Home visit volunteers meet with prospective adopters in their homes to answer questions and to complete an assessment of the family and their home environment. Prospective RAGOM adopters are located throughout Minnesota, Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota, and western Wisconsin.
Home visit volunteers then enter their observations and the information collected into a database. These details are then used by our adoption teams to match RAGOM dogs with the prospective adopters who best meet our dogs' requirements.
Interested? Please complete a Volunteer Application.
Home Visit FAQs
During a home visit, you spend time with the applicant and family in their home and ask questions and make observations about their suitability to care for a RAGOM Golden Retriever or Golden mix. You bring a dog that is accustomed to people and other dogs. After you complete the home visit, you write up a detailed report. Home visits are also required for families interested in becoming a RAGOM foster home.
The home visit itself takes approximately one to two hours plus drive time, and then you spend approximately another hour entering your report online. You should plan to devote three to four hours per home visit.
Yes. A list of pending home visits is emailed to volunteers, and you offer to do the visit(s) you prefer.
You can volunteer to do as few or as many as you want or have time for. Some volunteers do a couple each week, and some do a couple each year. You choose how often and when you want to do home visits based on your schedule.
You can travel as far as you like or stay close to home. Some volunteers like to drive more than others, and some prefer to do home visits close to their home.
Most home visits require that a dog accompanies you. But occasionally a home visit is done by phone for applicants that live in rural areas where RAGOM doesn't have a volunteer to perform the home visit in person. If you don't have a dog (or if your dog would not be comfortable doing a home visit), you can borrow a neighbor's, friend's, or another volunteer's dog. And no, it does not need to be a Golden Retriever.
No. Your responsibility as a home visit volunteer is to evaluate the applicant's suitability to adopt or foster a RAGOM dog. If applicants ask questions about fostering that you don't know the answer to, you can tell them they will learn the answer or can ask their questions during foster training.
Yes, you need to complete a home visit training session before you conduct a home visit. At the training, you learn about RAGOM's policies, the questions to ask, the things to look for and watch out for during the home visit, as well as education you might need to provide to the applicant during the home visit. You also review all necessary forms, including the Home Visit Questionnaire.
If you haven't already, complete a volunteer application and indicate your interest in doing home visits. After your application is processed, the Home Visit Training Coordinator will contact you. If you are already a volunteer and would like to become a home visit volunteer, email hvcoordinatorragom [dot] org. Before doing any home visits, you need to complete a Home Visit Training session.