We hope that the information below will answer many of your questions about volunteering at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital Oakland.

What are the requirements?

Volunteers must be 16 or older, complete an application, participate in a group interview to determine eligibility and complete health clearance forms, pass a background check (if 18 yrs old or older), as well as attend additional training sessions including a 32-hour customer service training. Due to the overwhelming interest in our program and the changing needs of our hospital, we regret that we cannot accept every applicant.

What is my time commitment?

Volunteers keep a regular schedule of one shift per week. Most shifts are four hours long, and nearly all shifts are during regular weekday business hours. Your shift will be "fixed" (same placement, same time, same day each week). You commit to a minimum of 100 hours of service (a six-month continuous commitment).

May I volunteer more than one shift per week?

Yes! Many of our volunteers give their time more than once a week, sometimes even in two or more service areas. We are especially interested in recruiting long-term volunteers. Many of our volunteers have been with us for many years and have completed thousands of volunteer hours.

What do volunteers at Children’s do?

We’ve posted an extensive list of some of the areas where volunteers serve. Our volunteer needs fluctuate throughout the year, and new opportunities pop up all the time. When a volunteer is ready to start, we review the opportunities available at that time.

Not all areas are open to new volunteers—the Intensive Care Nursery is an example. In addition, volunteers who are under 18 are currently limited to the following assignments: Art Cart, Book Cart, Clerical Support, Gift Shop, Greeter and Sports Medicine.

I speak multiple languages. Should I list this under "languages?"

YES! Over 60 languages are spoken at Children’s. Our interpreters are involved in medical conversations with families and caregivers, but volunteers play an important role in helping to break the isolation families may feel due to language barriers. Please list any/all languages you are familiar with, including American Sign Language. You may be surprised how often you get to use your language skills in the course of volunteering!

If I am younger than 18, do I need my parents to sign the application?

Yes. If you are under 18, your parent(s) or legal guardian(s) must sign the application.

Do I need a letter of reference?

YES, two reference forms must be completed. You may send the link teachers, friends, neighbors, members of church or social groups you belong to, or anyone who can provide a reference to your character and suitability as a volunteer in working with hospitalized children in a diverse setting. Do NOT list relatives. Our letter of reference form.

Why do I need to complete a Health Clearance?

We need a Volunteer Health Clearance to protect our patients and our volunteers:

  • Negative Tuberculin (TB) Tests: Two negative TB skin tests are required, one within the past year and another within the past three months, or one negative QuantiFERON blood test and one negative TB skin test within the past three months. If you have a positive TB skin test, you must have received a negative chest X-ray report within the past year, as well as provide documentation of the positive TB skin test result. TB tests are a two-step test. You must return within 48 -72 hours for it to be validated. Active volunteers may obtain a free two-step TB test through our Children’s Employee Health.
  • Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR): Proof of two vaccinations or positive blood titer. Children’s does not provide blood titer tests, nor does Children’s provide booster shots for prospective volunteers. 
  • Chicken Pox (Varicella): Proof of two vaccinations or positive blood titer. Children’s does not provide blood titer tests, nor does Children’s provide booster shots for prospective volunteers.
  • Tetanus, Diptheria and Pertussis or Whooping Cough (Tdap): You must document that you received this vaccination after 2005, when pertussis or whooping cough was added.
  • Flu Vaccine: Required during the flu season (Oct - May). Active volunteers may obtain the flu shot through your own healthcare provider or free of charge through Children’s Employee Health.

What are the hours for Children’s Employee Health Department?

Children's Employee Health department drop-in hours for free testing are:

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday: 7 AM - 9 AM
Monday, Wednesday, and Friday: 2 PM - 3 PM

Remember to bring your Volunteer Health Clearance form when you come for your appointment. Each TB/PPD test is a two-step process and requires two short visits 48 hours apart, so plan your schedule accordingly. You do not need an appointment to come in during these times.

How do I get to your Employee Health office?

Please let the ambassador at the front desk of the main hospital know that you would like to visit Employee Health. They will issue the appropriate visitor badge and will give you directions to our Employee Health office, room 148, first floor (510) 428-3620

How long do I have to wait to get my second TB test?

You can get your second TB test one week after your first is completed, however, you should confirm this with your primary doctor.

Do I have to complete my health clearance before I can be placed?

Yes, we need to receive all vaccination documentation together.

What should I provide as proof of my immunizations?

A photocopy of your immunization record, such as an immunization card, is acceptable. If you received your first immunization as an infant, make sure you also received a second MMR booster after you turned age four. Your physician may also complete this section of the form. They need to provide a signature as well as to rubber-stamp their office information for verification.

I’ve completed all of my onboarding requirements, what is the next step?

Up to 2 weeks, after you have submitted your paperwork, Volunteer Services will contact you to arrange placement.

Volunteering is rewarding, and our volunteers are an essential part of UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland. Thank you so much for your interest in joining our program.

Active Volunteers


How do I record my hours?

PUse Vic Touch to record your hours. Each time you report for duty and leave at the end of your shift, please check-in at the laptop in the lobby with your assigned pin number. .

If you do not remember your pin number, please email:


If you need to change your schedule or if you anticipate an absence, please contact your supervisor so that we may make adjustments accordingly.

Additional questions?

Please contact Volunteer Services at (510) 428-3471 ext. 2 or Thank you.

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Volunteer FAQs