University of Wisconsion - Eau Claire




On-Call Advocate for the Family Support Center's Crisis Hotline

30 hours

Community partner: Family Support Center
Supervisor: Jeni Haddad
Beginning date:
Ending Date:

Service-Learning Proposal Description


Briefly describe the project and the community need to be addressed.

Answer On-Call Advocate volunteers provide evening, weekend and holiday coverage for our 24-hour crisis line. Advocates serve as a compassionate presence for those who have been hurt and need support. On-Call Advocates operate out of their own homes, using their personal phones. Training is offered twice per year as needed. Additional training sessions available throughout the year. One year commitment required. Here are some of the services our volunteers provide during hotline calls: • Counseling • Individual and systems advocacy • Restraining order assistance and preparation • Safety planning • Sheltering • Support during sexual assault exams • Developing coping strategies • Information and referral Violence is rooted in power and control and all of us are lacking power and control during this pandemic. We recognize that in this time of uncertainty and stress we will continue to see a rise in domestic violence and sexual assault. Our services are needed now more than ever, and we are looking for dedicated individuals to assist us in providing comfort and safety to those experiencing violence.


What is the mission of the agency or organization?

Answer The Family Support Center empowers all individuals, families and communities to live free from domestic violence, sexual assault, child abuse and interpersonal violence through education, prevention and intervention. We recognize: • The importance of promoting family growth and building healthy relationships • Everyone needs and wants help and support at some time during their life • Violence can be passed from one generation to the next • Violence impacts every member of our community • Violence can end for anyone with an open heart and mind


What skills are required for this project? 

Answer • Good communication and crisis intervention skills • Driver’s license and valid proof of insurance • Successful completion of volunteer application, background check, and interview • Successful completion of on-call Advocate training (approximately 24 hours total) • Participation in quarterly in-services for on-call Advocates • Prompt follow-up and responses with Family Support Center staff re: both calls and scheduling requests • Be available to be on-call approximately 4-7 times a month • Willing to work under the supervision of the Resource Development Coordinator, Domestic Violence Program Director, and Sexual Assault Victim Services Coordinator • Adherence to on-call guidelines and Family Support Center policies


What are the objectives for the student learning and service?

Answer • Respond promptly to calls on the 24-hour crisis line • Maintain confidentiality of callers and program participants • Establish safety and support for callers • Provide advocacy for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault via phone and in-person when necessary • Assist with medical advocacy and law enforcement advocacy, as well facilitating shelter and transportation when necessary • Communicate promptly with Family Support Center staff for follow-up after calls and when scheduling • Learn about and embody principles of anti-violence advocacy • Learn and discuss dynamics of power and control in relationships as well as systems of power and oppression


What are the availability requirements for the student?

Answer Advocates sign up for shifts, which are 4:30pm-8am on weekdays, as well as 24-hour shifts on holidays and weekends. We are looking for an approximate one-year minimum commitment because of the extensive training provided. Advocates choose which days they can be on-call and are expected to have their phone on and be able to respond to calls confidentially on those days. Advocates take calls from their homes, using their personal phones. Transportation to the hospital, a law enforcement agency, and/or a safe shelter may be requested, depending on the needs of the caller.


Additional information (not required).

Answer All training will be done via Zoom due to the COVID-19 pandemic.