Fur-real Hands on Handler Practicum
If you have dreamed of volunteering with your animal, if you don’t have an animal but would like to volunteer, or if you’re currently a volunteer but would like to refresh your skills, then the Fur-Real Handler Practicum is for you! In order to follow CDC guidelines and keep everyone safe, we offer our Practicum virtually on Zoom with personal coaching to assist interested volunteers into the exciting and rewarding sphere of animal-assisted interventions.
New handler volunteers (those who volunteer with their own animal) are required to take the online “Pet Partners Handler Training Course” for an additional fee of $70 directly to the national organization, which provides the foundation information (https://www.PetPartners.org).
We recommend the Pet Partners mini-classes, Volunteering With Your Pet, Being the Best For Your Pet, and Handling Skills for Safe Visits. These mini-classes are free, taught by live instructors, and listed both on our website calendar and the Pet Partners learning calendar. Our Fur-Real Handler Practicum is a valuable supplementary course to help reinforce your learning and practice the hands-on skills that help turn the theory into practice. Taught by experienced Pet Partner Volunteers and Team Evaluators, this course is tailored to your needs, interactive with live instructors, and full of opportunities to practice and ask questions.
People who don’t have animals that they want to volunteer with, but want to volunteer “unleashed”, are asked to take the mini-classes and Practicum, since they will better prepare them for their work as an unleashed volunteer. They are not required to take the Pet Partners Handler Training Course.
Beginning with a short in-person Zoom meeting on April 1, we'll coach you through the process of mini-classes, then taking the required “Pet Partners Handler Training Course” and learning assessment. Later we’ll ask you to respond to a learning questionnaire and tailor the Fur-Real Handler Practicum to the needs of this quarter's class. The Practicum teaches animal stress and calming signals in a thorough, practical way. Based on the needs you express in your questionnaire, our practicum will also reinforce the online course principles of supporting the animal, confidentiality, and infection control through practical demonstrations and practice. We also emphasize best practice positioning while walking into a facility, reading to children, visiting clients who are using walkers, sitting on couches and chairs, wheelchairs, and bedside visits, as well as working with groups and with therapists. Current volunteers are encouraged to attend to stay up with developing best-practice techniques in the field.
The fee for
the Practicum ($45, free for members) includes:
1. Lifetime membership in Utah Pet Partners,
2. Coaching during your virtual learning and mentoring in the field.
3. Guided learning during the month of April.
Remember to download our recommended Schedule of Learning!