FAQ for Victim Services Wellington

1. Is there a minimum age limit to volunteer?

2. Do I need an educational background in the Helping Field to volunteer?

3. Do I need a cell phone and car to volunteer?

4. How does the "on-call" system work?

5. How long can you volunteer with VSW?

6. Will I be alone during one of my shifts?

7. Are the services offered confidential?

8. Is Victim Services part of the Guelph Police Services or Wellington County OPP?

The Answers

Ans #1: Yes. You need to be at least 20 years old to be a Volunteer with VSW.

Ans #2: No. All potential volunteers must submit an application and references. You will then be contacted for an interview. If after that interview, regardless of your background, you are a good fit for the organization and you feel comfortable moving ahead with the process, you will be eligible for the 40 hours of mandatory volunteer training.

Ans #3: Yes. It is important that all volunteers have access to a car as you will be required to get to the scene of a crime to support a victim. We require a valid driver’s license and proof of insurance as well. Having a cell phone is important for communicating with your Team Leader and for your safety.

Ans #4: If you are "on-call", this means that you are available during the time you signed up for on your shift. You do not have to sit in an office and wait for a call or report to the police station. You do need to be accessible by phone and be able to leave for the call right away. This is another reason why cell phones are important, so you can be reached during your shift no matter where you are.

Ans #5: We require that you dedicate four 8 hour shifts per month for a minimum of one year. If you enjoy the work you are doing, feel free to stay on, we have lots of volunteers who have been with us over 10 years!!!

Ans #6: No. If you are called to go out to support a victim, you will always be with another volunteer. Your safety is of utmost importance to us and you will not be required to attend any situation in which you are not safe. If you are ever uncomfortable with a situation, you always have the support of your Team Leader who is only a phone call away.

Ans #7: Yes. All services are confidential unless someone is at risk of hurting themselves or someone else or if a child is at risk of being hurt.

Ans #8: No. We are a not-for-profit organization with offices that are located within the Guelph Police Service as well as some of the OPP detachments. We have a partnership with our local police departments; however we are an independent agency.