Volunteering in Newton Massachusetts at Family Access

Volunteering for CAP

Newton CAP, a branch of a national program, follows a community-based approach. CAP’s trained and supervised volunteers include retired teachers, concerned parents, experienced social workers interested in prevention, as well as caring community members interested in empowering children. The CAP volunteers, managing home and professional schedules, all generously invest their personal time in delivering every CAP workshop. CAP is always looking for volunteers.

Each year CAP volunteer Prevention Specialists present 125 workshops to students in Newton’s elementary schools in Kindergarten, grades 2 and 5. The CAP Prevention Specialists work in three-person teams to deliver the CAP curriculum in 90-minute workshops during school hours. Annual training occurs in mid-fall. We ask for a nine-month commitment of 4-6 hours each month through the end of May.

This program teaches children simple strategies to reduce vulnerability to assault and violence by presenting basic, age-appropriate, skill-oriented workshops that focus on bullying between children, stranger safety and sexual assault by known persons. The workshops consist of facilitated discussion and role-plays for each of the topics. It ends with “Review Time” when the children are offered the opportunity to talk 1:1 with the Prevention Specialists.

Volunteer Role:

• Lead guided discussions with children ages 5 -11 and respond to their questions and comments
• Participate in simple, short, scripted role-plays
• Listen non-judgmentally to children during Review Time and support their problem solving skills
• Work as part of a team under the direction of the designated team leader and the Director of the CAP program, giving and receiving feedback

Time Commitment:
• Attend all sessions of the training approximately 24 hours
• Present 2-3, ninety minute classroom workshops monthly, October – May, for one school year
• Attend 3-4 In-Service trainings during the school year

Training includes:

• Information on child abuse and neglect and its impact on society;
• Role play and facilitation practice
• Opportunities to observe classroom workshops led by experienced Prevention Specialists;
• Practice listening and responding to children to support their safety.

Please note that FamilyACCESS and Newton Public Schools require all volunteers who work with children to participate in a personal interview and successfully pass a Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) screening.

For more information, contact Gail Sommer, Director, 617-969-5906, x143 or by email.


Gail Sommer
Community Support & Prevention Services Director
617-969-5906 x143