenses.