Role of Volunteer ADVOCATES
Volunteer Advocates are members of our community who have chosen to donate their time, energy and skills because they share a concern for individuals who have been affected by crime and tragic circumstances. Our volunteers are men and women over the age of 18, from all cultural backgrounds.
Advocates are committed, empathetic and prepared to provide emotional support, practical assistance and referrals to victims of crimes and tragedies, as well as witnesses and family members.
Because our volunteers work closely with RCMP members, all Advocates must obtain an enhanced RCMP Security Clearance.
Advocate Job description:
Grande Prairie & District Victim Services
Title: Volunteer Victims’ Advocate
Reports To: Volunteer Coordinator
Objective: The Volunteer Advocate will provide support, information, referral and crisis intervention to victims of crime and tragedy.
Qualifications: Volunteers are required to have good communication skills, the ability to be empathetic, ability to set professional boundaries, and have a desire to learn, and to assist people who have been victim(s) of crime and tragedy.
Key Responsibilities to Victims:
To work under the supervision of the Volunteer Coordinator or VSU Staff on call to provide:
• Crisis intervention, offer appropriate referrals to community resources/supports and to provide information and support.
Key Responsibilities to Program:
• Receive approval through the Enhanced RCMP Security Clearance Program. • Familiarize yourself with the Victims’ Services Program policy and procedure manual. • Sign up for a minimum of 4 shifts per month. • Check your email for messages or updated information. • Make sure your response time to the detachment is less than 20 min for call-outs. • Consult with Volunteer Coordinator regarding questions or difficulties with files and scheduling. • Accurately document all contact with clients. • Return phone calls in a timely fashion. • Read and respond if required to all memorandums in a timely fashion.
Key Responsibilities to Skill Development/Training:
• Complete mandatory Solicitor General online training in a timely manner. • Make your best effort to attend all training sessions, tours, workshops offered, and Advocate meetings. • Keep a detailed record of hours spent volunteering (i.e. on call hours, follow up client work, in services or training, presentations or displays, fundraising, court support) and submit those hours to the Volunteer Coordinator monthly.
Training: Extensive training is provided online through the Solicitor General, and on the job. All volunteers must complete the required training in order to provide specific services to victims of crime and tragedy. Training will include, but is not limited to:
• Orientation • Communication Skills • Crisis Intervention • Family Violence • Sudden Death • Suicide Prevention Training • Sexual Assault & Abuse • Impact of Victimization • Advocate Safety • Self Care • Victims’ Right/Legal Remedies/Justice System • Court Preparation • Policies & Procedures/Tour Detachment • Role Plays • Tours of Community Support Programs
The Main Victim Services Office is located at the Grande Prairie RCMP Detachment, and a Sub Office is located in the Spirit River RCMP Detachment.
Commitments: The Victims’ Assistance Program provides services 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. Grande Prairie area Volunteers are asked to commit to 48 hours of on-call coverage per month, and when on call, be available at all times. The shifts for Grande Prairie volunteers are 12 hours in length Monday to Thursday evenings (6:00pm-6:00am), 14 hours in length Friday evenings (6:00pm-8:00am), 9 hours in length Saturday and Sunday mornings (8:00am-5:00pm), and 15 hours in length on Saturday and Sunday evenings (5:00pm-8:00am). The shifts for Spirit River volunteers are for a week at a time, 24 hours per day.
On The Job Supervision: A Victim Services staff member is always on call for the volunteers to consult with. There is always at least two people that attend call-outs together.
Role of Volunteer BOARD MEMBERS
Grande Prairie and District VSU has a governance board that meets once a month, usually not for more than two hours. Board members do not meet in July or August.
There are a number of positions on the Board, including President, past President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer and several Director positions. Terms for Board members are two-years in length and these can be renewed if desired.
We encourage people with a variety of backgrounds and experiences to become Board members as this diversity contributes to the quality of our program and our Board.
The Board is responsible for ensuring that our program has the required funds to continue operating.Download our Volunteer Board Member Application