Become a Volunteer

Volunteer to Help Us Protect the Frail and Forgotten

Make a Difference in the Life of an Elder—Become a Volunteer Ombudsman

Our volunteers are a critical component of the Ombudsman program. Without their commitment and tireless efforts we would be unable to meet the ever increasing demand for our services. Working under the supervision of staff, our volunteer Ombudsmen advocate for long-term care facility residents, conduct visits to facilities and respond to resident complaints. We are very proud of our team of Ombudsmen volunteers!

What Does a Volunteer Ombudsman Do?

  • Advocate for quality care
  • Regularly visit skilled nursing and residential care facilities
  • Act as a voice for vulnerable residents while resolving complaints
  • Encourage facility staff to meet residents’ needs
  • Support resident’s rights, privacy, and confidentiality
  • Investigate allegations of abuse in long term care facilities
  • Witness the signing of Advanced Healthcare Directives

Other Responsibilities

  • Attend monthly in-service meetings
  • Submit reports on a monthly basis in a timely manner
  • Keep complete and accurate notes and documentation
  • Have Fun! This is a great volunteer experience and a chance to make a meaningful difference in the life of an elderly facility resident.

Qualifications

  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • Be fingerprinted and pass California Department of Justice (DOJ) and FBI criminal record background clearance screenings
  • Must have the ability to be objective, independent, assertive, investigative, and fair-minded
  • Must be a good listener and respect resident’s wishes
  • Must respect and have appreciation for cultural, ethnic, sexual, and religious diversity
  • Must possess good communication and organizational skills, both written and oral
  • Must possess the ability to work with supervision and follow direction of the program coordinator
  • Must be free from conflicts of interest
  • Must maintain confidentiality
  • Complete the California Department of Aging security awareness training annually
  • Certified Ombudsman representatives who use their private automobiles on Ombudsman-related business must have current automobile insurance

What is The Time Commitment?

  • Minimum of 6 hours per month on facility visits
  • One year commitment
  • A one-time 36 hour program of mandated training before beginning to volunteer
  • A one-time 10 hours of internship
  • Complete 12 hours of additional approved training annually

Ineligibility

Potential volunteers may be ineligible to participate in the Ombudsman Program if any of the following apply:

  • Volunteer or immediate family have financial interest in or compensation from a long term care facility
  • Volunteer is employed by a long term care facility
  • Volunteer fails to pass the required live-scan criminal background check
  • Volunteer fails to maintain confidentiality
  • Volunteer fails to meet the continuing education requirements

I’m Interested. Who do I Contact?

Please download and complete the volunteer application. Mail completed applications to:

Kern County Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program
615 California Ave.
Bakersfield, CA 93304

Volunteer applications can also be faxed to the office at (661) 716-1060.
For more information on volunteering, please call (661) 323-7884.

Other Ways to Help

Please contact our office if you’d like to contribute to any of the following Long Term Care Ombudsman Services programs:

  • Fundraising
  • Marketing
  • Materials Development
  • Public Speaking
  • Funding Assistance
    All funds raised for the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program will be used to expand our services to seniors in Kern County. Contributions may be tax-deductible, please contact your tax advisor.