How do I sign up to become a volunteer?
The first step in volunteering for Delaware County Victim Assistance Center is to call the office at 610.566.4342 and have an application form mailed to you. You must be 18 years of age, or older, in order to volunteer and have access to a vehicle. Complete the application form and send it back to our office. When we receive your application, we will call you to set up a personal interview. This interview is designed to give you more information about the agency and to allow us to learn more about you. After the interview, you will be notified of your acceptance into the volunteer training program.
What do volunteers do at Delaware County Victim Assistance Center?
Volunteers staff the hotline on weeknights from 5PM to 9AM and 24 hours on the weekend. Volunteers handle crisis calls, give information about services, and go to the hospital or police station if a victim needs an accompaniment. At the hospital, the volunteer gives comfort to the victim, may need to explain procedures, or may act as a liaison between hospital staff and the victim. Volunteers may also assist with fundraising or present educational programs to community groups in Delaware County.
How do victims contact me?
You are contacted by the answering service of Delaware County Victim Assistance Center at the telephone number you give the answering service, and are given the information needed to respond to the hotline call - for example, a telephone number, or the location of the hospital or police station where assistance is needed. Victims never contact you directly.
Do I have to be a victim of rape to volunteer?
No, but compassion and good listening skills are essential.
How much time am I required to volunteer?
Volunteers are asked to be on call two shifts per month for a minimum of one year. In addition, volunteers must attend in-service training meetings.
What do I have to do to become a volunteer?
Pennsylvania law requires 40 hours of training in order to guarantee the confidentiality of communications between the sexual assault counselor and the victim. Delaware County Victim Assistance Center offers a training class that allows prospective volunteers to qualify for this confidentiality privilege and to learn the crisis counseling skills required to volunteer for the agency. Volunteers must also receive clearance from the Pennsylvania State Child Abuse Registry.
What will I learn at the volunteer training class?
The training prepares volunteers to handle crisis situations and to answer questions that victims commonly have. Some topics covered in the training include:
Our training is designed to develop skills and abilities that will allow you to contribute to your community in a meaningful way.
Volunteers are our greatest natural resource!