Summer 2017 Volunteer Training – Schedule Available Here
Volunteers are the Heart of the Center
Volunteers can make a difference by working directly with clients on our 24-hour hotline, tabling at community awareness fairs or helping at our fundraising events or in the office.
Event Volunteering is a great way to help the Center without making a long-term commitment – and it’s a fun way for you to get to know us and what we do. No training needed.
You can be part of one of our event committees or help us “the day of.”
Community Outreach Volunteering
Community fairs and public awareness campaigns are also an excellent way to become involved with prevention of sexual violence. Outreach is the core activity that allows the community to know about the services we have available for them.
*Helping on events and community fairs is a great way for youth to complete community service hours while raising awareness on an important cause (Must be 14 years or older)
Helping in the Office
We welcome interns and individuals who want to polish their professional skills by volunteering in administration, development, prevention or counseling. Because the work we do is highly specialized, we require that all direct service volunteers complete our Sexual Assault Crisis Advocate training and ongoing trainings and can commit for at least eight hours a week for a full year. Applicants must be 18 years or older.
In many cases, it’s our hotline volunteers who are a victim’s first point of contact with our agency. And it may be the first time a victim has ever spoken of their assault. For this reason, it’s critical we have dedicated and committed people working with us.
See our Hotline FAQ section to learn if this is the right fit for you.
*All direct service volunteers (counseling and hotline) must successfully complete our Certification Training Program. Applicants must be 18 years or older.
Become a volunteer today. Contact us today and learn how you can help.
What kind of training/degree/experience do I need to be a hotline volunteer?
We provide all of the training you will need to help victims of sexual violence and once you complete the 40 hour training course, you will be a Certified Sexual Assault Crisis Advocate. No additional degree/training/experience is required.
Do I have to be a certain age to volunteer?
To become a certified Sexual Assault Crisis Advocate Volunteer and work on the hotline you must be at least 18 years old.
How much time do I have to commit to volunteering?
Initially, to become a Sexual Assault Crisis Advocate Volunteer, you must complete a 40-hour training course. The training usually runs for 8-9 weeks. Sessions are usually held Monday and Wednesday evenings from 6:00-8:30pm or Saturdays 9:00am-2:00pm. To find out about our next training and tentative schedule, please connect with Michelle Vincoli, Senior Crisis Counselor at (203) 487-0874 or firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are working on the hotline, we ask that you sign up for a minimum of four, 6-hour shifts per month. After completing the training, you are required to attend at least 3 of the 4 re-certification meetings per year. These meetings are not only a place for volunteers to meet each other, but to discuss experiences with calls and to learn more about sexual assault/abuse. Each meeting there will either be a guest speaker or a topic for discussion.
What qualifications must I meet to work the Hotline?
You will need means of transportation, valid driver’s license and a phone that are available to you for those times when you are “on call”. You will not need to come to our office during your shift hours. The Center’s answering service will transfer the call to you. Nevertheless, many times you will need to answer a call that will require you travel to Greenwich, Norwalk or Stamford hospitals or to a local police station to support a victim. You will need to arrive to a location within 45 minutes of the call. As a reminder, The Center serves the following towns: Darien, Greenwich, New Canaan, Norwalk, Stamford, Weston, Westport and Wilton.
How much will it cost?
Certification Training is provided by The Center for a nominal fee ($35) to cover the cost of materials and background check.
Are there any possibilities to advance in the agency from volunteering at The Center?
Several of our current employees joined the team after volunteering for The Center first.
You will need to provide us with authorization to run a criminal background check.
You will need to provide us with a picture of yourself so that we can create your Volunteer ID card. You will receive this ID upon completion of the training and once you have received your certification.
Sexual Assault Volunteer Crisis Advocate Training
This 40-hour certification training consists of individual modules on the appropriate topics conducted by staff members of The Center who are experts in their individual areas. Sessions contain readings, videos, guest speakers, site visits to both a hospital emergency room and local police station, role plays, group and individual exercises.
Upon completion of the course, you will have a better understanding on the topic of sexual violence and its effects on survivors and their family and friends. This course will prepare you for your role as a volunteer advocate on our 24-hour crisis hotline.
Training topics include: sexual violence 101, counseling, medical accompaniments, mandatory reporting procedures, crisis intervention, and medical and police procedures.