STM Frequently Asked Questions

What exactly will I do?
As an STM, you will come alongside local church volunteers to support families affected by disability. You may be assigned a specific role or asked to fill a variety of roles, depending on the immediate need.

What are some of the specific roles I might take on?

  • Disability Specialist: typically an occupational therapist, physical therapist, registered nurse, speech and language pathologist, special education teacher, or behavior therapist
  • Program Assistant: help lead arts and crafts, recreation time, and games
  • Parent Group Leader: help lead small group meetings with local caregivers
  • Family Retreat Trainer: train local STMs to be a buddy to someone with special needs
  • Speaker: serve as camp pastor; Biblical training, ministry experience, and/or experience with people affected by disability is recommended
  • Photographer: document the Retreat through photos

What are requirements to serve?
You do not need to be a professional to be a part of the team. STMs are simply committed Christians that have a desire to serve families affected by disability.

Whether you're a college-aged student or a grandparent, you will serve a vital role at International Family Retreat. STMs must be at least 18 years old to apply. If you are younger than 18 years old and would like to serve, please contact the IFR department at ifr@joniandfriends.org or 818-575-1774.

Will I receive any training?
Yes! We provide all the training materials you will need before and during the Retreat. You will be trained on disability awareness, cultural awareness, and your role(s) at the Retreat. Ongoing support will be provided from the International Family Retreat Manager and the Retreat Team Leader.

How long is the Retreat?
A typical Family Retreat is 3-5 days. Including training, travel days, and a day to sightsee/shop, the trip will last about 10 days.

Additional Questions? Please contact us at ifr@joniandfriends.org or 818-575-1774.