Strength United offers a variety of volunteer roles. The program is flexible and allows for volunteers to participate when they are available. Volunteers can work in one of our three locations (Northridge, Van Nuys and Santa Clarita), at their home or office, or at one of our events.
Volunteers work in the following roles:
Sexual Assault Advocates
Sexual Assault Advocates answer 24-hour hotline calls from members of the community who have experienced sexual assault and/or child sexual abuse as well as from people who want general information and referrals for assistance; provide accompaniment and advocacy for survivors of sexual assault at forensic medical examinations, court hearings and police stations; provide follow-up calls for clients; and attend monthly in-services and supervision.
Advocates generally work at least one 6.5-hour shift per week. We rotate advocates on shifts so that an advocate will be responsible for responding to phone calls one week, attending accompaniments the next week and would be back up for either role the third week. Generally, we have four people on every 6.5-hour hotline shift.
Sexual Assault Advocates are required to complete a 60-hour training program to become State Certified Sexual Assault Advocates.
MFT/MSW Trainees and Interns
MFT/MSW Trainees are students in an MFT or MSW program who have not yet graduated and need a site placement. MFT/MSW Interns are individuals who have ALREADY completed their graduate coursework, and are looking to intern in order to gain hours for licensure requirements. Trainees and interns see clients on an individual, couple, family or group basis in home and/or in office for BBSE hours; attend in-services and supervision; and take hotline and accompaniment shifts.
MFT/MSW students pre- or post-graduation can receive group supervision and see up to 6 clients per week (trainee) or 10 per week (intern.) Trainees and Interns can work in 4 programs: Family Preservation; Sexual Assault; Child Abuse Prevention, Intervention, and Treatment; and Adoption Promotion & Support Services (must have a background in adoption: have been adopted, have adopted, or have related work experience in adoption.)
Candidates must hold a bachelor's degree in a social science, and must have at least six months experience in the field. All selected candidates are required to complete a 40 or 60 hour training program in the response to and treatment of child maltreatment, domestic and sexual violence, substance abuse, mandated reporting, discrimination, victim rights, record keeping, family functioning, suicide, crisis intervention, and community resources. All candidates must participate in an interview in which the program openings and candidate fit, based on experience, availability, and personality, are discussed.
Adoption Mentors work with adoptive families and children on core issues related to adoptions. Candidates must have been adopted or be in the process of adopting to qualify as an adoption mentor volunteer.
Prevention Education Advocates
Prevention Education Advocates assist in providing hundreds of presentations to the community each year to raise awareness about issues regarding interpersonal violence, with a goal of lessening the impact of violence in society by speaking to students, parents, and community groups.