Frequently Asked Questions
To learn more about volunteering at LSI, click the questions below.
A lot! We are one of Iowa’s largest human service agencies, and we partner with Iowans in all 99 counties. LSI programs help prevent child abuse, support people with disabilities and refugees, assist families in crisis, help find foster and adoptive homes with Iowa KidsNet and provide residential care for Iowa kids.
Yes. Because of the nature of our work, we do have to carefully screen and train volunteers. The process can seem a bit daunting, but it helps us make sure it’s a safe and successful partnership for everyone involved. It’s a little bit like filling out paperwork for a job application, but less stressful!
You will complete an application, pass a background and reference check, and have an informal interview and orientation session before you start your volunteer journey. In some cases, you may have to have a TB screen for certain volunteer positions. There is no cost to you in completing this paperwork.p>
We offer different volunteer opportunities across the state. Our most popular volunteer programs are mentoring at-risk youth and teaching English as a Second Language to refugees.
Volunteers can also be tutors, small group leaders, advisory board members, committee members, event planners or serve in many other ways. We are also open to creating unique positions, if you have a special interest or skill that could fit a need.
Because we’re providing intensive services to Iowans, we typically don’t accept volunteers under 18 or who want to volunteer to meet community service requirements. There are some exceptions though! Please check with our volunteer coordinator if you have any questions.
Yes! We love interns. We appreciate you sharing your talent and ideas, and you get real world experience. We have offered internships in finance, graphic design, communications, social work, human resources and many other areas. If you don’t see an internship listed that fits your interest, let our volunteer coordinator know. We may be able to match you with an opportunity.
We’re a nonprofit, so our internships are unpaid. However, we feel the experience and opportunities you’ll get are definitely worth your time! An internship is a great way to build your resume and references for future employment.
This depends on your volunteer position. Some volunteers build relationships directly with our clients, and we ask them to make a commitment of six months or more. Other opportunities may be one-time or short-term commitments.
We do background and reference checks to ensure the safety of our clients and meet state requirements. At your informal interview, the volunteer coordinator will give you three sheets to fill out giving us permission to run Iowa Criminal History and Child and Dependent Adult Abuse checks.
WWe will also call your references. Once those are complete and your background checks come back, we’ll schedule an orientation.
To do an Iowa background check, we need your social security number, gender, birth date, and maiden name (if applicable).
The only place this information is asked for is on these State of Iowa forms. We do not keep or use your information for any other purpose.
We also do not discriminate on the basis of race, age, sex, religion or national origin. Information on your background check is not used to screen volunteers.
Good people to list might be a friend, teacher, coworker, neighbor, member of your church or social group or anyone who can attest to your character and suitability to volunteer. Please don’t list relatives.
This is the step in the process that takes the most time. If you let your references know ahead of time we’ll be contacting them, it usually speeds things up.
The interview is just a conversation to talk about your skills and interests, your experience and your schedule so we can find the best match for you and for us. You’ll meet with the volunteer coordinator or the LSI supervisor who is looking to fill the volunteer position.
A TB screen is a Tuberculosis screen. You’ll need this if you plan to volunteer with our refugee services program or if during your volunteering you visit a client who is incarcerated.
This is important to protect your health, our staff and those we serve. It’s free of charge and a very simple process. Your results are read 48-72 hours after your screen. Your volunteer coordinator can give you more information about this.
If you prefer, you can also have your own physician do the screen at your own cost.
We all cheer! You will be joining a group of very compassionate and wonderful volunteers across the state. The volunteer coordinator will have you sign some paperwork and set up any needed TB screen or training. You will set up your schedule and first day, and we’ll go over your position description and review our volunteer policies. You’ll also get a tour of where you’ll be volunteering, and we’ll introduce you to the LSI staff and any office equipment you’ll be using.
Great! You will first fill out an online application. Once you submit the application, a volunteer coordinator will contact you to discuss your needs and placement. Get started.
You can always contact volunteer coordinator Lisa Scott with additional questions. Call 515.633.3057 or email . Thanks!