Department of Family Services - Domestic and Sexual Violence Services

Fairfax County, Virginia

CONTACT INFORMATION: Monday - Friday 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

703-324-5730
TTY 711

12000 Government Center Pkwy, Suite 339
Fairfax, VA 22035

Nannette Bowler,
Director

VOICES (Volunteers Offering Information and Choice Empathetically while honoring 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.

Our VOICES volunteers:

  • Provide crisis intervention, emotional support, and information and referrals to callers of our 24-hour domestic and sexual violence hotline;
  • Serve as co-facilitators for our 18-week, certified domestic violence intervention program for perpetrators of domestic violence;
  • Provide hospital accompaniment services;
  • Complete administrative tasks and provided front desk support;
  • Assist with various tabling and outreach events; and
  • Support special events.

Join the VOICES team!

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 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.

 

What is the impact of volunteerism?
  • 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.
What are the benefits of volunteering?

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 Advocate, you respond to calls from the convenience of your own home.

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 a 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.

 

What you can expect as a volunteer
  • 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.
  • A professional and team-oriented environment.
  • Recognition for your volunteer service.
What we expect from you as a volunteer
  • 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 data system.
  • 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.

Additional Information

Work With Clients (Direct Service)

  • ADAPT Co-Facilitator
  • Court Accompaniment Advocate
  • Hospital Accompaniment Advocate
  • Hotline Advocate

 

Work Behind the Scenes

  • Community Ambassador
  • Data Analyst/Entry Assistant
  • Office Assistant
  • Special Projects/Days of Service

 


What if I have questions?

Send an email to VOICES.

 

Types of Volunteer Opportunities

  • ADAPT Co-Facilitator: Presents educational material from the Core Values Workshop’s curriculum, review clients' homework and perform other group management responsibilities. Groups meet once a week at a specified location.
  • Community Ambassador: Assist with outreach activities, such as local tabling events- community resource fairs, back to school nights, etc. Help 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: Provides clients with emotional support and information about the court process in order to prepare them for their role in petitioning for a PPO, either through the affidavit or the ex parte hearing, and may accompany clients to hearings.
  • 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 Advocate: Responds to Inova Fairfax hospital to accompany victims of intimate partner violence or sexual violence who are receiving a forensic evidence collection exam. Advocates are called to provide emotional support for the victim in a time of crisis and provide referrals and information as needed.
  • Hotline Counselor: 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.
  • 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: 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.

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 2 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 Counselor, 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. ADAPT volunteers give between 8 and 10 hours per month; Hotline volunteers give 6 or 12 hours each 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

Steps to Volunteering

  1. Complete the online Volunteer Application.
  2. The Volunteer Services Coordinator or designee will contact you to set up an interview.
  3. Complete a face-to-face interview with the Volunteer Services Coordinator and a staff member from the program you wish to volunteer.
  4. Complete a criminal background application. All volunteers are required to complete a background check to the satisfaction of the County.
  5. Complete the foundational training, Tier One, as appropriate.
  6. Complete role-specific training.
  7. Complete confidentiality forms. All volunteers are required to complete these forms for the safety of our Office and the protection of those we serve.
  8. Upon satisfactory completion of all the steps, you will receive a letter welcoming you to the program, which will contain details about your position and volunteer badges.
  9. Start your opportunity.

Get involved

There are many ways to get involved from working directly with clients to helping with community outreach, providing office support, etc. Volunteers make our work possible and are an essential part of our team.

Learn about Job Openings with OFWDSVS.

Give resources

Your donations can make a difference in the lives of domestic violence survivors, their families, and your community.

  • Gift cards: grocery stores like Giant, Safeway, Wegman’s, Trader Joes; super stores like Target and Walmart
  • School supplies: backpacks, notebooks, pens/pencils, etc.
  • Money: Help us cover the cost of transportation, moving expenses, storage costs, etc. for victims.

We are excited that you want to join us in this important work, either by getting involved and/or giving resources. Thank you!

Volunteer Resources