Volunteer with VWCCS
Help VWCCS To Help Others
VWCCS is currently looking to fill the following roles:
Digital Content and Social Media Manager
Develop and implement social media content to support the provision of court support services for victims and witnesses of crime.
Your role would include developing social media posts and website content, and managing the Facebook account. It can be undertaken primarily from home and supported by a team of professional and committed volunteers based at the Downing Centre Courts.
Must be skilled in content design and publishing (ideally WordPress) and experienced in managing a social media platform.
Please send your resume with email and telephone contact details to firstname.lastname@example.org
Coordinate the availability of volunteers in response to referral agencies requiring court support assistance.
The successful applicants will have the flexibility and the capacity to respond to requests in a timely manner, have great attention to detail, basic computer skills including Excel, ability to work from home, and a professional customer service manner.
Volunteers will be rostered on a month on/month off basis. Training will be provided and the role will be managed remotely.
Please send your resume with email and telephone contact details to email@example.com
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 work on the busy information desks at the Parramatta, Newcastle, and the Downing Centre Courts. They direct people attending court and members of the public to courtrooms and other court facilities. Reception and Information Desk volunteers also act as the first point of contact for victims of crime and other Prosecution witnesses who are our clients or who are potential clients.
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.
There is a dedicated Referral Coordinator for each of the District Courts in Sydney, Newcastle and Parramatta. These roles may be shared between several volunteers on a rotating basis. Roster Coordinators usually do not also volunteer as Court Support Officers (CSOs).
The role of the Roster Coordinator is to receive referrals of clients who need support in a court matter and allocate a Court Support Officer to support that client.
The role includes liaising with referral agencies, communicating with Court Support Officers and maintaining rosters and spreadsheets.
Roster Coordinators are required to maintain strict confidentiality, need strong organisational skills, flexibility, attention to detail, basic computer skills, an ability to work from home and excellent written and verbal communication skills.
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?
Volunteers wishing to train as CSOs undertake an intensive induction and training course consisting of five modules.
- The first module requires familiarisation with the court environment through a series of self-guided visits and the completion of prescribed reading.
- Module two consists of four face-to-face training days with presenters from the criminal justice community together with specialist speakers from services dealing with serious crime.
Module two also includes a mock trial where a Magistrate presides over a case presented by the Prosecution and tested by the Defence.
- Module three requires each inductee to observe court proceedings for a minimum of 10 hours after which they submit a Reflection Paper for review and a further interview.
- Module four is a Specialist Mental Health Training Workshop.
- Following a final interview, the last module comprises supervision and mentoring of the trainee CSOs by highly experienced VWCCS CSOs in the court environment.
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.
Roster Coordinators receive a half day induction and training session and close mentoring in the early stages of their volunteering.
VWCCS conducts quarterly training sessions to ensure that all volunteers are exposed to expertise of relevant areas, in particular, trauma and vicarious trauma, as well as being kept informed of any changes in protocol.
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.
The VWCCS organisation is the most professionally run volunteer organisation I have come across. Volunteers are valued and respected. This is a very rewarding volunteer position.