UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Recruitment and training of program volunteers : the recruitment and training of program volunteers in recreational and leisure-time agencies in Vancouver, employing trained social group workers Merson, Stanley Rae


Volunteers have been working in leisure-time settings for a long time. In fact individuals were giving direct leadership long before the evolution of professional training for social group work. Since the coming-of-age of professional training, it has been recognized that the desire to help others is not enough. Personal qualifications, motivation, and knowledge influence the ability of any individual to make a valid contribution to the welfare of others. It is with these considerations that the professional social group worker must concern himself when working directly with volunteers. The practice of the group worker must be such that he can interest sufficient numbers of individuals in direct leadership to offer a satisfying program to the membership. He must be able to distinguish desirable and undesirable qualifications at the time of application. He must be able, also, to provide the volunteer with the basic minimum of knowledge required to work effectively. To obtain information regarding the volunteer recruitment and training practices, questionnaires were sent to ten leisure-time agencies employing social group workers. The specific information thus obtained was complemented by information received in personal interviews with representatives of the ten agencies. To facilitate comparison and evaluation, agency programs were divided into (a) recruitment and (b) training, although these two parts of the total program are closely inter-related. The study throws light on both strengths and weaknesses in recruitment and training programs. Some indication is given as to what may be done to improve both parts of the total program and, consequently, provide better service to the community at large. It is an important finding that the professional workers in this field are particularly concerned with recruiting and training program volunteers, and are interested in raising community standards. The question of standard formulation is opened up, but demands further research.

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