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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

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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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Filling a Void—Origins of the Program

Program Elements

Although the core framework of the program is simple, executing it successfully requires cooperation among a number of faith-based and community organizations and careful screening and monitoring of volunteers. A Good Samaritans program should include the following elements:

  • Good Samaritans volunteers must pass criminal background checks and complete training prior to coming into contact with crime victims, and must be willing to be called to a crime scene 24-7.
  • Officers in participating law enforcement agencies carry in their patrol cars a stack of business cards printed with the Good Samaritans 24-hour phone number.
  • On encountering a crime victim who needs emergency repairs or other appropriate services after a break-in, the officer either calls the Good Samaritans or gives the victim a Good Samaritans' business card.
  • The volunteer or volunteer team captain who answers the emergency phone call first ensures that the crime scene is safe for volunteers, either by talking with the officer or checking with police dispatchers; assesses the victim's needs; and dispatches the Good Samaritans volunteers.
  • A team of at least two Good Samaritans responds, bringing needed tools and equipment for emergency repairs. The team also assesses whether additional services are needed.
  • Volunteers offer a wide range of services not otherwise available in the crime victims' community. They repair doors and windows, help victims replace lost documents, refer them to other community resources, and, perhaps most important, listen to victims' concerns.
  • Volunteers know about community services, so they can refer victims to the appropriate resources and avoid duplication of efforts.
  • Good Samaritans may also obtain police reports so that they can identify and contact crime victims to offer services, telephone support, and followup referrals and calls.