Daily Point of Light # 2231 Aug 22, 2002

The Client As a Volunteer program is one in which clients of Jewish Family Service of Greater Wilkes-Barre make a commitment to themselves, the agency and those they serve in the community.

The clinical staff at Jewish Family Service recognizes that whether a client is dealing with depression, anxiety, low self-esteem or other mental health issues, they want to feel useful. By delivering meals to those who are homebound, driving someone to a doctor’s appointment, cleaning a person’s house or just making a friendly visit, positive differences result. Clients not only serve those in need, but also enhance their own self-esteem.

After agreeing on workable and attainable goals and a minimum of three visits to the clinician, the counselor presents several volunteer opportunities. The client then makes a commitment to do a service and discusses what is expected. The client goes through training for the assignment and is given the opportunity to accept or decline it. As the volunteer effort progresses, the clinician receives feedback from the client with respect to how the client’s life and views have changed. Observations are recorded about the client’s motivation towards counseling.

Confidentiality is also stressed in the process. The person for whom services are offered does not know that the volunteer is a client of Jewish Family Service. By having the client help someone else, the focus is shifted from the needs of the client to the needs of someone else.

“When families need help, Jewish Family Service is there. It gives aid and comfort because they really care,” stated a Client as Volunteer.