Volunteer with VWCCS
Help VWCCS To Help Others
VWCCS has ceased all volunteering recruitment for the remainder of this year. Please refer to this website in early 2021 for volunteering opportunities for both Court Support Officers and Reception and Information roles in Sydney city, Parramatta and Newcastle.
VWCCS prepares and supports victims and witnesses of crime (police witnesses) who are required to testify at court. The organisation is staffed entirely by volunteers.
VWCCS is always looking for committed and caring people to join its organisation. Volunteering with VWCCS is a rewarding way to connect with the community and make a real difference.
Types of VWCCS Volunteer
VWCCS volunteers mostly work as Court Support Officers (CSOs) or Reception and Information Desk (RID) staff. Some volunteers also provide specialist skills in areas such as technology support, donor support, and organisation management.
For more information about the different roles please browse the topics below.
Court Support Officer volunteers
- Explain the court process, legal terminology and the role of the Prosecution witness.
- Provide information about victims’ rights under the Charter of Victims Rights.
- Accompany clients to any conferences related to the crime.
- Meet witnesses at the court and accompany them to one of the safe rooms VWCCS administers
- Liaise on behalf of the client with the Prosecutor and Police.
- Explain the serious consequences of discussing their evidence outside the courtroom.
- Continue to provide support if the matter is adjourned and listed for another hearing date.
- Accompany clients to the courtroom, then remain with clients if they wish to stay in court after they have given evidence, or until the defendant has left the court.
- Assist victims with their Victim Impact Statement.
- Provide information on services that may be able to assist with free counselling, compensation and other support.
New CSOs are required to undertake an extensive training and induction program before working with clients. VWCCS runs a new CSO intake program approximately every 2 years.
To be a CSO, you must be available to attend court on a regular basis, at least once a week or fortnight. The ability to be flexible to support witnesses who are required to return to court on the next day is a definite advantage. We like Volunteers to be able to commit to working for 12 months given the level of training provided.
CSOs require good communication and listening skills and must have a professional manner.
Reception and Information Desk volunteers
Reception and Information Desk volunteers must be available to work at the information desk on a regular basis, at least one morning a week. They require good communication and listening skills, and should possess reasonable email and Internet skills.
We recruit new Reception and Information Desk volunteers as they are required. A detailed induction training program is provided to all new Reception and Information Desk volunteers on commencement.
Specialist VWCCS volunteers
Some volunteers provide specialist skills to VWCCS on a short term basis to support a specific project, or on a longer term basis. For example, we have volunteers who assist in the areas of technology support, marketing, graphical design and accountancy.
If you would like to talk about opportunities to volunteer at VWCCS, please contact us using the contact form at the bottom of the page.
What training do volunteers receive?
New Court Support Officers complete a comprehensive induction and training program, including formal training, court observation and reflection, then court support work under the supervision of an experienced CSO. VWCCS runs a new CSO intake program approximately every two years. The most recent program was run in early 2015.
New Reception and Information Desk volunteers complete a one-day induction, followed by on-the-job observation and training under the supervision of experienced volunteers. We recruit new Reception and Information Desk volunteers as they are required.
All volunteers are offered at least four days of refresher training a year. Court Support Officers must attend at least two of these days.
Volunteers can access formal debriefing as required.
Why volunteer with VWCCS? Comments from our volunteers
Those who attend court often have little experience. When this is compounded by the sensitive and emotional issues that victims and witnesses confront, it means that a support system for these individuals, such as the service provided by VWCCS, is invaluable.
The opportunity to work with such a diverse and welcoming group of volunteers to assist others is enjoyable and rewarding. Volunteers are always willing to go out of their way to ensure unfamiliar court users are facilitated and seek to minimise the stress experienced by witnesses and victims. Moreover, the organisation is always open to new initiatives and values the skills and insights its volunteers have to offer. It is for these reasons that I have continued and is proud of my work with VWCCS.
Miles (Yingzhe) – Reception and Information Desk
What volunteering with VWCCS means to me
Volunteering at VWCCS is the activity that means most to me since I left full-time work. This is because of a number of reasons, but mostly because it is a practical way to be able to help people at a vulnerable time in their life. An added bonus has been the opportunity to learn and be trained in a new area of interest and to meet and work with a group of fabulous people.
Pam – Court Support Assistant
Things we enjoy about volunteering with VWCCS
- Learning how the court system works
- General interaction with the members of the public and being able to guide them through the court system
- Enjoying the company of the other volunteers who come from a variety of backgrounds
- Feeling useful to the public
- Working in an interesting environment.
Olive and Sandi – Reception and Information Desk
Where we operate
VWCCS also assists witnesses at other locations if we are advised beforehand.