The members of the Family Crisis Services,Volunteer Team are a vital and valued part of our program. They offer support to the people who use the hotline, shelters and outreach offices for help out of abusive relationships and life-threatening situations. The Volunteers' time, energy and professionalism are essential to the work of Family Crisis Services, and is especially meaningful to the people we serve. Training in domestic violence issues and how to work effectively and compassionately with victims in crisis is imperative. In order to volunteer it is mandatory to take our 40-hour training which typically is offered three times throughout the year- Fall, Winter and Spring. This training covers everything from the history of domestic violence to appropriate and effective crisis advocacy skills, and is an extremely valuable tool. Once someone has completed the training they then can choose from a variety of options to decide how to volunteer their time. Our biggest need for help currently is with our 24-hour hotline (a pager-based system that individuals take from the comfort of their home) but volunteers are also typically taking part in such other things as support group co-facilitation, tabling events, office assistance, projects with the shelter residents, child care, fundraisers, etc. The Volunteers are highly supported through the work that they are doing for Family Crisis Services and are never asked to do something that isn't comfortable to that individual or doesn't work with their own personal schedule.