Volunteer Training

Prevention & Intervention Volunteer Training

Battered Women’s Support Services (BWSS) offers the Violence Prevention and Intervention Training Program twice a year, typically in the Fall and Spring. Sessions are held every Friday from 9:30am-4:30pm.

BWSS follows a popular education model for our training. We work from a feminist, anti-oppression perspective and recognize the importance of working from a decolonizing and intersectional framework. We provide skills-based training grounded in a strong theoretical framework for understanding violence against women and girls in relationships and systemic oppression. Participants in training gain skills in crisis intervention, peer counselling, safety assessment, safety planning, advocacy, referrals, group facilitation, and public education.

After completing the training, weekly Crisis & Intake Line volunteer shifts are required to be filled during the daytime, Monday to Friday. If you are working, attending school, and/or have other commitments during weekdays, you will have to adjust your schedule to accommodate a weekly volunteer shift. (There will be some additional opportunities for women to volunteer during evenings and weekends in other programs).

The topics covered in the training are intense and require personal exploration. Please look over the calendar (included with the application package) to ensure you understand the intensity of the topics/training.

Participation

The training is facilitated as much as possible from a popular education model requiring a high level of participation from everyone. Participation is expected in both large group and small group settings.

All women who volunteer with us provide crisis support and direct services are first required to complete the volunteer training. Participation is also required in terms of attendance. Only one session can be missed. If you know in advance that you may have to miss more than one session, we recommend that you apply for the next training session.

Volunteer Commitment

Many volunteers continue their volunteer work at BWSS well beyond their minimum hour commitment, but in total we require a minimum of a 192 hour commitment from volunteers. The volunteer hours are completed in several areas, and usually take place over 6-12 months. The main areas are outlined as follows:

  1. Crisis Line & Intake (135 hours)

    Volunteers generally work one shift per week providing support and intervention to women on our Crisis & Intake Line. In total, 135 hours are spent volunteering in this area. These hours break down in the following way:

    1. Practicum – Volunteers start their practicum on the Crisis and Intake Line nearing the end of the training. Volunteers are to complete a 25 hour supervised practicum. This includes a minimum of 3 shadowing shifts, during which volunteers observe other Crisis Line & Intake Volunteers, ask questions, and become orientated to internal procedures.

    2. Direct Services – Following the practicum, 110 hours of direct service are required. This will mostly be completed on the Crisis & Intake Line and may also include providing court accompaniment, interpretation, and other support as needed within our direct service programs. As part of these hours, volunteers can also co-facilitate support groups.

  2. Violence Prevention and Education Program (20 hours)
    1. BWSS believes that ending violence against women and girls requires not only providing crisis and support services, but also engaging in violence prevention work. This includes delivering workshops and presentations in a variety of community settings. BWSS also participates in events, information fairs, festivals, and community activities to promote our programs and services and to educate the public about violence against women and girls. BWSS is committed to social activism and we have a presence at many related events and rallies. These hours can be used to attend such events, provide outreach and education, and work on special projects. Volunteers are required to contribute 20 hours of their volunteer commitment in this area.
  3. Ongoing Training (25 hours)
    1. Once the 12 week training is complete, volunteers are required to participate in ongoing training to continue building practical knowledge and skills. 25 hours of the minimum volunteer commitment can be completed by attending monthly Volunteer Networking Meetings, BWSS training opportunities, or working on special projects as needed. The allotment of these hours will be agreed upon with the Crisis Line and Intake Coordinator during training based on the needs of BWSS and the particular needs and expertise of volunteers.
  4. Community Awareness Fundraising Program (12 hours)

Interviews

More women apply for the training than we can accommodate and we need to ensure women’s readiness and suitability for the training and volunteer work. After we receive applications, we will take some time to review them.  Please be advised that only short listed applicants will be called for interviews which are a required part of our screening process.

To receive more information about the training and volunteer work or to find out how to apply please contact Claudia at 604-687-1868 ext. 304 or intake@bwss.org

Thank you for your interest in our training program. Our training program is well recognized in the anti-violence community and we look forward to your possible involvement with us!