2-1-1 Big Bend, Inc.
Volunteer Hotline Counselor Position Description
2-1-1 Big Bend operates Helpline 2-1-1, the Florida HIV/AIDS Hotline and the Family Health Line. In addition, the agency answers calls for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and other organizations that contract with 2-1-1 Big Bend for hotline services. Volunteer Hotline Counselors provide callers with free, confidential counseling, crisis intervention, information and referrals. When volunteers graduate from the 75 hour initial 2-1-1 Big Bend Hotline Counselor Training program and are cleared for solo duty, they answer Helpline 2-1-1 and Lifeline. Additional training is required to answer the Florida HIV/AIDS Hotline and the Family Health Line. Volunteer Counselors report to the Coordinator of Volunteers.
Applicants should possess a motivation to help people, a non-judgmental attitude and an ability to empathize, and agree to complete a 200-hour volunteer commitment. Applicants must also satisfactorily complete the application and screening process.
Applicants should possess basic computer skills including the ability to type and use a keyboard and mouse. Applicants should possess the ability to view/read printed resources on a computer, in books or other printed materials. Applicants should possess the ability to use two telephones simultaneously to communicate with clients and supervisors.
Applicants must be fluent in English (including speaking, writing and comprehending). This includes the ability to establish a relationship with callers, identify their problems, reflect their feelings and explore their alternatives. Because many of our services are provided via telephone this may require the ability to identify subtle inferences about a caller’s situation, thus a solid command of the English language is required.
The Florida HIV/AIDS Hotline and the Family Health Line have additional requirements. Counselors who would like to work on these hotlines must have successfully completed the 2-1-1 Big Bend Hotline Counselor Training Program, have a minimum of 50 hours answering the hotlines operated by 2-1-1 Big Bend and must have satisfactory evaluations (including attendance) in all positions held. They must have availability to be scheduled during the hours that the Florida HIV/AIDS Hotline or the Family Health Line is operational. In addition, applicants must commit to being with the agency for at least six months upon completing either of these additional hotline training classes (Florida HIV/AIDS Hotline or Family Health Line).
Training and Supervision
Volunteer Counselors are provided with approximately 75 to 100 hours of initial training through classroom training, phone-room training and supervised shifts and receive ongoing training through in-services, counselor meetings, tutorial disks, and direct supervision and evaluation. The Coordinator of Volunteers and Off-Site Supervisors directly supervise Volunteer Counselors.
Family Health Line and/or Florida HIV/AIDS Hotline Volunteer Counselors are provided with approximately 30 hours of additional training specific for the applicable hotline, including classroom training, phone-room training and supervised shifts. The hours completed on the Family Health Line or the Florida HIV/AIDS Hotline are counted towards the 200-hour volunteer commitment
Position Type: Volunteer
Primary Job Responsibilities
Provides 200-hours of volunteer service.
Follows all 2-1-1 Big Bend agency policies and procedures.
Follows 2-1-1 Big Bend hotline procedures.
Establishes and maintains a relationship with callers.
Identifies and clarifies caller’s problem/need.
Deals with caller’s feelings.
Explores alternatives and provides information and referrals.
Correctly closes all calls.
Completely documents all calls.
These objectives must be completed in order to obtain any recommendations for graduate school, employment, etc.
Volunteer Counselors are preferred for filling other positions within 2-1-1 Big Bend including Part-time Counselors, Volunteer Training Assistant, Trainer and Resource Specialist. Agency positions may be advertised to the public in addition to 2-1-1 Big Bend volunteers.