Services for Survivors of Domestic Violence Volunteer Position

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Walnut Avenue Family & Women's Center

  • 9 people are interested

Training takes place biannually. The next training event will take place Spring 2019. Please contact Genevieve at (831) 426-3062 for more information.

Hotline Advocate Role & Responsibilities

All volunteer advocates are required to take a shift to answer calls for Walnut Ave 24 hour domestic violence crisis hotline. Under the general supervision of the Hotline Supervisor, implement the ABC model of crisis intervention to support those impacted by crisis to have a realistic perception of events, explore options, strategize solutions, safety plan, set self care goals and ultimately regain this equilibrium to manage the situation.

  • Respond to calls within 5 minutes and call back answering service if miss a call.
  • Provide peer advocacy, safety planning, self-care goals, and need resources to community organizations as needed.
  • Collect and maintain accurate program data ie. Complete a hotline call sheet for each call received, even hang ups.
  • Refer suspected child abuse to the backup advocate for referral to the to Child Welfare Services as needed.
  • Maintain Hotline Folder in a confidential area.

Intake and Emergency Assistance Advocate Role & Responsibilities

An Intake Advocate assists survivors of domestic violence to get connected to the services provided at Walnut Avenue Family and Women’s Center. Intake advocates provide direct services by assisting walk-in participants to complete the initial intake process, explaining the services of the center, and providing other resources to best fit a participant’s need.

This is a Volunteer Advocate position. Under general supervision, implement the ABC model of crisis intervention to provide strength-based, trauma-informed counseling and advocacy to support participants to effectively engage in services for survivors of domestic violence.

Intake tasks might include:

  • Complete Front Office Training
  • Assist reception staff with greeting and signing in participants, and answering the agency telephone as needed
  • Program management support and administrative assistance to meet program objectives
  • Enter participant support data into data base to track services provided
  • Responsible for Hotline calls to the office:
    • Provide information on domestic violence services offered at Walnut Avenue
    • Explain the process of the legal system in regards to DV cases
    • Provide resources and referrals for services not provided by Walnut Avenue

  • Support Service: Assist participants to complete intake form
  • Support Service: Screening "new" participants to see if participant fits our services and/or assist participants to assess need and identify appropriate services
  • Support Service: Support participants to complete and review intake paperwork to ensure accuracy
  • Support Service: Provide information on the process of filing a DVRO and review paperwork if self-filing
  • Support Services: Make "call backs" to participants to let them know when paper is ready for pick up or signatures needed, and fill out "Participant Support Form" if Participant request appointment with advocate.
  • Assist with childcare as needed for on-going appointments if no Kids Group volunteers available.

  • Emergency Assistance:
  • Responsible for outside Donation Room, such as sorting, organizing, putting donated items away
  • Responsible for taking Participants to the donation room to shop after an appointment (if no Front Office Volunteers available) and reminding Participants of the Donation Room guidelines
  • Assisting Good Will to access Good Will Bin
  • Answering phone calls and questions about possible items to be donated to Walnut Avenue
  • Assisting with assembling food bags and distributing Food Bags on Fridays if no Front Office volunteers available.
  • Responsible for accessibility of Cal Works Closet in inside Donation Room
  • Assist with assembling a "overnight bag" when Participant is emergency accommodated

Legal Advocate Role & Responsibilities

This is a volunteer position. Under general supervision of the Legal Services Supervisor and collaboration with Staff Advocates, legal volunteers will support participants to navigate the civil and criminal legal systems. Legal Advocates will formulate safety plan, prepare and file restraining orders and provide court accompaniment to domestic violence related hearings.

  • Explain domestic violence (DV) restraining order process to participants
  • Prepare and file restraining order
  • Provide information and emotional support to prepare participants for court hearings
  • Accompany participants to domestic violence court hearings. And when needed-child welfare cases mediation and criminal proceedings
  • Serve as a liaison between participant and legal system employees including court clerks, bailiffs, and self-help staff
  • Provide resources and referrals for legal services not provided by Walnut Avenue
  • Stock the Court Bag and Legal Cabinet with appropriate documents and supplies as needed

Collect and maintain accurate program data

Support Group Facilitator Role & Responsibilities

Under general supervision of the Support Group Supervisor, facilitate domestic violence support groups alone or with a co-facilitator. Through group discussions, facilitators and group peers provide the opportunity for participants to develop a realistic perception of the events, adequate situational support and healthy coping strategies in order to regain equilibrium and stability in their lives and promote emotional, behavioral and physical safety.

