Frequently Asked Questions


What is The Home for Little Wanderers?

The Home for Little Wanderers is America’s oldest and New England’s largest, non-profit child and family service agency. The Home provides services to thousands of children and families each year throughout Eastern Massachusetts. We are committed to providing the highest quality help to individuals in need, creating and disseminating knowledge gained through hands-on experience and bold innovation, and actively advocating for the children and families in our communities and the people who serve them.

Is The Home for Little Wanderers an orphanage?

hile many of our programs help families stay together in a functional and safe home environment, our residential programs serve children who typically do not have a safe home in which to live. Many of our residents have experienced some form of abuse and require out-of-home placements. Their stay with us is usually less than two years, and they typically move to less restrictive settings with members of their own families, foster care families, or adoptive families.

How old do you have to be to volunteer with The Home?

You must be at least 18 years old to volunteer with The Home. Please visit fundraising Ideas for Kids for information on hosting your own fundraising event to see other ways that kids and teens can help support The Home.

How do I become a volunteer?

We ask all individuals interested in volunteering with The Home to first attend a volunteer orientation. After attendance, you will be asked to fill out an application form, provide 3 references, interview with our Manager of Volunteer and Mentor Programs and finally if selected, attend a training and visit the program at which you will be volunteering.

The multi-step process is in place due to the fact that we serve some of the most at-risk children and young adults in the state. It is our duty to ensure that we are providing them with volunteers who are available to be consistent, understanding of our mission and our population, and are going to be the best fit for our programs’ needs at that time.

Will a background check be required?

Yes, and certain volunteer placements require fingerprints as well. This is mandated by the Department of Early Education and Care to ensure the safety of the children and adolescents we serve.

How long does the process to become a volunteer take?

Due to the multi-step process, the time between the initial volunteer orientation and placement at a program takes around 6 – 8 weeks.

How long is an expected volunteer commitment?

We ask our volunteers to commit to at least one year, especially if you will be volunteering directly with the kids we serve. For those volunteers not placed in a program, there may be different time expectations.

What are the types of volunteer roles available?

The Home has many types of volunteer roles to offer – some that work directly with the kids we serve, and some that don’t. Please view this page to get a more in depth description of the typical volunteers roles.

Where can I volunteer with The Home?

Volunteer opportunities are offered at many of The Home’s 20 different programs throughout the Greater Boston area and Southeastern Massachusetts.

How can I intern with The Home?

If you are looking to earn credit for your graduate or undergraduate degree program, you could apply to become an intern at The Home. Please see here for more information on the process.

How can I donate to The Home?

Please see here.

Does The Home host corporate volunteer groups?

Please see here for more information on corporate volunteering and here for more information on corporate sponsorships. Please see this quick video about our partnerships with a couple other companies. You may find this useful as you contemplate how your company might work with The Home and other non-profit groups.

How large of a group can The Home accommodate?

It depends on the project. Generally, we cannot accommodate a group larger than 20 volunteers per program site. For larger groups, please contact and describe the project you had in mind.

For other questions, please contact