Volunteering in Our Hospital

Thank you for your interest in becoming a volunteer at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. Each year hundreds of compassionate individuals from our community volunteer throughout all areas of the hospital.

Our volunteers provide special services to our patients and families that contribute daily to our mission to create hope and build healthier futures. 
Many of our volunteers work directly with patients through a variety of opportunities such as:

  • Escorting patients to hospital appointments
  • Playing with patients in waiting rooms
  • Assisting in hospital playrooms and sometimes at the bedside (will require additional training)
  • Reading to children (will require additional training)

Apply Now!

  • Volunteer Requirements
  • Steps to Become a Volunteer
  • Open Volunteer Application Periods
  • On-site Volunteer Opportunities
  • Other Volunteer Opportunities

Applicants must be:

  • 18 years of age to work directly with patients
  • In good physical and mental health
  • Able to communicate well in English and receive all instructions in English

Volunteer Commitment

From our volunteers, we require a minimum of: 

  • Two year commitment consisting of a minimum of 100 service hours per year.
  • A commitment of at least two (4 hour) shifts per month
    • Most volunteers commit to a weekly shift: Monday-Friday between the hours of 6:00 a.m. and to be finished by 4:30 p.m.

The steps you must complete to become a Volunteer are:

  1. Complete Application
    Click here to apply!

  2. Accepted Applicants: Interview with the Volunteer Department
    Applicants must be willing to conduct an interview with Volunteer Resources staff.
  3. Accepted Interviews: Attend the next 4-hour Volunteer / Patient Care Orientation

  4. Post-Orientation: Competency Test Completion
    Applicants must complete all necessary hospital competency tests proving adherence to hospital safety policies and procedures. Competency tests address the following:
  • Working/interacting with hospitalized patients
  • Adherence to confidentiality policy
  • Fire safety
  1. Health Clearance Examination Through CHLA Employee Health Services Department
    A health clearance is necessary before a volunteer can begin working with patients.
    Items generally required for clearance:

  • Full immunization records
  • 2 negative TB tests from within the past year. This may mean up to four visits to the Employee Health Services Department or in skin test-positive individuals, a written report of chest X-ray results taken within the previous year
  • Drug and alcohol screening
  • Please note: During flu season it is mandatory to either take the flu shot or formally decline it to CHLA Employee Health Services Department.
  1. Background Clearance Through Volunteer Resources
  2. Receive a Start Date
    Receive CHLA volunteer ID, parking permit and purchase a volunteer uniform (CHLA apron) to begin volunteering. You will need to purchase and wear a uniform at a personal cost of $30. You will also be required to adhere to specific policies regarding volunteer work attire.

This might seem like a lot, but we’re sure you can understand, CHLA takes our patient safety very seriously. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us by email. All initial onboarding goes through Volunteer Resources.

For adult volunteer prospects (18 years of age and over), new applications may be submitted during the application periods listed below or until capacity has been reached for the corresponding period. Once your application has been reviewed and cleared, you will receive additional instructions to proceed with the volunteer screening process.

Adult orientation dates are as follows:

April June
July September
October December
January March

For High School Volunteer Prospects (15-17 years of age), please visit our High School Summer Volunteer Program for more information.

CHLA requires all volunteers to complete 64 hours of Outpatient shifts to familiarize you with the hospital before serving in other areas of the hospital.  The first 32 hours will be At Your Service (Escorting patients to hospital appointments) & the additional 32 hours served doing Mobile Play Carts (Playing with patients in waiting rooms).  We do not offer evening or weekend opportunities for this required opportunity. Volunteer opportunities do not include job shadowing or internship experiences.

Before you may volunteer in any of the Volunteer Opportunities listed below, you must first apply through our Volunteer Resources Department and complete the required 64 hours of  outpatient shifts.

Many of our volunteers work directly with patients through a variety of opportunities such as:

  • Child Life: Assisting in hospital playrooms and sometimes at the bedside
  • Literally Healing: Volunteers assist patients, families, and staff in selecting free books from the Gifting Library, delivering books and reading to patients at the bedside.
  • Mark Taper and Johnny Mercer Artists Program: Assist in inpatient playrooms family lounges and sometimes at bedside
  • Volunteer Cuddling: Volunteer Cuddlers are trained to interact with patients, families, and team members on all in-patient units, including the NICCU, in order to provide positive touch, age-appropriate engagement. Volunteer Cuddlers are selected from the general pool of adult volunteers and receive extensive training.
  • Rehabilitation Services: Assist in the fields of physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech pathology

Volunteering outside of our hospital is also an important way to help our patients.

You can start your own fundraising effort to involve your friends, family and community: