If you are passionate about parenting and keen to do volunteer work, you can become a Telephone Support Worker

Become a Telephone Support Worker

As a Telephone Support Worker you will be trained to provide support for parents calling our Helpline.

You can work from home at times that suit you. All you need is a couple of hours every week, or fortnight, and a private space to listen to callers.

Initial training is comprehensive: once trained and “on the line” Telephone Support Workers are given on-going support, monthly clinical supervision and professional development.

Our perfect support worker will be an understanding and empathetic listener with excellent communication and English language skills; who is able to be non-judgemental, flexible, reliable and self-motivated. All volunteers will be required to undergo Police Vetting.

Calls are taken in the office by trained staff during the day. After-hours calls (weekdays from 6-9pm and weekends from 9am-9pm) are diverted to the TSW’s home by our call centre.

Apply now to volunteer

Benefits of the role

A Telephone Support Worker has:

  • an opportunity to develop and enhance skills and knowledge in listening and communication, expressing empathy, child and adolescent development, child abuse and parenting
  • you can expect to be treated with respect and to be supported in building your experience, knowledge and skills in a professional manner
  • it is hoped that each person who works for Parent Help will be personally enriched by their involvement

Read our Volunteer FAQs to learn more about the role.

Some of the reasons our current Telephone Support Workers chose to volunteer:

  • to share, or build on, parenting knowledge and experience
  • to build on listening skills
  • to build or use skills and knowledge for a current or future career e.g. counselling, community work, early childhood involvement
  • to “give something back” to the community
  • to help parents and families
  • to feel a sense of achievement and to feel useful

“I have been with Parent Help for almost two years as a Telephone Support Worker. I had always wanted to volunteer but found that as a parent of two young children I needed flexibility in how and when I could volunteer. Parent Help allows me to volunteer as much as I can and when I can. The best bit about this is that I don’t even have to leave the house to do it!

The training that I was given has made me feel really prepared for the variety of calls that I take. Learning more about child development, legislation, and role playing tricky calls were just some of the features of training. The calls are varied and I have truly learnt that parenting doesn’t stop when children become adults. I enjoy connecting with other parents and knowing I can make a difference in those crisis moments that we all face as parents. I feel that this opportunity has also helped me to grow as a parent and has positively impacted on my interactions with my children.

Once a month I go into the office with the other Telephone Support Workers for a supervision meeting where we talk over any issues and give each other support. I love being a volunteer for Parent Help and would love to see the team grow bigger.“

Parent Help Telephone Support Worker


We provide training to ensure that you become the most competent and confident support worker possible and that the parents calling our Helpline get the best advice and support.

Our training sessions take place at the Parent Help office in Wellington. Training is primarily face to face over five Saturdays using role plays with self-directed modules to be completed at home.

Participation in all sessions and completing of home-based study is needed. Often training is done in small groups so if you don’t show up it affects your fellow group members.

The initial training will be followed by taking Helpline calls within the office with immediate support available.

The last Wednesday or Thursday of every month, we run supervision in our office for all Telephone Support Workers.

“So the Module 1 is really around who you are as a person…The module 1 really is about us developing us as people….. Module 2 is around listening skills. And again, that’s something that get’s taken into life, into the whole of life, because when we can listen better, we have better conversations, we have better relationships with people.

So what I have found is that a lot of support workers, when they start doing the training, find that this has a huge impact on their lives. It really is quite amazing.”

(Extract from radio interview with previous Helpline Coordinator in March 2017)


We would love to talk to you if you are interested in getting to know more about volunteering at Parent Help. Call  (04) 802 5767 or email  info@parenthelp.org.nz.


Are you working towards Full Membership of NZAC?

Do you know that 100 hours can be made up of telephone counselling?
Becoming a volunteer Parent Help telephone support worker will help you gain your counselling hours.
For more information please contact us.

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