The Help Group is pleased to offer Paws & Pals, a volunteer-supported pet intervention program for children enrolled in its autism schools, its Kids Like Me recreational camps, and its after-school programs. Paws & Pals volunteers and their pets are placed in a variety of small group settings, where they have the opportunity to facilitate interaction between their pets and the children.
Students show increased motivation with visits from volunteers and their pets. This program provides a valuable tool for teachers to help students initiate conversation and social interaction with peers. Although some children may find it difficult to relate to and communicate with their peers, relating to animals can be a natural, soothing and non-judgmental experience.
Paws & Pals volunteer teams have become part of our classrooms helping students to achieve as well as to have fun with special friends.
If you’d like to get information on how to volunteer with Paws & Pals, please fill out the form below or contact Ann Avidor, Volunteer Coordinator, at 818.779.5233 or Lisa Manafian, Special Projects Coordinator, at 818.779.5212.
Join our growing team of volunteers and help bring the positive benefits of therapy dogs to children with autism. Volunteers have the opportunity to participate in a variety of classroom or camp settings at The Help Group’s autism schools located in Sherman Oaks and Culver City.
- Prior experience volunteering as a handler/dog team in a setting with children is preferred.
- Therapy Dogs should be comfortable in a group or classroom setting and have a mild temperament and calming effect.
- Commitment to visiting on a regular basis.
- Must be certified with Therapy Dogs Inc. before volunteering. If you have a pet and would like to get your dog certified and registered, go to www.therapydogs.com