Hospital Volunteers

Volunteers Are the Heart of Seattle Children’s

In an abundance of caution and consideration for the health of the community, Seattle Children’s has suspended all volunteer activity and new volunteer onboarding until further notice. We have implemented many changes in policy, practice and protocol all designed to protect those we serve and to help decrease the potential spread of COVID-19.

Seattle Children’s mission is to provide hope, care and cures to help every child live the healthiest and most fulfilling life possible. Since we began in 1907, volunteers have supported our efforts to serve our region’s most vulnerable populations. Volunteers are essential to our success and as such we bring together individuals from diverse backgrounds and perspectives in an inclusive environment to support the needs of our patients and families. When you volunteer, you join an impressive team that is the heart of Seattle Children’s.

Volunteering Requirements

Seattle Children’s depends upon reliable and dedicated volunteers to ensure the best possible care for our patients and their families. We ask that volunteers commit to the requirements and expectations listed below to ensure the safety and well-being of our patients and families.


Adults may volunteer in patient, sibling, and family support positions as well as hospital support positions, depending on experience.

  • At least 18 years of age when you submit an application
  • Available for one weekly 3 hour shift, on the same day and time, for at least 12 consecutive months
  • Commit to provide a minimum of 100 hours of service
  • Authorize a criminal background check


Teens may volunteer in hospital support positions with limited patient and family interaction.

  • At least 16 years of age when you submit an application
  • Available for one weekly 3 hour shift, on the same day and time for at least 6 consecutive month
  • Commit to provide a minimum of 60 hours of service
  • Authorize a criminal background check
  • Signed permission from a Parent/Guardian (form provided)

Additional Requirements

  • After submitting a volunteer application, you will have up to two weeks to submit two reference forms. Reference forms received prior to application submission will not be considered and will not be kept on file.

    Reference process – to be completed after submitting your application

    1. You need to contact two people and ask them if they would be willing to fill out a short, six-question online reference form telling us more about you. These individuals can be personal or professional contacts (which can include teachers, professors, coworkers, neighbors, etc.).
    2. You need to email or text each of your contacts a link to the short reference form. This form should take only a few minutes for them to complete and does not require uploading a formal letter.
    3. Once the form has been submitted, your contacts will receive an email confirmation with a copy of the form they submitted. If they do not receive this confirmation email, it was not successfully submitted.
    4. You should follow up with your contacts before the 14 days have ended to confirm that they completed the online form.
    5. Check your voice mail and email often for a message from Seattle Children’s. If we receive both of your reference forms within the next 14 days, Volunteer Services will contact you by email and/or phone to discuss next steps.
    6. If you do not hear from us within 14 days of your application, call our office at 206-987-2155 to ask about the status of your application. If we do not receive both references within this time frame, or you have not returned our attempts to contact you, your application will not be considered, and you will need to reapply at a later date.

    Seattle Children’s contacts all applicants who have submitted their application and reference forms within the time frame. If you do not receive a message from us, that means we did not receive all parts of your application.

  • All volunteers must comply with Seattle Children's policy for annual influenza (flu) vaccination along with tuberculosis (TB) screening. Specific information regarding these requirements will be presented during the one-on-one interview. These vaccinations/screenings will be provided by Seattle Children's at no cost to the volunteer upon acceptance into the volunteer program.

Steps To Become a Volunteer

Applications are available online during scheduled times, usually every 1-3 months, based on organizational needs. Please review our requirements and opportunities. This information can help you determine how your interests and availability will match our needs.

  1. Review our requirements and opportunities.
  2. Take our volunteer assessment survey.
  3. Check application availability.
  4. When applications become available, use your unique assessment survey confirmation code to access an application.
  5. After submitting your application, send our reference forms link to two non-family members.
  6. Check with your references to confirm that they have submitted the form on your behalf, within two weeks after submitting your application. Applicants without two references will not be contacted and your application will be expired.
  7. Volunteer Services will contact you within two weeks to discuss your interests and availability.
  8. Please have a voicemail box set up to take messages and be available to begin the screening process immediately.

If applications are not available, we invite you to check back later or explore opportunities at our Bellevue Clinic and Surgery Center or South Clinic in Federal WayBargain Boutiques or other ways to help

Hospital Volunteer Opportunities

Our goal is to match volunteers with opportunities that serve our patients, families and staff while providing volunteers with a meaningful experience that is consistent with their skills and interests.

Volunteers support the entire organization serving in a variety of roles, all of which are instrumental in delivering quality care and services to the patients and families that Seattle Children’s serves.

Volunteer opportunities are categorized into three types of support positions. Please see specific descriptions of roles under each category. 