  • Planning and preparation (with co-facilitator): study template, prepare materials, and set up room
  • Group facilitation: utilize circle format, maintain group safety and cohesion, facilitate discussion to achieve key points of topic, and foster safe coping skills
  • Provide one-on-one support to participants as needed
  • Collect accurate program data: intake forms, consent forms, sign-in sheets, and releases of information

Requirements & Qualifications

  • Wait at least 2 years after receiving domestic violence support services at Walnut Avenue to be an volunteer advocate
  • Complete Walnut Avenue Advocate for Survivors of Domestic Violence Certification Training
  • Complete Walnut Avenue’s Hotline Advocate Training, Legal Advocate Training, and/or Support Group Training
  • Commit to volunteer for 12 consecutive months with Walnut Ave
  • Attend mandatory monthly 2 hour professional development meeting s with cohort
  • Take a weekly shift on the hotline (times vary)
  • Access to telephone and/or telephone reception
  • Criminal background check (If not passed, discuss reason with DV staff to determine eligibility)
  • Ability to access confidential location to take calls (if answering off-site)
  • Access to email that is regularly checked

Knowledge, Skills, & Abilities Continued

  • Understand the dynamics of DV, risk factors, danger assessment, and dimensions of safety planning to promote emotional, behavioral and physical well-being
  • A strong understanding of the intersection of PTSD, substance abuse, a history of sexual abuse, poverty, homelessness, oppression, additional factors such as the internalized effects of racism, sexism, heterosexism, and other marginalizing issues on a survivors experience of DV
  • Knowledge of the legal systems response to DV and steps in legal process
  • Knowledge of the procedures to file a DVTRO
  • Knowledge of and ability to adhere to agency, program and component protocols
  • High level of self-awareness
  • Ability to provide culturally effective support: communicate effectively with participants from diverse socio-economic, cultural and educational backgrounds to gain rapport, maintain confidence, and obtain confidential information in a tactful and courteous manner
  • Skillful at applying the ABC model of crisis intervention to support participants who may be under stress, in crisis, addressing dangerous circumstances and multiple issues simultaneously to establish priorities, and manage time-line
  • Strong written communication skills: ability to write clearly and concisely to accurately complete Hotline Call Sheets and effectively use SOAP model to write progress notes
  • Strong professional communication skills: ability to respond to program communications within 24-hours
  • Strong oral communication skills: ability to use tone and words to keep callers engaged in conversation and intervene when appropriate
  • Effective organizational skills: efficient and timely
  • Strong interpersonal skills: commitment to uphold agency Code of Conduct to maintain a mutually respectful & supportive work environment that values and empowers team members to collectively accomplish program goals

It is the policy of Walnut Avenue Family & Women’s Center to provide equal employment, volunteer opportunities and services to participants (EEO) to all persons regardless of ancestry, age, color, national origin, disability (physical and mental , includes HIV and AIDS), genetic information, race, religion (includes religious dress and grooming) , gender, sex (includes pregnancy , childbirth, breastfeeding and/or related medical conditions), sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, gender expression, marital status, military or veteran, request for FMLA or any other characteristic protected by federal, state or local law.

5 More opportunities with Walnut Avenue Family & Women's Center

About Walnut Avenue Family & Women's Center


303 Walnut Avenue, Santa Cruz, CA 95060, US

Mission Statement

To provide support and services so that women, children and families have the opportunities and skills to thrive.


The Walnut Avenue Family & Women's Center is a strength-based family center that provides comprehensive support and services. Our agency has four core programs:

  • Services for Survivors of Domestic Violence
  • Services for Children & Youth
  • Early Childhood Education Center
  • Community Relations Department


Sun Dec 01, 2019 - Tue Dec 01, 2020


303 Walnut AvenueSanta Cruz, CA 95060



  • Relationship Building
  • Youth Services
  • Advocacy


  • People 55+


  • Driver's License Needed
  • Background Check
  • Must be at least 18
  • Orientation or Training
  • at least 12 consecutive months

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