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Victim Services Niagara (VSN) provides a unique opportunity to help others in your own community. Recruited from all walks of life, VSN volunteers are well-trained to provide care, support and listening in times of crisis and they treat the victims with whom they interact with dignity, confidentiality, respect, compassion and empathy. During their shifts, volunteer crisis responders respond to calls from emergency services personnel wherever they are needed in Niagara.

Because of the sensitive nature of the issues volunteer crisis responders are involved with, careful screening is applied in the application process. We seek mature volunteer candidates, 21 years of age and over, who are caring, compassionate, and non-judgmental.

Volunteers must:

  • Undergo an application and Interview process
  • Pass a police background check
  • Take an Oath of Secrecy/Confidentiality
  • Write an exam to evaluate understanding of the role of crisis responders
  • Attend monthly information meetings
  • Attend workshops and trainings to further educate in pertinent issues
  • Commit to a minimum of two 12 hour shifts per month

Volunteer training is provided in the areas of crisis intervention and the ethics of helping, communication, domestic violence, sexual assault, safety planning, sudden death (including suicide and homicide), elder abuse, property crimes, multi-casualty occurrences, as well as the importance of self care and debriefing. The training is over 50 hours and consists of E-learning and in-house training.

If you believe that you might have the special characteristics of a VSN volunteer crisis responder, please contact the VSN office for an application or complete the online application.