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Grande Prairie & District Victim Services is a police based, community-directed program that provides information, support and referrals to persons’ in the Grande Prairie and Spirit River detachment areas that have been victims of crime and/or tragedy.
Extensively screened and trained community volunteers provide one on one crisis intervention to victims upon a referral from the RCMP or other agency. This may be in person or, at times, over the phone.
Volunteers may provide anything from a compassionate ear, emotional support, childcare, transportation, information and referrals to resources in the area and court accompaniment.
Volunteers are community persons who meet certain criteria such as:
Volunteers must complete all of the Alberta Solicitor General training as well as attend all mandatory supplemental training/tours including but not limited to:
Training is now completed by E-Learning, which is an online course through the Justice Institute of British Columbia. Volunteers are able to work on their training at their own pace within the allotted time frame. Upon completion of these modules, volunteers earn a certificate from the Alberta Solicitor General, as well as a provincially recognized certificate in Suicide Prevention.
Tours of various facilities such as the local women’s shelter (Odyssey House), the funeral home and the QEII Hospital are all part of the training.
Volunteers are asked to make a minimum of a one-year commitment after completion of all training and are asked to fill a minimum of 4 on-call shifts per month. Shifts are 5pm-8am 7 days a week along with 8am-5pm shifts on the weekends and holidays. Hours and shifts are subject to change)
Volunteers are assigned to a team and carry a cell phone (provided) when they are on shift. They are expected to respond to a call within 15-20 minutes, and to refrain from alcohol while on shift. Otherwise, volunteers can go about their daily routine.
No. Although volunteers are required to make arrangements to get to the RCMP detachment, Victim Services owns their own eight-seat passenger van for any callouts, which is kept, fuelled and plugged in at the police station.
There is no cost to volunteers. All training, id badges, jackets, and cell phones are provided.
For more information on how you can be a part of the Victim Services Volunteer Advocate program and support persons in a crisis or trauma, phone our office during business hours at (780) 830-5755.
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