Who are our volunteers?
Our volunteers are citizens from our community who choose to donate their time, energy and skills. They are men and women over the age of 18, including students, working people and retirees, from diverse cultural, ethnic and religious backgrounds. All share a concern for individuals who have been victimized due to crime or tragic circumstance.
How to become a Victim Support Worker:
A victim support worker provides emotional, practical support and referrals to individuals who have been victimized as a result of crime or tragic circumstance by telephone, on-scene and in our victim services office. Clients can access our services through referrals from community service agencies, the Police or self-referrals.
Once the Volunteer Coordinator has received the application you will be contacted for an interview. You will also need to provide a Police Criminal Record Check and 2 reference letters.
- Training sessions are held based on our agency needs. Generally they are held twice a year.
- You must complete 40 hours of training to become a Victim Support Worker.
The purpose of the training is to provide an opportunity:
- to further assess the candidate’s strengths and weaknesses
- to observe candidates in a group situation and assess interpersonal skills, judgment, and attitudes
- to ensure all volunteers are provided with basic standardized training and skills
- to foster group identity and commitment to a high quality of service
- to provide opportunities to have volunteers participate in role plays and guided discussions
- to be trained to the minimum standards as set by the Ottawa Victim Services as directed by Ministry of Attorney General
- to raise skills and confidence to perform their duties
- to learn more about the service and their role in it
- to satisfy their need for social interaction and special knowledge
- to form an identity with the program and further develop a relationship with the OVS staff and the other volunteers
- Attend 90% of training sessions.
- Participate actively in training.
Potential volunteers will be evaluated by staff persons of the agency on an ongoing basis throughout training. If at anytime, OVS staff persons feel that a potential volunteer is not a good candidate in becoming a volunteer, the potential volunteer will be notified as soon as possible.
All potential volunteers will meet with the Coordinator upon completion of their exam to be evaluated on their performance during the training period and to provide feedback to the agency. The potential volunteers will be advised at this time of their acceptance or non-acceptance to become a Victim Support Worker.
All new recruits will participate in a three month probationary period from the date of their initial evaluation whereby at anytime, staff persons may determine that the volunteer is not fulfilling their duties or is not a good fit with the agency. At the end of the three month probationary period, staff persons will follow the policy for disciplinary procedures in dealings with the volunteer.
Expectations of Volunteers
- Volunteers are expected to work three shifts per month, whether it be on scene or in office.
- In-office shifts typically last two hours and involve coming into the OVS office and make phone calls to victims in need of support.
- On-scene shifts involve being on call during the day or overnight. Volunteers must be prepared in the event that a call should come in.
- Volunteers are expected to participate in ongoing training which includes quarterly meetings.
- Due to the time it takes to recruit, train and become accustomed to the agency volunteers are expected to make a one year commitment to the agency.