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. 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. Credit hours will be given in accordance with the time spent. Inability to maintain and be consistent in completing this requirement will result in dismissal.
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).
Qualifications & Requirements
15 to 20 inclusive (if over 20, please apply to the crisis lines)
Excellent computer skills
Excellent command of communication and interpersonal skills including: active listening, empathy, and patience
Ability to be level-headed in a crisis
Strong ability to work both independently and within team environments
Demonstrates self-awareness in areas such as: coping, stress-management and emotions
Ability to receive developmental feedback
Non-judgmental, accepting of diverse values and beliefs, and open-minded to callers with a variety of concerns
Excellent computer skills
Willing and able to follow policies and procedures
Note: Due to the nature of the ConnecTeen Volunteer position, we ask applicants who have experienced a personal trauma/life event in the past 12 months to wait one year prior to applying. Also, a criminal record and child welfare check are to be conducted on every new volunteer with their consent at no cost to themselves.
Basic navigation of Windows or Mac OS
Office 365 (Sharepoint, Outlook, Teams)
Have home computer set up that is able to juggle multiple tabs and programs at once
Adequate internet connection
Confidential working space
Working headset and microphone
The following would be an asset:
Wildix (or familiarity with another contact centre telephony system
There is an expected commitment of 48 shifts in the first year, minimum of 4 shifts a month, and shifts vary from 3-5 hours in length. Shift choices range from start times at 6:00am and end times 1:00am. Once training is successfully completed, volunteers are expected to work one weekend (Friday, Saturday, Sunday) shift per month for the first three months of the commitment. Volunteers set their own schedules based on availability or can correspond with the Volunteer Scheduling Coordinator. There will be occasions where, due to unforeseen circumstances, the volunteer may need to stay past the formal shift end time. Credit hours will be given in accordance with the time spent. Inability to maintain and be consistent in completing this requirement will result in dismissal.
Orientation & Training
Our volunteers do not need prior knowledge or experience in crisis support. Distress Centre offers comprehensive training to all new volunteers in topics including, but not limited to: crisis intervention, addictions, relationships, and domestic violence. Distress Centre’s initial training is 60 hours, with opportunities for additional developmental monthly training.
Training takes place over a 3-week period with a combination of Zoom classroom sessions and self-paced online modules. Classroom training is followed by supervised shifts where trainees support service users on-site in our contact centre. Attendance is required for all of the training modules and coaching shifts as well before you will be able to be on the lines solo. Social distancing measures are in place and in accordance to the Government of Alberta public health measures.
Note: Alternative arrangements for training dates cannot be accommodated. Volunteers-in-training are expected to attend all sessions.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, ConnecTeen volunteer shifts are taking place remotely. Generally, shifts take place at the agency location: Suite 500, 999 8th Street SW. Distress Centre is wheelchair accessible
Parking is also provided for volunteers on shift once they have begun their commitment.
What You Can Expect
Receive regular feedback and development
Paired with a Distress Centre Calgary mentor to provide support and guidance
Obtain training and support in effectively assessing a de-escalating crisis and high stress situations
Make tangible differences in others’ lives and feel connected to the community
Develop your communication and social skills and gain perspectives, or self-awareness
Be a part of a supportive team and create lasting friendships
Receive a reference letter upon completion of your first volunteer commitment
What We Can Expect
Volunteers to maintain communication with the agency