First Step Project Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault

volunteer application suspended until further notice.

We appreciate your understanding and apologize for the inconvienance. We look forward to the day we can safely welcome you to the program. 

If you are a current volunteer, you can access your volunteer profile on volunteer impact here:

Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, First Step is not accepting any new volunteers at this time. In order to keep our volunteers, staff, and survivors safe our program is currently on hold. We are taking this time to update many of our positions, policies, and procedures to provide our gracious volunteers with an even better experience once we get back to functioning normally! 

Though we are unsure as to when we will be able to accept new, eager volunteers, there are others ways you can get involved and support First Step! Check out our Home Page to access our most up-to-date information and follow us on social media. 

If you have a particular skill, idea, or resources that you feel could benefit First Step during these unprecedented times, please do not hesitate to reach out to 

To be contacted when our program reopens with information regarding the next steps to becoming an active volunteer please email

We hope you appreciate our transparency and understand our need to suspend the program.

To learn more about how our typical volunteering program operates for those looking to volunteer, check out the information listed below:

volunteering options

Generally, volunteers at First Step fall into two categories:

  1. Consistent and/or Direct Service Volunteers.
  2. Project-Based and/or Non-Direct Service Volunteers.

ALL volunteer applicants will need to undergo background checks with First Step. Certain volunteer opportunities may require additional clearance through DHHS, interviews, and completion of our Core Skills Training. 

Out of obligation to the clients we serve and our community stakeholders, we have a rigorous screening process that includes:

  • State of Michigan Criminal Background Check through ICHAT
  • National Criminal Check through Volunteer Select Plus (if applicable)
  • National and State Sex Offender Registry Check 
  • Copy of Valid Driver’s License
  • Copy of Proof of Auto Insurance (for select volunteer assignments)
  • Driving Record Check (for select volunteer assignments)
  • Central Registry Clearance through DHHS/CPS (for consistent or direct service volunteer assignments)

Until volunteers can complete interviews, training, and obtain DHHS clearance, they will be able to sign-up for non-direct service and project-based opportunities. Additionally, Project-Based Volunteers can opt-in to becoming a Consistent or Direct Service Volunteer at anytime. 

consistent or Direct-service VOLUNTEERS 

Consistent or Direct-Service Volunteers are volunteers who could recurring placements and tasks and/or have direct contact with First Step clients and engage with them on an ongoing basis.  We ask that these volunteers make a one year commitment, as the on-boarding and training process can take some time.  For most positions, you must be at least 18 years old.

First Step will provide you with the foundational training you will need to be successful.  You must attend all training dates to be a Consistent and/or Direct Service Volunteer. Dates will be provided as they are made available, but are typically held in January, May, and September over 3 consecutive days (Friday, Saturday & Sunday), 9a to 5p in Wayne. COVID-19 may affect these dates and availability. Currently, the next training is projected to occur in late fall 2020.

project-based VOLUNTEERS 

Project-Based Volunteers are individuals (or groups) that will not interact with clients on an ongoing basis.  These volunteers tend to do work in and around our offices to help improve the spaces, programs, services, or to provide events for the agency.  

This kind of volunteering does not require the complete core skills training and interview process, though it is still encouraged! 


If you would like to volunteer on a consistent basis and with clients directly, keep a look out for our next scheduled Core Skills Training dates. In the meantime, or if you are not interested in Core Skills Training, check out the general on-boarding process below:

  1. To begin volunteering with us, click here to apply! 
  2. Once your application has been submitted, the Volunteer Coordinator will review your application. If there are opportunities available for volunteers who have not yet had background checks cleared, you will be able to see them and sign-up for them! 
  3. After an application is approved, background checks will be conducted and reviewed. 
  4. Once background checks are cleared, the status of your application will go from “in-process” to “approved.” Due to this clearance, more opportunities, if available, should become visible to you!
    • If interested in being apart of our Assault Response Team, Nurturing Program, Front Desk support, or other direct-service and/or consistent opportunities, consider attending our Core Skills Training.
    • Additional screening measures may be required for various placements, lengths of service, or needs.



You must attend all three days. Dates to be determined (predicted to occur Late Fall)

First Step offers a three consecutive day (Friday, Saturday, Sunday) trauma-informed training that is mandatory for all consistent volunteers to complete. Each day includes 3 or more different topics that are necessary for working at First Step and with, or for, our clients. Each day is 8 hours long and will make you prepared for whatever role it is you take on as a volunteer at First Step.

All training and orientations take place at First Step’s Karen Wilson Smithbauer Family Center, 4400 Venoy Rd, Wayne, MI 48184

Specialized Training

Some of our volunteer positions require specialized training. Prospective Childcare Volunteers (Nurturing) and Assault Response Advocates are required to attend specialized training. These trainings are embedded to the end of a full day training. Volunteers that are not required to attend the extra training will be dismissed early.