A YWCA H.O.P.E. Center Advocate must reside in or near Lucas County. S/he must be at least 18 years of age. S/he must have a genuine interest in assisting adult and teen victims of sexual assault and their family members. In order to be accepted into the program, prospective volunteers must complete an application, a fingerprint check with the Bureau of Criminal Investigations (provided by the YWCA), proof of insurance coverage of at least $100/$300 thousand, a valid driver's license with a clear record and a screening interview. Advocates must also sign a confidentiality agreement and a code of ethics contract that states that they agree to abide by Center procedures.
The YWCA H.O.P.E. Center is well established in Northwest Ohio and is highly acclaimed as an excellent program for survivors of sexual assault and their families. Like any worthwhile volunteer experience, it will require a considerable time commitment. Volunteers are required to attend a 45-hour training course and then commit to serving time on the hotline. In addition, there will be monthly meetings for case review of clients and a business meeting of the volunteer group. While this may seem like a lot, we are confident that the enthusiasm you bring with you will quickly join with the commitment shared by the other volunteers in the program and counter the hours of training involved.
Although this process may seem extensive, the nature of this crime and the diverse clients we see necessitates that volunteers are thoroughly screened and trained. We feel this process will help us ensure that you receive all you can from this volunteer opportunity.
Advocates are required to fulfill a minimum commitment of 2 volunteer shifts per month. During volunteer shifts, Advocates must be immediately accessible by phone. Volunteer shifts are scheduled as follows:
The primary role of the Advocate is to provide crisis intervention, support, information, and referral for victims of sexual assault and their family members.
Our Advocates can choose to be Hotline and/or Outreach Volunteers. Hotline Advocates answer the 24-hour crisis line from their own home. Face-to-face crisis intervention is also provided 24 hours a day, 365 days a year in the Lucas County hospitals and police departments by our Outreach Volunteers. In special circumstances, during normal business hours, volunteers could also provide face-to-face crisis intervention to victims of sexual assault at the are courts, schools, H.O.P.E. Center office, and the local jail. Following an initial contact with a client, volunteers normally provide limited "follow-up" contacts with the victims in order to clarify information, check that referrals have worked out, and make sure that the clients' concerns have been appropriately addressed.