Tocarra Mallard joined Families First in 2017. Tocarra holds a Master of Arts in Arts Administration and Policy from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a Bachelor of Arts in Art History from Rollins College.
Prior to joining Families First as the Volunteer Coordinator, Tocarra was the Manager of Studio Programs at the Chicago Architecture Foundation and a part-time faculty member at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. From 2012-2014 she was the AmeriCorps VISTA with the Office of Community Engagement at Rollins College where she led many service-learning and volunteer initiatives including alternative spring breaks to St. Petersburg, Florida, the Everglades and New Orleans.
Betsy Hall was originally an intern at Families First as a bilingual childcare provider. Upon graduation from IUPUI, with a Bachelor's degree in Social Work, she joined the Families First's Advocacy team as a Survivor Advocate Volunteer Coordinator.
Betsy is passionate about making sure everyone’s voice is heard. "Community members may not feel like they can do much in the fight to end sexual violence if they aren’t working in this field. However, volunteers can be some of the best advocates." Betsy wants to make sure people in the community know they have an important role in ending these crimes, and they can do that by volunteering.
"Volunteer Advocates come from all walks of life, but all have one thing in common- the desire to support survivors. I learn so much from the team I get to work with and am grateful to be surrounded by such compassionate individuals. "
Who can volunteer at Families First?
To apply, potential volunteers must be 18 or older and have a US Social Security Number. You must complete a volunteer application, and attend an interview as well as pass a background check. To volunteer for the Crisis Line, potential Crisis Line Intervention Specialists must have access to reliable internet service, a personal computer, and phone.
Can I volunteer at Families First to complete community service or course-required hours?
Volunteering at Families First is not the best way to complete community service hours. At the minimum, six months of active service is required for some volunteer positions. Others require a year.
What happens once my application is processed and I am accepted as a volunteer?
Volunteers will attend position-specific training as necessary and then assigned volunteer shifts or hours.
Do I have to have a background check?
Yes, we need every volunteer to complete a general background check and a Department of Child Services background check. Volunteers who interact with children will be required to complete a fingerprint check at a designated facility. Volunteers are not responsible for any costs or fees associated with background checks.
Do I have to have previous experience to volunteer?
No, we will provide all training and materials. We only ask you come ready to learn and grow together.
Where are support groups held and will I facilitate groups by myself?
Support groups are held in various locations throughout the community. We keep these locations confidential to protect you and our clients. We will tell you the location before you commit to a specific group. We prefer two co-facilitators in every group. The volunteer coordinator or other staff is also ready and willing to help in groups as needed. We will never put you in your first group alone!
How do I apply to be a volunteer?
Please fill out the online Families First Volunteer Application. We’ll contact you to discuss your volunteering options, so please provide your name and contact information.
I'm interested in more than one position. Can I learn more without committing?
Yes! If you are interested in learning more, curious about more than one position, or have specific questions you would like to ask in person, RSVP for our next volunteer interest meeting.
I have a question you didn't answer or would like my corporate group to volunteer. Who should I contact?
For questions about volunteering at Families First, please call 317-644-7237 or email email@example.com. You can learn more about corporate partnerships here.
I would like my child to volunteer with me, is that possible?
Sure! Children 17 and younger are more than welcome to volunteer with a parent or legal guardian for our childcare volunteer role only.