Ottawa Victim Services logo in all white text


Be a beacon in your community

Things change when we realize that we can make a difference. Start making your community a better place right now by volunteering to become a victim support worker with Ottawa Victim Services (OVS).

active volunteers at the end of our 2023/24 period
new volunteers trained last year
hours donated by our volunteers last year

“Every moment, every interaction has the potential to make a lasting impact. Your dedication to this cause is a beacon of hope for those who need it most. Remember, your small acts of kindness ripple into waves of positive change.”

April, Volunteer & Team Leader since 2019

Why volunteer?

Your community benefits so much when you volunteer — and so do you! You can gain:

  • Skills and experience to advance your career
  • A sense of joy and fulfillment from helping others
  • Deeper connections with your community
  • A better understanding of the world around you
  • Opportunities to meet people from all walks of life
  • A place in a close-knit team
Group of OVS volunteers sitting around a table
Group of OVS volunteer standing behind an OVS banner

Who should volunteer?

You don’t need any specific skills to volunteer with OVS — we’ll give you plenty of training. All you need is the desire to help others and a deep respect for all humans.

Diversity makes our team stronger. We welcome you to apply regardless of:

  • Age
  • Disability
  • Job status
  • Race
  • Ethnicity
  • Religion or belief
  • Gender
  • Sex
  • Sexual orientation

We particularly encourage applications from members of equity-seeking groups.

What do I need to commit to?

Victim support work is incredibly rewarding, but it’s not always easy. We’d love for you to apply, but let’s make sure you know exactly what to expect first.

Time commitments

  • Work three shifts per month
  • Commit to volunteering for at least one year
  • Come to initial and ongoing training, including meetings every 3 months


  • Giving emotional and practical support to victims of crime and sudden tragedy
  • Connecting victims to relevant services and organizations
  • Helping clients over the telephone, on-scene and at our office
  • Being on-call for on-scene shifts — this means being ready to provide support during the day or overnight

If this sounds like it’s right for you, read on! We’d love to welcome you to our team.

How to volunteer

We’re so happy that you’re interested in becoming a victim support worker. Here are four steps you’ll need to complete to begin volunteering with us:

Complete the application form below. You will need to upload your resume.
Next, we’ll contact you for an interview. Our interviews are done virtually, so you’ll need access to a device with a camera and internet access.
We’ll also need two reference letters from you. You can send these in when you first apply, or after the interview.

General Information

What area of Ottawa do you live in? *

Background Information

To become a victim support worker, you must:

  • Complete 40 hours of training
  • Attend 90% of training sessions
  • Participate actively in training
  • Pass the training exam

You’ll do two days of in-person and online training. We usually hold training sessions three or four times a year.

After training, you’ll complete an exam online. It includes things like multiple choice questions and scenarios to test your understanding of the training.

You have one week to complete the exam. You can do it in your own time and in your own home. You must pass the exam to start volunteering.

After you finish your exam you’ll get an email from our coordinator letting you know whether you’ve been successful.

Once you finish the training and exam, we’ll ask you to get a Level 1 Police Criminal Record Check . We can give you a letter to ensure you don’t have to pay for the check.

Police Criminal Record Checks usually take about 7-10 days once you’ve applied.

Once we’ve received your Police Criminal Record check, you’ll start your normal victim support work. Your first three months of work will be a probation period – this means you can be let go at any time if our staff feel that it’s not working out.

If you’ve completed the steps above, congratulations! You’re now an OVS victim support worker, providing people with care and support when they need it most. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts.