Office for Women & Domestic and Sexual Violence Services Volunteer Information
Office for Women & Domestic and Sexual Violence Services
VOICES - Volunteers Offering Information Compassionately while Emphasizing Self-Determination
Volunteers are an integral part of our mission of preventing and ending domestic and sexual violence, stalking and human trafficking by fostering a community based on equality and mutual respect through prevention and intervention, community engagement and awareness, policy and advocacy. We could not do the work we do without help from our volunteers.
In FY 2016, our VOICES volunteers:
- Provided crisis intervention, emotional support, and information and referrals to callers of our 24-hour domestic and sexual violence hotline;
- Served as co-facilitators for our 18-week, certified domestic violence intervention program for perpetrators of domestic violence;
- Completed administrative tasks and provided front desk support.
- Assisted with various resource fairs and outreach events;
- Supported special events;
- And much more!
Volunteers contributed 4,231 hours of service with a value of $110,384 to the county.
The Impact of Volunteerism
The Benefits of Volunteering
What You Can Expect as a Volunteer
What We Expect from You as a Volunteer
Types of Volunteer Opportunities
What if I Have Questions?
Steps to Volunteering
Give Donate Resources
You can make a difference in our community by sharing your time and talents. Our goal is to make your volunteer experience fulfilling and meaningful. The Office for Women & Domestic and Sexual Violence Services (OFWDSVS) utilizes volunteers in a variety of positions and has created a program that not only helps us to meet the needs of our community, but is also flexible enough to meet the needs of today's volunteer. We have opportunities for those who want to support clients directly and other work that can support our agency's operations. Our volunteer opportunities range from one-day special projects to long-term commitments with evening and weekend opportunities available. Group/corporate volunteer opportunities where you can serve with your family, friends or coworkers; this is a good option for those wishing to volunteer with individuals under the age of 21. Additionally, you could choose to serve as a Hotline Advocate from the convenience of your own home. VOICES volunteers come from diverse backgrounds and bring a wide array of skills to OFWDSVS. Whether you have a few hours or a few days, we are grateful for your time. We have rewarding opportunities for you and will help you find a volunteer position that suits your interests, talents and schedule.
OFWDSVS welcomes diverse volunteers and does not discriminate on the basis of race, age, creed, gender, gender identity, national origin, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, or religion.
- Volunteers' skills and talents play an important role in helping us to create communities where everyone can live free of violence.
- Volunteers' dedication and reliability instills quality into our programs and services.
- Volunteers' gifts of time teaches our children and youth the importance of giving back to our community.
- Volunteers strengthen our communities.
Help Victims of Violence: As a volunteer, you will help us to provide support and promote justice for victims of violence, their families and communities.
Work from Convenient Locations: We have an array of services in the various regions of the county, which means that volunteer activities are most likely available in locations close to where you live, work or go to school. As a Hotline Counselor, you respond to calls from the convenience of your own home. As a counselor, you can forward the hotline to your cell phone or home phone, which will not be displayed to callers.
Gain Skills: Volunteering affords you an opportunity to build or enhance your skill set in a meaningful field of work. Our volunteers and staff come from diverse backgrounds and are eager to share their specialized knowledge and experience.
Network and Develop Friendships: As a volunteer, you have access to staff from other organizations offering ample opportunities to establish professional connections. Additionally, you have the opportunity to join a community of passionate people who enjoy helping others. You may develop lifelong friendships.
- Information and regular in-services to carry out your volunteer role.
- Ongoing support and supervision by your On-Site Supervisor and the Volunteer Services Coordinator.
- Our Volunteer Services Coordinator is committed to a set of core ethical values: philanthropy, respect, responsibility, compassion and generosity, justice and fairness, and trustworthiness to guide you in your role.
- A professional and team-oriented environment.
- Recognition for your volunteer service.
- Select a volunteer role that is best suited to your interests, talents and schedule. We want your experience to be meaningful.
- Be dependable.
- Record hours contributed in the online Volunteer Management System.
- Complete documentation of work through online datasystems, such as VAData.
- Be willing to receive text messages and emails.
- Be respectful of the confidentiality and sensitivity of client's needs. A breach of confidentiality will result in termination of your position.
- Follow the County's Code of Ethics and program's policies and procedures.
- Participate in all required trainings and in-services.
- Anger and Domestic Abuse Prevention and Treatment (ADAPT) Group Co-Facilitator: Presents educational material from the Core Values Workshop's curriculum, review clients' homework and perform other group management responsibilities. This is an 18-week program which meets on a weekly basis in the evening for 2.5 hours at a specified location.
- Community Ambassador: Assists with outreach activities, such as local events- community resource fairs, back to school nights, etc. Helps us promote healthy relationships and share information about our programs and services. Some events are in the evening or during weekends. In addition, we often need help with distributing informational materials to community establishments.
- Court Accompaniment Advocate (coming soon)
- Data Analyst/Entry Assistant: Assists in developing data collection systems and other strategies that optimize efficiency and data accuracy. Acquires data from sources within the agency. Analyzes numbers and turns them into useful information for decision-makers, includes data entry and reporting responsibilities.
- Hospital Accompaniment Support: Meets with victims of intimate partner violence or sexual violence who are receiving a forensic evidence collection exam at Inova Fairfax Hospital. Advocates are called to provide emotional support to the victim in a time of crisis, and provide referrals and information as needed.