Family Support Volunteer Positions

    • Minimum age: 18
    • Shifts: Monday–Friday, 8:45 a.m.–11:45 p.m., 11:30–2:30 p.m., 2:15–5:15 p.m., 5–8 p.m.

    Perioperative Family Support volunteers interact with families of surgery patients. They provide comfort, direction and continuous updates in order to reduce anxiety and improve the patient and family experience. The volunteer’s objective is to help provide support, but to also gain some knowledge and insight into the medical field, more specifically pre- and post-operative care. Maturity and experience providing support to others in difficult situations is crucial to this role.

    • Minimum age: 18
    • Shifts: Monday–Friday, 3-hour shifts between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m.

    The Family Resource Center (FRC) provides families with health and local area information, basic needs and stress-relieving services during their stay. The FRC also manages patient and family education and communications for the hospital. We are looking for enthusiastic, caring volunteers to greet families, answer questions, assist with family support programs and help staff with various projects.

  • Patient and Family Recreational Swim

    During patient and family recreational and PBMU sessions in the Therapy Pool, energetic volunteers engage individuals by leading fun and safe water activities, including group games. Volunteers will also help with cleaning and maintenance of pool equipment.

    • Minimum age: 18
    • Shifts: Monday–Friday, 2-hours, early afternoon shifts

    Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine Unit (PBMU) Swim

    • Minimum age: 21
    • Shifts: Monday–Saturday, 2-hour mid-day shifts

    Swim Lessons

    During swimming lessons, reliable volunteers are needed to assist swimming instructors and engage 3–6 year olds as they develop swimming and water safety skills.

    • Minimum age: 18
    • Shifts: Monday–Thursday, 2-hour afternoon/evening shifts

Patient and Sibling Support Volunteer Positions

    • Minimum age: 18
    • Shifts: Monday–Thursday: 9:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m., 1:30–4:30 p.m., 5:30–8:30 p.m.; Friday–Sunday: 9:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m., 1:30–4:30 p.m.

    Volunteers engage patients and siblings of all ages, in the playroom and at the bedside to provide opportunities for developmentally appropriate play and socialization, thereby minimizing the impact of hospitalization. Volunteers are required to maintain health and safety standards and keep toys and play supplies clean and stocked. Mature, enthusiastic, caring and reliable volunteers need to demonstrate initiative, independence and problem solving skills as well as have experience interacting with kids of all ages.

    • Minimum age: 18
    • Shifts: Monday–Friday, Weekdays only, 9 a.m.–12 p.m, 1–4 p.m.

    Volunteers assist in supporting the Ambulatory Care Clinics. Mature, enthusiastic, caring and reliable volunteers are needed to provide fun, purposeful activities for siblings and patients during clinic appointments. Volunteers help maintain toys and play supplies in the playroom, checking for safety and cleaning on a regular basis.

    • Minimum age: 21
    • Shifts: Monday–Friday, 8:30-11:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m., 2:30-5:30 p.m.

    Interact with patients, siblings and families on a specific inpatient unit to provide opportunities for developmentally appropriate play and socialization to minimize the impact of hospitalization.

  • Volunteers in the Education Department assist teachers in providing instruction to students who participate in the hospital school program. This can include working during the morning school program or bedside instruction (tutor) for selected patients under the supervision of an assigned mentor teacher. Volunteers also assist in preparing curricular materials for students to use, classroom group projects and some operations activities, such as managing clerical work.

    Hospital School Room

    • Minimum age: 18
    • Shifts: Monday–Friday, 9:45 a.m.–12:15 p.m.

    Bedside Instruction

    • Minimum age: 18
    • Shifts: Monday–Friday, 3 hour shifts between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m.


    • Minimum age: 18
    • Shifts: Monday-Friday, 8:15 a.m.-11:15 a.m. and  11:00 a.m.-2 p.m. (3 hour shift)

    Assist the Radiology department by providing support to frontline teams. Opportunities will provide volunteers with insight into the field of diagnostic imaging. Duties may include escorting patients to and from exam rooms, stocking supplies, and assisting with any filing/paperwork needs.  

    • Minimum age: 18
    • Shifts:
      • Monday–Friday: 3-hour shifts between 9:00 a.m. and 4 p.m.
      • Saturdays: 9 a.m.–12 p.m.


    Rehabilitation Services volunteers support the scope of practice areas of Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, Speech Therapy, Rehab Psychology, and Therapeutic Recreation. Volunteers may transport patients to and from therapy appointments and often visit with patients between therapy sessions. Volunteers assist therapists and other staff as needed such as maintaining clean and organized therapy areas within the Rehabilitation Services Department. Other tasks include filing, creating patient-specific treatment materials, delivering mail and cleaning toys.

