Ahimsa House Crisis Line Volunteer Qualifications and Policies
Ahimsa House relies on its volunteers to provide a high quality of care and safety for everyone we serve.
Crisis line volunteers must be at least 18 years old. They must also be self-motivated, mature, sensitive, and dependable. Volunteers must agree to represent Ahimsa House and to support its philosophy, to perform in a professional manner whenever so doing, and to refrain from allowing personal views and opinions from overshadowing or conflicting with Ahimsa House's purpose and procedures.
1. Absolute confidentiality regarding all client cases must be preserved by each volunteer. Absolute confidentiality is vital to our continued credibility in the community, especially with survivors. NEVER discuss cases around anyone who is not Ahimsa House staff or another crisis line volunteer in meetings.
2. Volunteers should be non-judgmental in all interactions with victims. This includes the type and form of questions asked and the tone of voice used when talking to a victim.
3. Following training, crisis line volunteers are expected to make a commitment of at LEAST six months service to Ahimsa House.
4. When continuing education opportunities are offered, we expect crisis line volunteers to make a concerted effort to attend these meetings as they are beneficial to stay in touch with the program and learn about issues you may encounter on the crisis line.
5. Crisis line volunteers must be available to take calls during their shift. If a volunteer cannot cover their shift for any reason they must notify the Program Services Coordinator as soon as possible.
6. Crisis line volunteers must refrain from using alcohol and / or drugs before and during their on call shift.
7. Crisis line calls must be responded to immediately. We understand that there are moments when volunteers may be indisposed, and it is Ahimsa House policy that when you are unable to answer the crisis line and a voicemail message is left, volunteers must respond to this message within 20 minutes. We also ask that during an on call shift, you check your phone regularly (about once an hour) for missed calls. Please keep record of every call you receive. We are required to track every call, regardless of it is was considered "crisis," or not. Please text your records to your staff back-up at the end of your shift.
8. If you use your own phone and Ahimsa House forwards calls to you during your shift, please answer the line, “Ahimsa House crisis line”. When calls are forwarded to your cell phone, be aware that the message someone hears when calling the Ahimsa House line, is your set voicemail message. You may want to have a message specified that you are on call for Ahimsa House, or have a generic message. Also, don't forget to keep track of your minutes so you can let the IRS know how much you have donated to charity.
9. Ask the staff for assistance with any questions to which you are not sure of the absolute correctanswer.
10. Be honest with yourself and us concerning your needs, wishes and availability.
11. If at any time a crisis line volunteer finds that they are no longer personally invested in Ahimsa House or able to listen to any victim's problems and respond appropriately, this should be discussed with an Ahimsa House staff member.
Termination and Resignation
As a volunteer, you are under no contractual obligation to continue services at Ahimsa House. Should you decide to resign, please notify the Program Services Coordinator of your decision.
Reasons for involuntary termination:
(This list is in no way inclusive of reasons for involuntary termination, it is only meant as a helpful guide.)
1. Harassment on the basis of sex, age, race, color, national origin, religion, marital or veteran status,citizenship, disability and other personal characteristics.
2. Reporting for duty under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
3. Not reporting for on call duty two times in a one year period, without previously informing staff.
4. Not following the procedure outlined in this handbook and at orientation.
5. Abusive or careless behavior toward animals or humans.
Change of Status It is important to keep information about each volunteer up to date at all times. Therefore, volunteers should in a timely manner notify Victim Services Coordinator of changes in:
2. Telephone Number
3. E-mail address