Volunteer Application Form

You can fill out the application form provided below or Download Application Form here and submit it via Email/FAX/Mail.

Checklist

Please complete ALL of the following items on this checklist, prior to submitting your application package.

Part I – Application

Part II – Current Résumé

Part III – Mission Statement Reflection

Part IV – TWO letters of reference

  • Work, Volunteer or Academic References only (no personal references such as family, friends, etc.).
  • Letters are to speak to qualifications listed below

Contact Info

For further details contact:

Distress Centre
300, 1010 8th Ave SW
Calgary AB T2P 1J2
Phone: 403.266.1634
Fax: 403.262.2512
Email: volunteer@distresscentre.com
Web: www.distresscentre.com

Interview Information

When you come in for your interview the receptionist will provide you with a letter confirming your volunteer application. You will need to take the letter, along with two pieces of government issued ID (one of which must be picture ID), to a listed police location. This is a required step to process your Police Information Check. Below are acceptable pieces ID that you may bring.

Photo ID Additional ID Unacceptable ID
  • Driver’s License
  • Learner’s License
  • Passport
  • Citizenship Card
  • Firearms Acquisition License
  • Firearms Possession Only License
  • Firearms Possession Acquisition License
  • Birth Certificate
  • Health Care
  • Social Insurance Card
  • Blue Cross Card
  • Student ID
  • Credit Cards
  • City of ___ License Card

If you are successful at the interview, you will be sent an ePIC letter with which you will apply for your Police Information Check. On receiving this letter, you must log onto policeinformationcheck.calgarypolice.ca and complete an online Police Information Check (ePIC). You will need to select “Perform Personal Police Information Check” where you will be guided through the process. The same ID as above must be scanned and uploaded while filling out the ePIC. You will also need to upload the ePIC letter (please make sure to include your name and the date). There is a fee of $15 paid online for the police check. If you have concerns about this cost please contact volunteer@distresscentre.com

Youth Program Volunteer Job Description

Mission Statement:

Provide compassionate, accessible crisis support that enhances the health, well-being and resiliency of individuals in distress.

Vision Statement:

Everyone is heard.

Distress Centre Core Values

Accessibility Collaboration Compassion Excellence Inclusivity
Innovation Leadership Partnerships Respect Volunteerism

For the last 40 years, Distress Centre has provided 24-hour support lines, crisis counselling and referral services to anyone in need. We give people from all walks of life the immediate emotional and mental support they need to overcome crisis—whatever it may be. Together, staff and volunteers create a unique culture and supportive work environment that sets us apart. Our staff do not simply have an interest in helping, but share a commitment to achieving results. Distress Centre provides the support, resources, and opportunities needed to grow and create change for our community.

As a youth volunteer, you will provide callers and online clients (via chat or text messaging) with confidential service using active listening techniques, and utilizing the tools and skills honed by the classroom theory, practical/on-going training, and continuous feedback. You will offer support, handle/manage crisis situations over the phone, and give appropriate information and referrals for Distress Centre programs and to other programs and/or organizations.  By assessing risk, exploring their concerns, clarifying feelings, exploring options, and breaking the problem down into smaller pieces, callers and clients can begin to take charge in small ways.

Volunteers must be flexible to adapt to changing circumstances.  From balancing multiple calls, to covering peer-support phone lines, to keeping up-to-date on the latest policy and procedural changes, Volunteers are also expected to enter short reports on all calls to allow follow-through for clients, and/or evaluation by the staff.

Qualifications

  • 15 to 20 inclusive (if over 20, please apply to the crisis lines)
  • Excellent computer skills
  • Good listening and communication skills
  • Ability to be level headed in crisis
  • Accepting of callers with a variety of concerns.
  • Able to follow policies and procedures
  • Excellent command of the English language (spoken and written)

Training

  1. One Observation Shift – 4 hours
  2. 3 weeks of training, Class schedule is every
    • Tuesday 6:00pm – 9pm
    • Thursday 6:00pm – 9pm
    • Saturday 9am – 4pm
  3. Three Coaching Shifts – 15 hours

One 4-hour Observation Shift is scheduled before the classroom training, where trainees have the opportunity to observe and learn from an experienced volunteer who has completed a minimum of half their commitment.  Each class is divided into theory, discussion and role plays simulating situations that you may encounter on the phone.  It is mandatory applicants attend all of the classroom sessions during the training process.

