Posted by JF&CS
Our Lauren & Mark Rubin Visiting Moms program has long been a lifeline for new mothers throughout Greater Boston. Once a week, an experienced volunteer mom connects with a parent of a newborn to offer adult conversation, support, and empathy. The program has a robust presence in many areas, and we recently launched an initiative to expand our services in Dorchester, Roxbury, and Mattapan.
We know that having an experienced mom visit you once a week with empathy, lack of judgment, consistency, and a curious stance can be deeply supportive. We also realize that these visits can be even more meaningful for new parents if the volunteer is a member of your local community.
In order to create a diverse team of volunteer moms who reflect the community they serve, we partnered with the Epiphany Early Learning Center in Dorchester and modified our recruitment approach to be welcoming and accessible to volunteers who live in and around the expanded service area. Some of the changes we made include:
- Offering a supervision group in Dorchester to reduce travel time for potential volunteers who live in Boston.
- Offering the training as well as the supervision group in the late afternoon/early evening so volunteers who work full time could participate.
- Interviewing potential volunteers where they lived, worked, or studied, to increase a sense of trust, to reduce the stress of travel, and to demonstrate our desire to communicate that they belong and not that they had to fit in. For instance, we met candidates at a local library, in a café, at someone’s school, at their place of work, and in their home.
“With Epiphany’s collaboration and guidance, we launched a fantastic team of local volunteers who understand the unique challenges facing their clients,” said Tracy Rich, Supervisor of the Rubin Visiting Moms Vulnerable Families Team. “We still have a lot to learn, but we are excited about how this approach broadens our ability to support and respect our volunteers and the parents we serve.”
Learn more about the Lauren & Mark Rubin Visiting Moms program.