Getting Started - Q&A

Q: How can I volunteer or intern? What's the first step?

A:  Congratulations! You've taken the first step!  This website contains information about the many volunteer and student intern opportunities in Sacramento County Department of Health and Human Services. 

Q:  Does it really matter if I volunteer?

A:  Yes! You make the difference!  Without volunteer and intern support, many support services would not be possible.  For example, thousands of children and seniors would go without holiday gifts without our volunteers in the Gifts From The Heart Program.  Volunteers and students lend an extra helping hand to staff and clients. They are an extra "eyes and ears" to our children, seniors and families.  Our volunteer and student interns provide support to our programs, which results in better services for our clients.  

Q:  Where are the volunteer or internship positions located?

A:  The Department has offices located throughout Sacramento County.  This gives Sacramento area residents better access to our services. As a result, the locations of our volunteers and student intern assignments vary. The volunteer position descriptions contain information on the location of the volunteer assignment.  Other positions vary, and the volunteer/intern coordinator can work with you to find a placement convenient for you.

Q:  Do you have evenings and weekend volunteer or intern opportunities?

A:  Most of our volunteer positions can be interchangeable with internship opportunities. Most volunteer and student intern placements occur Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m, during regular business hours.  Some programs may need volunteers on weekends and evenings depends on availability, and special events sometimes occur during these times.  We list the hours for each volunteer/intern position in the placement descriptions.

Q:  How long does it take to complete the screening process?

A:  Once you've mailed your application to us, we will call you within a few days of receiving the application to schedule an interview.  You can also call our office directly at (916) 875-2027 to schedule the interview and bring your application with you.  Please allow up to 2-3 weeks from the time we receive your application to start your placement.

Q:  Will I be paid as a volunteer or student intern?

A:  Unless otherwise noted, all of our volunteer and student intern positions are unpaid.  However, depends on funding availability, the program offers you a volunteer or student internship position may provide a $3.00 per day reimbursement  for your transportation costs to and from the volunteer/internship site. In addition, mileage and other costs are tax-deductible if you itemize on your tax returns.  Please consult with a professional tax accountant for additional information.

Q:  What are the age requirements to volunteer or intern?

A:  Each volunteer and intern position has different age requirements.  The age requirements are usually noted in the job description.  If you have a question about the age requirement, please contact the DHHS representative listed for each position.

Q:  What are the screening requirements?

A:  Volunteer and student intern applicants must have authorization to work in the United States. In addition, all volunteers over age 18 must pass a criminal background check. Exceptions are made for medical practitioners who hold a license to practice in the State of California (verification is required).  The background check is free of charge to you with the exception for short-term ( one month or less ) volunteer/intern -- the department pays for the cost of this screening.  Using Live Scan technology, the results are available usually within 72 hours, but sometimes it can take up to 30 days for the results to be returned from the Department of Justice.  All results are confidential.  In addition, if your volunteer/intern assignment involves transporting our clients or other driving assignment, you will be asked to provide us with a copy of your DMV driving record and proof of insurance to verify a good driving record and insurance coverage.

Q:  Do I need to know about the Department or its programs to be a volunteer or intern? What about on-site training?

A:  The department will provide you with on-site training you need to fulfill your volunteer or student intern assignment.  This includes information about the programs and services that we have to offer to the public.  We don't expect everyone to know about our programs. And, we enjoy opportunities to share information about our programs with the public, including volunteers and interns.  You will only need to demonstrate that you to meet the basic qualifications for the volunteer or intern assignment. These basic qualifications are listed in the position description.
If you have any additional questions, please contact Volunteer and Student Intern Services Office at 875-2027.