Offering Helping Hands for Victims of Misfortune or Crime
About the Program
The Taber Victim Services Unit was formed in 1993. Since that date, this Unit has been incorporated as part of a nonprofit society known as Taber Community Action and Prevention Society (TCAPS). The Unit operates with the mission: “To support Victims of Crime and Misfortune.”
What We Do
Victims of crime or trauma are often overwhelmed, confused, and unsure of how to deal with the emotions and decisions they face. We strive to help victims in taking steps toward problem-solving, understanding, and healing. Our services are free and confidential. We help people in these situations:
- Sudden Deaths: including accidents, homicides, , suicides
- House fires
- Assaults: physical or sexual
- Domestic Violence / Family Relationship Violence
- Break and Enter
- Thefts: including Identity Theft
- Motor Vehicle Accidents
- Vandalism and Mischief
- Other trauma causing events
Services for Victims
- Support—listening, comforting, assisting, Court accompaniment and follow-up
- Information—about the Criminal Justice System, type of incident, resources that may be available for victims, Court updates, and Court orientation
- Referrals—to appropriate resources or agencies for assistance or counselling
- Personal assistance—following a trauma such as a sudden death, we can help in making phone calls, making coffee, tidying up the house, accessing needed resources
- Transportation—when there is no one else to provide transporting, we can drive victims to family, a safe shelter, medical appointments, or to Court.
What Our Volunteer-Advocates Do
“Volunteer-Advocates” are dedicated to helping victims and our communities recover from traumatic events or criminal acts. Our Volunteer-Advocates are scheduled to be “on call”—24 hours a day—to the Taber area Police Services. Victim Services Volunteers also have access to CANTALK, which is a language service company that provides interpretation services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in 107 languages. Our primary roles are to provide support, information, and referrals for victims.
Qualifications of a Volunteer with Horizons Victim Services
To qualify as a Volunteer with Horizons Victim Services, one must:
- Be a resident of Taber or the MD of Taber or Vauxhall
- Be eighteen years of age or older
- Be of good character
- Satisfy the program coordinator of genuine potential for, and commitment to, providing effective support to victims of crime or misfortune
- Pass the security screenings required by the Taber Police Service and the RCMP
- Abide by the requirements and confidentiality policies and ethical code of the Victim Services Unit
- Be able to participate in at least four shifts every month (each shift ranging from 5 hours to 24 hours)
Each Volunteer-Advocate will be interviewed by a Committee of the TCAPS Board and Police Services. Board approval of candidacy will be followed by successful completion of a 70-hour online training course from the “Learnflex platform” of the Alberta Justice and Solicitor General.
Training will include job-shadowing when trainees serve with an experienced Volunteer-Advocate during an actual “Call Out” or in meeting with victims. Even after training is completed, Volunteer-Advocates are strongly encouraged to work in pairs when responding to a “Call Out.”
Qualification to serve with the Taber/Vauxhall RCMP will require successful completion of an RCMP Security Clearance application and interview.
How to Become a Volunteer with Horizons Victim Services
Since the number of volunteers in this program is not limited, the Horizons Victim Services Coordinator will accept applications at any time. Please drop by the office, located in the Taber Police Station at 5700 50 Avenue, to obtain an application.
You may contact the Coordinator at 403-223-8991 or via fax at 403-223-5540.