Volunteer Opportunities

Share your time and talents with us as a volunteer. We integrate volunteers into every aspect of the organization. With almost as many volunteers as we have staff, we rely on volunteers to achieve our mission and serve our youth.

San Diego Youth Services is an Equal Opportunity Agency. Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities.

We serve a community of youth, so we can only accept volunteers 18 years and older. We are not able to provide court-ordered volunteer opportunities. For court-ordered volunteer opportunities, we recommend trying the San Diego Food Bank, San Diego Parks and Recreation and HandsOn San Diego.

Volunteering with SDYS

Long-term Volunteer Opportunities

To ensure stability and consistency in the lives of our youth, we ask our volunteers to make a six-month commitment to volunteering. We also require a background check, TB test and drug test to help ensure the safety of our youth. The cost of these clearances is $78-$150, depending on the program. You will be reimbursed after six months of volunteering.

Administrative Assistant

Join the Resource Family Agency/Foster Care team and support our mission with filing, preparing invoices, data entry, answering phones and other administrative duties. This secretarial experience is perfect for a college student looking to boost their resume! If you have strong organizational skills, are savvy with word/ excel and have a flexible schedule, then this opportunity is for you!

Location: La Mesa
When Needed: Flexible

Counseling Cove Administrative Assistant

Join the Counseling Cove team and support our families and youth with filing, sorting donations, data entry, answering phones and other administrative duties. This secretarial experience is perfect for a college student looking to boost their resume and/or grow their networking community. If you are eager to support a local non-profit and have a flexible schedule, this opportunity is for you!

Location: Hillcrest/Balboa Park area
When Needed: Flexible

Transitional Housing Program Movers/Organizers

THP is looking for strong volunteers to help our service partners move into their new home! We are looking for individuals that would be able and willing to move furniture and boxes. Most SP moves are quick since our youth are starting out on their own for the 1st time. Additionally, volunteers are needed to assist our Service Partners organize their apartments (ex: young mothers that accumulate a lot of baby items). Our Service Partners need assistance in setting up a “home environment” instead of just having a place to sleep. Individuals with organizational skills, interior decorating skills/interests, and patience are needed.

Location: County Wide
When Needed: Flexible


Community Assessment Team (CAT) Administrative Volunteer

The CAT staff provides assessments, interventions and referral services for youth who may be dealing with behavioral, social or juvenile justice issues. Assist the team with administrative duties such as filing, data entry, and scanning. Perfect for a retiree or recent college grad looking to boost their resume!

Location: Spring Valley
When Needed: Monday-Friday; Flexible hours and shifts 9am-5:30pm

Our Safe Place Drop-In Center Volunteer

Provide general milieu supervision and guidance to our youth/Service Partners that are accessing services in the drop-in center. Assist in creating a safe and supportive environment. Reinforce drop-in center policies and procedures as needed to ensure the safety of the youth. Interact with youth as a role model. Assist in socializing the youth and redirecting behavior when appropriate. Assist staff in maintaining the cleanliness of the facility.

Location: Golden Hill
When Needed: Flexible hours and shifts – weekends 12pm-8pm.

Marketing & Communications Volunteer

Join our team with interviewing and writing skills to help our Marketing and Development department keep up to date with all our content needs. Duties include writing for letters, brochures, web and social media.  2 years’ experience required and/or related degree.

Location: Point Loma
When Needed: Monday or Friday; Flexible hours and shifts 9am-4:30pm

BridgeWays Administrative Support Volunteer

Join our BridgeWays team as they fight against juvenile delinquency! The BridgeWay team is designed to prevent escalating juvenile delinquency; this program focuses on a system of graduated sanctions on at-risk youth (under the age of 18) and their families in addition to providing drug and alcohol counseling, therapy, and other supportive services. The BridgeWay team needs help with filing, sorting donations, data entry, answering phones and other administrative duties. This secretarial experience is perfect for a college student looking to boost their resume and/or grow their networking community. If you are passionate about social services, eager to help a local non-profit, and have a flexible schedule, this opportunity is for you!

Location: Bridgeway’s clinic (College Heights Center)
When Needed: Flexible hours and shifts: Weekdays 9am -3pm


Provide adopted youth with some of the support and encouragement that they need to work toward developing a positive sense of self and making good choices in life. Most of the youth we work with have special needs and can benefit from academic assistance. Enrollment in the mentoring program is voluntary and the youth range in ages from 6 to 17. Mentor/Tutors meet with their Mentee once a week at the family’s home to provide homework help.

Location: County Wide
When Needed: Flexible 1-2 hours/once a week

MCYC General Assistance

Support the I CARE and STARS programs as a volunteer at the Mid-City Youth Center (MCYC) by participating in a myriad of tasks and duties including, but not limited to: transporting youth, interacting and supervising youth and/or their children, helping staff members prepare for groups and occasionally co-facilitating groups. MCYC is looking for an individual with a strong interest in serving survivors of commercial sexual exploitation and/or youth who are at risk. Past experience with at-risk youth preferred. 9-12 month commitment required with ability to do at least one 4 hour shift on a weekly basis.

Location: Mid City
When Needed: Monday-Sunday; 12-4pm or 4-8pm however, the time of shifts can be flexible if necessary.

One-time Volunteer Opportunities

Interested in volunteering your time and skills but can only do so from time to time? Are you an instructor, stylist, painter, photographer or have other skills that you would like to offer in helping our youth? Do you have a group of friends interested in assembling furniture or painting one of our centers?

We may have the perfect opportunity for you!

One-time Volunteer Event Proposal


Volunteer Application


Contact Bethany Moberly for more information about volunteering and our volunteer orientation!

(619) 221-8600 x1270


Frequently Asked Questions

What is the process of becoming a volunteer?

The process of becoming a volunteer starts with our volunteer application. After submitting the application, our volunteer coordinators will reach out to you in regards to our upcoming volunteer orientation. Attending our volunteer orientation is mandatory for all incoming volunteers and provides interested volunteers with information about our agency, programs, philosophy and skills such as trauma-informed care, crisis intervention, abuse reporting, and confidentiality. After orientation, our volunteer coordinators will connect you with a program in order for you find a placement you’re comfortable with and that fits with your availability and the programs needs. After finding a good fit, volunteers are asked to complete clearances before beginning their volunteer service.

What if I’m not able to attend a volunteer orientation?

If a prospective volunteer is unable to attend our monthly volunteer orientations, appointments can be arranged according to the availability of our volunteer coordinators. Please note that this option may delay the volunteer process.

What clearances are required?

Clearances include a background check (regular or CCL), drug screening, Tuberculosis screening, reference checks, and driving clearances if required by program of interest. Clearances are to be paid up front by volunteers and volunteers are eligible for reimbursement. San Diego Youth Services also requires that volunteers commit to a 6-month service with us.

When are clearances not required?

One-time volunteers are not required to complete clearances.


Service Learning Project and Internships

Our volunteer opportunities can be tailored to fit specific Service Learning Project and Internships. Contact volunteer@sdyouthservices.org for more information

Clinical Trainees and Interns

Clinical Traineeships and Internships are geared toward individuals who are looking to fulfill practicum or internship hours. Learn more!

AOD Internships

We do not currently offer Alcohol and Other Drug (AOD) Certification internships.