- Hotline Support: Provides crisis intervention and supportive counseling for callers to our 24-hour domestic and sexual violence hotline. Hotline Counselors also provide referrals to medical, legal, shelter and social service support assistance.
- Intake Coordinator Assistant: Provides intake and administrative support. Greets and directs visitors. Answers incoming calls. May conduct initial intake screenings of potential clients.
- Office Assistant: Assists with providing front-desk coverage and other administrative tasks, such as filing, making phone calls, preparing materials for clients and staff, etc.
- Special Projects/Days of Service: This is a great way to get involved without making a regular, long-term commitment, and it does not have the same level of requirements as the other opportunities. A variety of special projects like assembling materials for our programs, organizing donations, etc. Days of service like assisting with events during Domestic Violence Awareness Month (October), Sexual Assault Awareness Month (April), and/or Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month (February). You can also help with the Domestic Violence Network Annual Meeting (October). This is a great way to get involved without making a regular, long-term commitment. Find out how you and your family or friends can help.
Work With Clients (Direct Service)
Court Accompaniment Advocate (coming soon)
Hospital Accompaniment Advocate
Work Behind the Scenes
Data Analyst/Entry Assistant
Special Projects/Days of Service
At OFWDSVS, we recognize the importance of volunteers. Many of our key services depend upon dedicated volunteers. That's why we provide thorough training, continuous educational opportunities and support so our volunteers feel confident in their work.
We recruit volunteers twice a year, in the fall and spring.
Orientation: We recommend that anyone considering joining VOICES attend one of our orientation sessions. It is our goal that every prospective volunteer will leave the session with a good sense of our philosophy, mission, vision and values; clear expectations about volunteer opportunities; impact of volunteer roles; and next steps to becoming a volunteer. The sessions are typically held in October/November and May/June at various locations throughout the county. Check out our calendar for specific dates and locations.
Training Information: Our training is comprehensive and prepares applicants to become a member of VOICES. While volunteers working behind the scenes and teen volunteers are not required to attend the core training, all prospective direct-service volunteers must complete an initial 32-hour training prior to working with clients. The foundational training, Tier One, is typically held in September and March, over 3 consecutive Saturdays. It covers the dynamics of domestic violence and sexual assault, legal aspects of family violence, reflective listening, cultural competence and considerations when working with victims of domestic and sexual violence, our system's response to domestic and sexual violence, and much more. This is followed by training for the specific role, hotline advocate, ADAPT Co-Facilitator, etc. Training requirements for other opportunities vary and are outlined under our current list of opportunities in the county's online Volunteer Management System.
Group Volunteers: Businesses, organizations, teams and families are encouraged to volunteer with special projects. One person needs to serve as the leader for the group and complete a background check. Training is not required; however, orientation for the task will be provided.
Teen Volunteers: Looking to build awareness at your school? Host a performance; help us collect old cell phones; or participate in a special project. Training and a background check is not required; however, you will need an adult to oversee your work. This is a great opportunity for students interested in community advocacy.
Time Commitment: OFWDSVS asks that volunteers commit to at least one year of service after training and give a minimum of 12 hours per month. Our volunteers choose to answer our 24-hour Domestic and Sexual Violence Hotline on Saturday mornings, go to the hospital to support a victim of sexual assault or intimate partner violence, or facilitate a group in the evening. They are people just like you willing to make a difference in their community.
View our current list of opportunities to find the best fit for your interests, talents and schedule. We're sure you'll discover ways you can help your neighbors and your community.
- Complete the online Volunteer Application.
- The Volunteer Services Coordinator or designee will contact you to set up an interview.
- Complete a face-to-face interview with the Volunteer Services Coordinator and a staff member from the program you wish to volunteer.
- Complete a criminal background application. All volunteers are required to complete a background check to the satisfaction of the County.
- Complete the foundational training, Tier One, as appropriate.
- Complete role specific training.
- Complete confidentiality forms. All volunteers are required to complete these forms for the safety of our Office and the protection of those we serve.
- Upon satisfactory completion of all the steps, you will receive a letter welcoming you to the program, which will contain details about your position.
- Begin volunteering!.
There are many ways to get involved from working directly with clients to helping with community outreach, providing office support, etc. Volunteers and interns make our work possible and are an essential part of our team.
Interested in Internship Opportunities?
We offer academic internships in many of our programs. In order to receive academic credit, all internships must be approved the student's academic advisor and fulfill the school's specific internship requirements. Please download our internship application packet for more information.
Internship Application. (coming soon)
Learn about Job Openings with OFWDSVS.
Your donations can make a difference in the lives of domestic violence survivors, their families, and your community. We are excited that you want to join us in this important work, either by getting involved and/or giving resources. Thank you!
Cell Phones: Collect and donate old cell phones. HopeLine is a phone recycling program exclusive to Verizon that uses refurbished and recycled wireless equipment; cell phones are provided to victims of domestic violence with a limited number of service hours. With your help and in partnership with Verizon, we are able to provide your donated cell phones to Verizon, who then, refurbishes them.
Gift Cards: grocery stores like Giant, Safeway, Wegman's, Trader Joes; super stores like Target and Walmart
Money: Help us cover the cost of transportation, moving expenses, storage costs, etc. for victims.
School Supplies: backpacks, notebooks, pens/pencils, etc.
OFWDSVS Partners Portal Log-in
VOICES Handbook (coming soon)