Dove will offer its Volunteer Training Program in March. Training will last for three weeks and will be held on the following dates and times: Monday and Thursday evenings, 5-9:15 p.m., March 13, 16, 20, 23, 27 and 30; Saturdays, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., March 18 and 25 and April 1. In addition there will be 3.5 hours of one-on-one training, which will be individually scheduled with staff members. The training will be held in Dove’s Conference Room, 800E Clay in Decatur. The cost of the training is $25.

“It’s a lot of information in a short amount of time,” said Susie Kensil, Dove program coordinator in Shelby County.

The training will cover a variety of topics dealing with domestic violence, such as confidentiality, dynamics of domestic violence, sexual abuse and intimate relationships, children’s issues, teen dating violence, court procedures, law enforcement responses, diversity and elder abuse. The training will enable volunteers to assist in areas such as support groups, legal advocacy and children’s services, to assist those who are trying to make a positive change in their lives. Following the completion, the volunteer will receive a certificate.

The training is approved by the Illinois Coalition Against Domestic Violence (ICADV) and is facilitated by Dove and other community agencies.

Dove is a non-profit organization that provides comprehensive assistance and support to families affected by domestic violence.

Kensil said there is a great need for volunteers in Shelby County.

“We have three trained volunteers at different degrees of activity,” Kensil said, adding that several other volunteers serve on the Committee for Domestic Violence.

So what does it take to be a volunteer for Dove?

“The desire to make a difference in someone’s life,” Kensil said. “Compassion and a willingness to understand the dynamics of domestic violence are also important traits.

Patience is also important.

“They (clients) will do things their way, at their own time,” Kensil said.

Kensil said that work as a Dove volunteer can be an eye opening experience to the domestic violence problems in the community.

“It gives people a better understanding of the issue,” Kensil said. “It’s a hard problem to understand. It takes an integrated community response to begin to combat domestic violence.”

For more information about the volunteer opportunities at Dove, contact Kensil at 774-3121 or Barb Blakey, head of volunteer services in Decatur, at 428-6616.

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