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Good Samaritans Volunteers Helping Victims Program Handbook and Training Guide
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About This Guide Message From the Director Acknowledgments About the Authors Related Links
Photo: Man and woman looking out of a broken window.

Publication Date: April 2009

minus iconFilling a Void—Origins of the Program

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minus iconVolunteers: Recruiting,
Screening, and Training

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minus iconModule 2: The Victim Experience
minus iconModule 3: Basic Skills for Volunteers
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Building Partnerships

Broadening the Network

Good Samaritans programs in Alabama and Mississippi are forging a network of community agencies to better serve a broader range of crime victims, solicit and train a dedicated core group of volunteers, and take advantage of the expertise available throughout the community.

The Good Samaritans program is working with the Victim Services Network, a program of the Denver (Alabama) District Attorney's Office, to assess community needs, establish a communitywide collaborative victim service initiative, develop training in victim service issues for faith-based and community leaders, and professionalize program operations.

In Mobile, a series of "brown bag" lunch meetings hosted by the Good Samaritans at various sites throughout the community brought together a wide range of victim service providers who had rarely interacted before the network began. The local meetings led to a regional victim service network-building conference in Mobile in fall 2004, drawing nearly 200 participants from surrounding communities to discuss and obtain training in victim issues.

Such activities introduced volunteers to victim service professionals in law enforcement and medical and social service agencies and organizations, and allowed all participants to build relationships with nontraditional partners.

A survey for assessing crime victims' needs was developed in Mobile County in late 2006, with the intent of widening the community safety net for crime victims and improving services offered by both professional and volunteer providers.