Eight new volunteers completed two full weeks of training at Lassen Family Services, obtaining their certification as Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Peer Counselors and Crisis Line Volunteers.
“Volunteers are the cornerstone of any successful nonprofit organization,” said Executive Director Melissa Downing. “Lassen Family Services operates the only 24/7/365 crisis line in Lassen County, and maintaining a group of qualified individuals willing to serve their community is a top priority.” Upon completion of the initial certification requirements, volunteers initially serve as Crisis Line volunteers and may, after appropriate supervision and additional training, also serve as Emergency Shelter volunteers and/or peer counselors.
Lassen Family Services is committed to providing quality service by competent and compassionate staff and volunteers who complete the initial 71-hour training to achieve certification, and who must complete an additional 16 hours of continuing education in domestic violence and sexual assault annually in order to maintain their certification.
“We could not do this alone; we greatly appreciate the participation and assistance of District Attorney Stacy Montgomery, Susanville Police Department Chief Tom Downing, and many other representatives from our collaborative partners in the community,” said Downing.
“Notably, Linda McAndrews, Lassen Family Services’ board member and former executive director, Denise Stelzer, Victim Witness Assistance Program, Maisha Smith, Banner Lassen Medical Center, and Tillie Baker, Yvonne Hawkes and Kim Perkins with Lassen Community Social Services gave of their time towards this effort.”
This session’s volunteers were given a special treat; Dove Jeude, Victim Advocate and Dean Hoaglin, Cultural Competency Program Coordinator of the Inter-Tribal Council of California, and Madeline McIntire, Task Force member and Sue Lowry, basket weaver with the Susanville Indian Rancheria, provided a presentation on the impact of personal bias and cultural considerations when providing services to persons of Native American heritage, which opened the door to an entire segment on cultural competency with all persons.
A demonstration of basket weaving and discussion of materials used, including cultural and historical significance of each, was also provided.
As demonstrated through this local training, the collaborative partnerships between Lassen Family Services and community organizations further our mission to end abuse in our community. Together we are making a difference.
Further, Downing, is appreciative of LFS staffs’ efforts in facilitating and organizing Crisis Line training. Their knowledge and expertise in serving victims provides for an effective and informative training as well as contributes to the success of the overall agency. Their dedication to victims should be recognized as they continue to change lives through their commitment to end abuse.
Lassen Family Services provides this training twice annually; the next session is scheduled for September 14 – 25, 2015. Please contact Deb Probst at 530-257-4599 to register for the fall training session.