What are some characteristics of volunteer stations?
A volunteer station is a public agency, private non-profit organization, or proprietary health-care agency or organization that accepts the responsibility for assignment and supervision of RSVP+ volunteers. Each volunteer station must be licensed or otherwise certified, when required, by the appropriate state or local government.
(l) As noted above, licensed proprietary health-care organizations or facilities may be volunteer stations. All such placements must limit volunteer assignments to those which provide direct and traditional assistance to patients, such as visiting, teaching, counseling, entertaining, etc. Placements must not displace paid employees and must avoid other staff or clerical assignments which would accrue to the profitability of the proprietary health-care organization. A Memorandum of Understanding with such volunteer stations must include detailed provisions to ensure compliance with regulations regarding “Non-displacement of Employed Workers and No Impairment of Contracts for Service”.
(2) Individual private homes are not volunteer stations. In-home assignments are made only through a volunteer station.
(3) Volunteer stations are located within the project's service area as defined in the approved grant application.
What are the requirements of a volunteer station?
(1) Develop volunteer assignments that impact critical human and social needs, and regularly assess those assignments for continued appropriateness;
(2) Assign staff member responsible for day to day oversight of the placement of RSVP+ volunteers within the volunteer station and for assessing the impact of volunteers in addressing community needs;
(3) Obtain a Letter of Agreement for an RSVP+ volunteer assigned in-home. The Letter of Agreement shall comply with all federal, state and local regulations;
(4) Keep records and prepare reports as required;
(5) Comply with all applicable civil rights laws and regulations including reasonable accommodation for RSVP+ volunteers with disabilities; and
(6) Provide assigned RSVP+ volunteers the following support:
(a) Orientation to station and appropriate in-service training to enhance performance of assignments;
(b) Resources required for performance of assignments including reasonable accommodation;
(c) Supervision while on assignment;
(d) Appropriate recognition; and
(e) Provide for the safety of RSVP+ assigned to it.
Is there a charge for using RSVP+ services?
There is no charge for using RSVP+ services. All a volunteer station needs to do is to match the characteristics of a RSVP+ station and follow the requirements of a volunteer station as listed above. RSVP+ also provides the volunteers with supplemental insurance with cost to the volunteer station. RSVP+ does recommend that the volunteer station recognizes their volunteers in some special way.
What does it mean to screen volunteers and why should I do it?
Screening volunteers is much like interviewing potential employees. Your organization has a unique characteristics which some personalities would work better in then others. The RSVP+ staff will do their best to match a volunteer with a volunteer station however it is also recommended that the station also helps to select their volunteers. Communication between the volunteer station and the RSVP+ staff is the key to having a successful relationship.
Does RSVP+ do criminal background checks on volunteers?
RSVP+ does not do background checks on our volunteers. However if it is required from your agency to have your volunteers/employee to have a background the volunteer can be requested to fill out additional forms through your organization.
Do we, the organization or agency, have to train the volunteers?
Projects should work with volunteer stations, to the extent possible, on the development and delivery of pre-service orientation for RSVP+ volunteers. Many projects have found that a combination of a formal orientation program and on-the-job experience with volunteer stations works well. This gives greater meaning to the orientation and enhances adjustment to assignments. Locally prepared volunteer handbooks have been found to be useful in providing information to volunteers concerning RSVP+, the sponsor, the Advisory Council, meal and travel reimbursements, appeal procedures, and other pertinent local project policies and procedures. Orientations may be enhanced by inviting representatives of other community service agencies related to the project or volunteer station’s work to speak about their programs and the importance of volunteers’ contributions.