Coaching Shifts follow immediately after classroom training, where volunteers are coached by staff and experienced volunteers, known as Leadership Volunteers.  Volunteers are assigned to mentors, who are always available for support and feedback, and periodic interviews.  A final Training Completion Interview will assess the trainee’s commitment, strengths, and areas of growth before being approved to do solo work in the Contact Centre.  Full-time trained staff members called, CCCs (Contact Centre Coordinators), are always available in the Contact Centre to provide volunteers with guidance, support, referrals, and feedback.

Length of Commitment

There is an expected commitment of 40 shifts in the first ten months.  Volunteers can get ahead by scheduling additional shifts, to allow flexibility with their schedule on approval from the volunteer team leads.  Observation and coaching shifts and classroom time do not count as part of your shift total.  Volunteers are encouraged to attend monthly Developmental Training sessions. After completing the commitment, volunteers may continue on with their current role at a reduced commitment of 2 shifts per month, or may decide to participate in the training/coaching of new volunteers as a Leadership Volunteer (additional training required).

Time and Place

All training and shifts are completed within the agency.

Youth Volunteers are required to complete 4 full shifts a month for a consecutive 10 months (40 shifts).  ConnecTeen hours are from 5:00pm – 10pm Monday – Friday, from Noon – 5pm and 5pm – 10pm on Saturdays and Sundays. These shifts are reserved for direct client interaction. Factors that may cause shift times to go longer than expected can be: documentation of the interactions, debriefing and support, or longer calls/chats.

Volunteers are required to sign up for shifts through our online scheduling system or through the Scheduling Coordinator.  Volunteers are responsible for finding their own replacements, when they cannot come in for their shift.

Obligations

As a volunteer, you will consider and agree to the terms stated below:

  • I agree to arrive 15 minutes before my shift
  • As a Youth Program Volunteer, I agree to meet my commitment of 4 (5 hour) shifts per month for 10 months (40 shifts total), and regularly attend bi-monthly Team Meetings during the year
  • I agree to be responsible for the shifts I sign up for and I will make a reasonable effort to find my own replacement if I am unable to make my shift
  • I agree to follow and adhere to the policies and procedures of the Distress Centre
  • I will attend developmental training as I am able
  • I understand my work will be evaluated on an ongoing basis
  • I understand more than three late arrivals or no shows for shifts, and training sessions, will be noted and could lead to a review of my status as Youth Program Volunteer (and may also be reflected in any references given).
  • If I do not fulfill the aforementioned commitments, I am aware my status as a volunteer will be reviewed

Benefits

As an organization built around volunteers, the quality of our services is only as good as the quality of our volunteer experience. And we are proud to say that both are exceptional. We have adopted the Canadian Code for Volunteer Involvement (CCVI) to ensure you have a meaningful and fulfilling volunteer experience.

There are many benefits to volunteering at Distress Centre. Here’s just a few:

  • Make a tangible, measurable difference each and every day
  • Gain valuable professional and life experience
  • Receive a respected reference
  • Work alongside an exceptional team of people
  • Give back to the community

* Selection is without discrimination and is based on available positions *

Distress Centre is a non-smoking facility.

Part I: Please complete the following information

Full Name (First, Middle, Last)

Date (yyyy-mm-dd)

Address (e.g. 300 1010 8th Avenue SW Calgary Alberta T2P 1J2)

Home Phone

Cell Phone

Work Phone

*Work Phone only used to discuss shift scheduling confirmation/changes

Email Address

Emergency Contact Info

Full Name (First, Middle, Last)

Relationship

Primary Contact#

Information

How did you hear about Distress Centre / Connecteen?

