What is Volunteering?
A person is volunteering when they work for a program, agency, project, community endeavor, etc., and give their time, talent and resources without receiving money in return. Volunteers agree to the rules and policies of the program in which they volunteer, and often go through required interviews. In our agency, volunteers must agree to a background and reference check. Volunteers also agree to be placed into a weekly work schedule and to sign a commitment to confidentiality (not sharing information with others).
Below are some samples of the different types of volunteer jobs at our work site:
Sally volunteers for the Probation & Parole Office with the Domestic Violence (DV) team. She helps with the paperwork for tracking the client requirements (what they must do) to complete supervision successfully. Sally has been trained on the state database so she can enter notes into each client’s file. She has her own ID number to use when she works at her station, so her work is connected to her specifically. Sally sometimes goes to DV team meetings. She is a student at Portland State University, and will graduate this year from the Administration of Justice degree program. She may be here between 3 and 6 months, for two days every week.
Randy works at the Community Corrections Center, where he helps the Employment Specialist. He helps residents write their resumes and look for jobs, and helps run the employment retention (how to keep your job) groups. Randy is a work-study student from Portland Community College. He also helps the staff with other work in the Center. He keeps track of residents’ attendance at group treatment, and signs residents in and out of the building. Randy also is able to be in the Learning Center to teach literacy to Center residents.
Erin is a graduate counseling intern from Pacific University, working at the Center for Victims’ Services. She sees clients from Probation & Parole, Center for Victims’ Services, Community Corrections Center and the community. She completes at least of 600 hours at our site, and has weekly one-on-one and group supervision by a licensed professional mental health counselor. She also gets to know and work with 10 to 15 other graduate counseling interns from other graduate schools in the metro area. After she finishes her degree, Erin may decide to become a registered graduate intern who is working on a LPC or LCSW license with us.
Emily is coming back into the work force through Steps to Success. She is in a six-month job as an Administrative Support Staff. She sees how well she can perform in this job, and practices old skills and learns new skills for the workplace. She may continue to work with us after the first six months as a Jobs Plus worker to earn a wage (payment for work), build her resume, and grow her work skills. She works 5 days a week, and has plenty of time and opportunity to make friends, take training workshops, and practice being a good role model for her children and others.
If you are interested in volunteering, we'd love to talk with you. Our volunteers and interns are valuable members of Washington County Community Corrections.