Screening and Training

While the onsite assistance is provided by Crisis Assistance Volunteers, each V.C.A.R.S. program in the province is managed by paid professionals who screen, train and provide ongoing supervision to the volunteers. The programs are funded by the Ministry of the Attorney General through the Victim’s Justice Fund, money collected from surcharges on provincial fines.
Because the people we serve are highly vulnerable, volunteers are stringently screened by a panel of interviews made up of V.C.A.R.S. staff, a police officer and/or a board member. Each applicant must provide two to three personal references and agree to a C.P.I.C. Once accepted to the training, the potential volunteer attends a 40 hour training program in crisis assistance.
A final screening is conducted after the volunteer has completed the training program and she/he may be screened out at this stage, if necessary.
The service is absolutely confidential and each volunteer swears an Oath of Secrecy before a Justice of the Peace.
V.C.A.R.S. sites invite representatives from local social service agencies and police officers/emergency personnel as guest speakers so that volunteers may learn from a broad spectrum of professionals in the field. They also become familiar with the services available in their community. Volunteers learn and practice a wide range of listening, crisis intervention and crisis management techniques.
Training Topics Include
  • Domestic Assault
  • Sexual Assault
  • Death Notification & Bereavement
  • Traffic Accidents
  • Suicide & Homicide
  • Property Crime & Robbery
  • Multi-Casualty Incidents
  • Fire
What do V.C.A.R.S. volunteers do, anyway?
V.C.A.R.S. volunteers are there to help provide effective victim services. We respond to police/hospital/fire identified emergencies. As a “mobile” service, V.C.A.R.S. volunteers can provide on-site support just about anywhere. They can go to hospitals, homes, police detachments, the roadside. They can do whatever the victim asks them to do – help clean up, help make phone calls, drive them to or from hospital, to the Sexual Assault Care Centre for a forensic exam or to a local shelter. They can help make travel arrangements to or from other cities.
All of this helps victims in crisis and frees up valuable officer/emergency personnel time to go about their pressing responsibilities.
What Can’t They Do

As a general rule, V.C.A.R.S. can’t send a team to provide service to:
  • People who are intoxicated or under the influence of drugs
  • Children under the age of 16 whose parents are not present
  • Domestic violence situations where the abuser is not in custody or his/her whereabouts are unknown
  • People who are psychotic

See Position Requirements and get an application

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