    Volunteers who are pursuing a career in Therapy may apply for the Student Volunteer Bonus Program after meeting the required amount of service hours in the department (approximately 10 consecutive shifts). Volunteers are accepted into the Student Volunteer Bonus Program based on performance, attendance, hospital census and therapist availability. If accepted, volunteers may shadow a therapist for one session (1 to 3 hours) per week, outside of their already agreed-to volunteer shift, for a total of six sessions.



    • Minimum age: 18
    • Shifts: Monday–Friday, 9 a.m.–12 p.m. or 1–4 p.m.

    Reach Out and Read is a nationally recognized program which helps promote early literacy, parent-child bonding and academic achievement to children under the age of 6 years and their families. Reach Out and Read provides books and training to medical professionals so they can teach families how to engage and read to their children as well as provide them with a free book on their visits. The volunteer responsibilities include reading to patients, siblings and families in the clinic waiting areas utilizing the dialogic method and engaging families in discussions about the program.

Hospital Support Volunteer Positions (Limited Patient Interaction)

    • Minimum age: 18
    • Shifts vary by department: Weekdays mornings and afternoons; limited evenings and Saturdays; no Sundays.

    Assist the staff in a variety of hospital departments with clerical and office duties. Opportunities are open to volunteers who would like to gain office experience and learn new skills in a hospital environment. Available departments may include the Volunteer Office, Care Coordination and Ambulatory Services and duties may include filing and collating, answering phones, using office machines, word processing and data entry.

    • Minimum age: 18
    • Shifts: Daily, 6–9 a.m., 9 am–12 p.m., 12–3 p.m., 3–6 p.m., 6–9 p.m., 9 p.m.–12 a.m.

    Emergency Department volunteers interact with patients, siblings and their families to provide comfort, developmentally appropriate play or distraction and non-medical support. They also assist the medical staff with appropriate tasks. Mature, enthusiastic, caring and reliable volunteers need to demonstrate initiative, independence and problem solving skills.

    • Minimum age: 16
    • Shifts: Monday–Friday, 9 a.m.–12 p.m., 12 p.m.–3 p.m., 3 p.m.–5:30 p.m.; Weekends, 9 a.m.–12 p.m., 10 a.m.–1 p.m.

    Volunteers interact with families, patients, staff and visitors in the hospital’s unique and fun gift shop.  This is a perfect role for people with retail or cash handling experience, those interested in a business/retail career or those who love to shop! Volunteers sell, stock and price merchandise, and help keep the store clean and organized.  Proceeds from the Gift Shop help support our uncompensated care program.  

    • Minimum age: 16
    • Shifts: Monday–Thursday, 3 hour shifts between 9 a.m.–8 p.m.; Fridays, 3 hour shifts between 9 a.m.–6 p.m., Saturdays, three hour shifts between 9 a.m.–5 p.m.

    Deliver flowers and gifts to patient areas, collect and distribute wheelchairs and clean stethoscopes and other equipment. Messengers also get exposure to a variety of hospital departments by supporting many different projects in the volunteer office such as packet assembly, sorting donations and other fun stuff.

    • Minimum age: 18
    • Shifts: Monday–Friday, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

    Greet families and community members who come into the spiritual care office for assistance in access to a chaplain or access to the chapel. Families coming into the spiritual care office need a supportive stance as they are often distressed and seeking support from one of our chaplains. Volunteers will facilitate them connecting with the available chaplain. In addition to greeting families, this role will prepare our carts for our Tea for the Soul meetings that the department facilitates for staff, alert our admin when supplies are going low and answer the phone. On some days there are events in the chapel where setting up the chapel for this event would be indicated and directing families as they arrive.

Preview Application Questions

    • Why are you interested in volunteering at Seattle Children’s?
    • Are there any previous experiences that have influenced your decision to volunteer here?
    • Please describe any previous/current volunteer experience you have.
    • Please tell us what you would like to gain from this experience.
    • What strengths will you bring to your volunteer role?
    • Would you prefer to volunteer in a family support area; a patient and sibling support area; or a hospital support area? Why?
    • If you prefer family or patient and sibling support, please describe your experience supporting adults and children.
    • What do you think may be challenging to you?
    • What language(s) do you speak fluently?
    • Please list any skills, talents, hobbies and/or interests that might be valuable to your volunteer service.
    • Are there any other considerations that may influence your volunteer placement?
    • How did you learn about volunteer opportunities at Seattle Children’s?

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