Current trends in the selection, training and support of Australian and Canadian volunteers: The issue of volunteer stress

Balvin, Nikola, Bornstein, Jackie and Bretherton, Di (2007) Current trends in the selection, training and support of Australian and Canadian volunteers: The issue of volunteer stress. Australian Journal on Volunteering, 12 2: 6-20.

Author Balvin, Nikola
Bornstein, Jackie
Bretherton, Di
Title Current trends in the selection, training and support of Australian and Canadian volunteers: The issue of volunteer stress
Journal name Australian Journal on Volunteering
ISSN 1325-8362
1836-0246
Publication date 2007
Sub-type Article (original research)
Volume 12
Issue 2
Start page 6
End page 20
Total pages 15
Place of publication Melbourne, Australia
Publisher Volunteering Australia
Language eng
Subject 160703 Social Program Evaluation
Abstract Recent studies of humanitarian aid fieldwork report increased stress levels among workers, urging agencies to improve pre-departure training and field support. The first part of the present study examined agency selection, training and support mechanisms, while the second part examined volunteers’ perceptions of their field placements. Representatives from four Australian and three Canadian volunteer sending agencies participated in structured interviews, revealing that agencies in these countries operate similarly, but most need some improvement in their volunteer selection, training and support processes. Particular attention is needed in areas of stress management and re-entry shock. In the second part, thirteen Australian and five Canadian volunteers from the interviewed agencies participated in focus groups. Participants reported gaining valuable skills, cultural knowledge and career prospects, but also indicated that more stress management training was needed before deployment and upon re-entry into the home culture. The findings lead to recommendations for cooperation between agencies, governments and academic institutions to improve and broaden the applicability of volunteer skills and experiences. Suggestions for future research are also made.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

 
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Created: Wed, 07 Jan 2009, 15:43:23 EST by Sophie Jordan on behalf of School of Political Science & Internat'l Studies