Please, specify if "Referral" or "Other" chosen

Professional Designation

If you have a Social Work Diploma or higher, you must submit proof of registration with the ACSW before your application can be processed. For details see ACSW Website

Describe any changes/difficulties/stressful situation in your life at the present time?
* Because of the nature of the work at Distress Centre, we would advise prospective volunteers who have had recent personal crises or losses to wait 6 to 12 months following the crisis before volunteering for the ConnecTeen program. *

Commitment

Are you willing and able to make a commitment of 4 shifts/month during the school year, and attend bi-monthly team meetings?
 Yes No
Please list any challenges you may have with the above:

Read Before Signing

In accordance with agency policy, a criminal record check and child welfare record check (volunteers over the age of 18) are conducted on every new volunteer, with the consent of the volunteer and at no cost to him/herself? Are you willing to provide such consent?

 Yes No

If accepted as a volunteer, I agree to adhere to the agency’s policies in the volunteer manual, and to honor expectations outlined in the job description

 Yes No

Are you between the ages of 15-17?
(Must be 15-20 inclusive to work with the ConnecTeen program, If you are 20 or over, please apply to the crisis lines)

 Yes No

Are you between the ages of 18-20?
(Must be 15-20 inclusive to work with the ConnecTeen program, If you are 20 or over, please apply to the crisis lines)

 Yes No

Please sign and date to confirm information

Date (yyyy-mm-dd)

I agree to give Distress Centre permission to conduct routine screening processes (includes contacting references if needed, submitting police and child welfare checks, etc.).

*Selection is without discrimination and is conditional upon suitability of volunteers. *

All information on this form will be kept confidential, unless harm to self or others is disclosed
Information collected will only be used for the purposes of volunteer management. No personal info is shared outside of Distress Centre

Part II: Résumé

Please upload your Résumé (pdf, doc, docx, txt)

Part III: Mission Statement Reflection

Provide compassionate, accessible crisis support that enhances the health, well-being and resiliency of individuals in distress.

Please reflect on and describe the skills, attitudes and experiences you would bring to your role
as a youth program volunteer with ConnecTeen in the space provided below. (maximum 250 words)

Part IV: Letters of Reference

I grant permission to contact the references submitted with my application for additional information, if necessary

Please insert First Letter of Reference

Please insert Second Letter of Reference

Are you human?

Part V: Interview Hints and Guidelines

Becoming a superhero means passing some tests along the way. One of the first hurdles to overcome is the interview. There won’t be a bright light shining in your face or a cheesy good cop/bad cop routine playing out in front of you but interviews, in general, can be pretty intimidating. This section is here to provide you with some tips to help you leave an unforgettable impression.

  1. Dress for success. You don’t need to be rockin’ a $500 suit but dressing up for the occasion can be a huge help. Put some thought into what you’ll wear (maybe even ask Mom or Dad for advice).
  2. Get your thought on. We’re going to ask you some questions and the more prepared for them you are, the more confident you will feel. We’re not going to tell you what the exact questions are but the following examples fall along the themes of what we may ask:
    • Why do you want to volunteer for ConnecTeen?
    • How do you like to help people or have other people help you?
    • How do you handle conflict and disagreement?
  3. Many interviews that you will attend throughout your life will ask you behavioural type questions. These can often be difficult to answer if you haven’t put thought in before the interview. Behavioural questions will ask you for examples of times in your life when you took action and how you solved a problem. Having thought of possible examples before the interview will allow you to answer quickly and confidently.
  4. It’s ok to show us your feelings. In fact, we hope that you do. At ConnecTeen, we support people as they deal with crisis and sometimes negative emotions. One of the skills that we look for in our superheroes is emotional intelligence. That is, the ability to recognize, label, and understand your own emotions. Don’t be afraid to talk about your emotions; we look for superhero humans, not robots.

Hopefully these tips are helpful for you as you prepare for your ConnecTeen interview. If you want to learn more about how to prepare for an interview please check out the Youth Employment Centre. This agency is designed to help you improve your skills in all areas of employment seeking. From career planning to resumes to interview skills, they can help you hone your knowledge and ability so you can feel confident no matter what interview you’re walking into.