Vulnerable people – the role of SWVG volunteers

SWVG works with adults over the age of 18. We never take referrals of children, but recognize that the people we work with may have children.

We restrict our work to people who are able to function in the community without specialised health or social care.

At recruitment:

Anyone who applies intending to volunteer with SWVG with people seeking asylum (such as visitor, backup, teacher, or regular helper at SWVG activities for asylum seekers) and/or in a position of responsibility in SWVG such as trustee, administrator, secretary) must be checked through the DBS process.

Potential volunteers attend an initial meeting to help them decide whether they want to apply. Issues concerned with working with vulnerable people are discussed at that meeting.

At induction:

After applying, volunteers attend training which includes a specific section on working with vulnerable people. This assists volunteers, and SWVG, to review on their strengths, talents, interests, and what that means about the type of role would suit them.

The training, and the handbook that accompanies it, cover:
• Appropriate behaviour
• Limits of competence of volunteer visitors and teachers
• Assessment of risks
• Referring people to specialist care
• Empowerment
• Non-judgmentally working from the perspective of the other person, and respecting their faith

Initial visits are supervised.

When working with clients:

• Volunteers are strongly advised to meet the person they are working with in a public place
• Volunteers are strongly advised never to see children without the accompaniment of their parents
• On-going training, including general meetings, and support groups provide the forum for discussing issues that arise out of the work
• Any asylum seeker with a volunteer is given the contact details of their volunteer, a back-up, and a card with the contact details of SWVG
• The coordinators try to match the volunteer with the needs of the asylum seeker, for example e.g. by gender
• Volunteers are advised to respect the client’s decisions

All volunteers and staff are given a copy of this policy.
Referring agencies are made aware of this policy

The trustees monitor the effectiveness of this policy by:
• Telephone contact between visitors and the co-ordinator
• Regular visitor meetings (bi monthly) and support group