Briarpatch Youth Services is where Dane County’s runaway, homeless, and at-risk youth turn to when they need help. Serving youth and their families since 1971, the agency has unparalleled community recognition and experience. Just last year, more than 3,000 unduplicated individuals used our programs.

We rely on the generosity of people like you to deliver these important services. Your donation means that we can advance our mission and ensure that youth and their families receive the support they need – when they need it most.

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Briarpatch is Seeking Volunteers

Do you enjoy working with teens and their families?  Are you looking to gain experience in human services?

Consider joining the volunteer team at Briarpatch!


Time Commitment & Minimum Qualifications

Due to the nature of our work and the instrumental role volunteers play, it is especially important that our volunteers stand as exemplary models of professionalism and are able to truly commit the necessary time and energy to their assigned role. Before submitting an application, please consider the following:


  • Must be 17 or older
  • Commit to one year of volunteer service
  • Attend 20 hours of volunteer training (see current schedule below)
  • Agree to a background check
  • Provide 6 hours of service per week
  • Able to engage with and demonstrate empathy towards a vulnerable population  
  • Sorry, no service learning or volunteer opportunities for course credit
  • Hours: Monday - Friday, 9 am - 6 pm preferred, with some evening availability


  • Support on the Briarpatch Help Line
  • Provide support in counseling sessions and intakes
  • Support staff with files and data collection

 How to Become a Volunteer

  1. Complete the volunteer application form
  2. Return completed form This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  3. Receive email invitation for an in-person interview
  4. Acceptance into training class 
  5. Participate in our mandatory volunteer training program
  6. Receive your start date and placement

2019 Volunteer Training Schedule 

  • February 4th, 5th, 6th, 11th, 12th and 15th, plus individual mandated reporting online training
  • June 17th, 18th, 20th, 24th, 25th and 27th, plus individual mandated reporting online training
  • October 14th, 15th, 17th, 21st, 22nd and 24th, plus individual mandated reporting online training

**All training will be held from 5:30 pm - 8:30 pm at Briarpatch Youth Services office


We have the following volunteer opportunities available:

-Runaway and Homeless Youth Program, 8-10 Volunteer Counselor positions 

-Youth Shelter, 2-3 Volunteer positions

The above programs are the only current needs we have. Check back for updates to volunteer needs in other programs as they arise.


For further information, please contact the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or (608) 245-2550 x1209