Frequently Asked Questions
What is this initiative?
We are health professions students (medicine, nursing, pharmacy, dental, PA, etc.) and graduate students who want to help health care providers in the Houston area with temporary urgent household needs while they perform essential clinical duties during COVID-19. Our model is based off of the MNCovidSitters ad hoc volunteer group.
Who is organizing?
We are a group of students from the Baylor College of Medicine, University of Texas School of Dentistry, and University of Texas School of Public Health looking for ways to help our community. However, this project is in NO WAY AFFILIATED with any of these scholastic institutions.
Who are the volunteers?
Currently our volunteers are students of the aforementioned professional health care learning Institutions and of undergraduate universities within the Houston area. Please note that we are NOT certified childcare professionals and that we will likely need to be working remotely on class material while supervising your children.
Where is this happening?
Our volunteers will be coming to your home to watch your children/pets and run errands.
What ages do you babysit? What kind of services can the students provide?
Currently, we are offering services for children of all ages. However, because our students are not trained in childcare or managing disabilities, we are unable to provide services for children or adults with complex developmental needs. If you would like to clarify if your child fits into this category, please don't hesitate to reach out to our coordinators at firstname.lastname@example.org. Apart from childcare services, students can provide grocery shopping, meal prepping, and pharmacy runs, provided you give them authorization. We would prefer if you did not utilize our students for alcohol-related purchases.
How much does this cost?
Payment is not required, as we wanted to make this a free service for those who are already working hard to care for others. Our students are made aware that this is a voluntary service on their behalf. However, if you rely on your students to complete additional household management tasks such as yardwork, laundry, or errands outside of grocery shopping and pharmacy trips, please pay them in full. We do not accept IOUS.
How long can I receive childcare?
Currently, we ask that you evaluate your needs weekly. Additionally, while our respective schools are currently holding online classes, we are still expected to attend and complete class sessions, including online small group sessions. Therefore, your student(s) may have educational requirements to meet during their voluntary “babysitting” hours. Also, please remember that we are not professional childcare support. If you find yourself needing them for more hours than our students can manage, please reach the Coordination Team at email@example.com so we can reevaluate.
Can we combine children from different households?
Unfortunately, due to health concerns, we can only accommodate children from the same household (i.e. siblings, live-in relatives).
What is this initiative?
We are health professions students (medicine, nursing, pharmacy, dental, PA, etc.). gradaute students, and undergraduate pre-medical students who want to help healthcare providers in the Houston area with temporary urgent household needs while they perform essential clinical duties during COVID-19. Our model is based off of the MNCovidSitters ad hoc volunteer group.
Who is organizing?
We are a group of students from the Baylor College of Medicine, University of Texas School of Dentistry, University of Texas School of Public Health, and Rice University looking for ways to help our community. However, this project is in NO WAY AFFILIATED with any of these scholastic institutions.
Will I be compensated for my time?
No, this program is voluntary and compensation is not to be expected, as we want to lessen the burden on those in the front lines of healthcare in the setting of COVID-19.
What if I get paired with a family and their requests are outside of my comfort zone or the hours are too much for me to handle at this moment?
We have intentionally placed you in pods of 3-5 students to serve 1 healthcare family in order to minimize the burden on each student. However, if you are facing difficulties or requests that are beyond your scope, please reach out to the student coordinators at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will work with you and the family to either come up with a plan that works for everyone, or repair you. We value your health and well-being at the utmost.
What will the pairings look like?
As we expect the time needs of families to be larger than any individual student could/should manage on their own, we hope to create small “pods” of 3-5 students that will work together to fill the scheduling needs of 1 healthcare family in your geographic area. After you and families fill out the intake form, we will work to create these groups based on matching characteristics and location and will send an introduction email to the family and the student group. It will then be the responsibility of the family to let the students know their time requirements and the students to coordinate to best cover the requested shifts.
What is the time commitment needed?
Any time you are able to contribute is incredibly appreciated. There is no minimum or maximum time limits for volunteering. Our families will surely appreciate any and all help that you can provide them. With this being said, please remember to take care of yourself during this time!