First Step Project Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault


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FALL UPDATE (last updated September 2023)

We are not currently accepting Individual Volunteers. Any submissions will be put on our waitlist and contacted as we reopen.

After reading over our volunteer pages. Please fill out our inquiry form at the bottom of the "Individual Volunteering" page to get started.

As you will read on this page, volunteer placements that may interact with clients and/or public on behalf of First Step (aka ‘direct service’), require the completion of our Core Skills Training in addition to the typical background checks and screening process.

If everything stated here aligns with what you are looking for, please read the rest of the information on this page to know what is expected of our volunteers and if still interested, complete the inquiry form found at the bottom of this page and you will be contacted by a First Step representative!

Keep checking our website for the most up-to-date volunteer needs.

Due to the sensitive nature of our work, we have a rigorous and comprehensive application, screening, and training process for volunteers. An individual volunteer's requirements and expectations ultimately depend on the type of volunteer work and length of project or placement. Application approval, acceptance, and/or completion of training does not guarantee suitability and placement within First Step programs. Volunteers may be dismissed at any time.

If you have a particular skill, idea, or resources that you feel could benefit First Step but aren't sure they directly fit into one of our volunteer placements, please do not hesitate to reach out and share your ideas to

If volunteering is not for you, check out our Home Page to access our most up-to-date information, consider scheduling us for an info session or training, and follow us on social media! There are plenty of other ways to get involved and support survivors of violence

To learn more about how our typical volunteering program operates and how to get started, check out the information listed below and on our volunteer home page:

Types of individual volunteering 

Generally, individual volunteers at First Step fall into two categories:

  1. Consistent and/or Direct Service Volunteers. This includes internships!
  2. Project-Based and/or Non-Direct Service Volunteers. This includes most volunteer groups.

ALL volunteer applicants (besides most one-time groups) will need to complete an application and undergo background checks with First Step. Certain volunteer opportunities may require additional clearance through DHHS, interviews, and completion of our Core Skills Training series. More information on volunteer requirements and qualifications can be found at the bottom of this page.

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 SentryLink (if applicable)
  • National and State Sex Offender Registry Check
  • Copy of Valid Driver’s License or State ID
  • Copy of Proof of Auto Insurance (for select volunteer assignments)
  • Driving Record Check (for select volunteer assignments)
  • Central Registry Clearance through DHHS/CPS (for select 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, as available. Additionally, Project-Based Volunteers can opt-in to becoming a Consistent or Direct Service Volunteer at anytime.

Click here to learn more about Volunteer Qualifications

consistent or Direct-service VOLUNTEERS 

Consistent or Direct-Service Volunteers are volunteers who are housed in recurring placements and/or have ongoing, direct contact and engagement with First Step clients.  We ask that these volunteers make a one year commitment.  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 Core Skills Training sessions/dates within a series in order 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 4 segments; one short evening 5:30-8:30p and 3 consecutive, full days (Friday, Saturday & Sunday), 9a to 5p at First Step's Wayne office (4400 Venoy Rd.). For the most up to date schedule and info, click the link below.

Attendance of ALL Core Skills Training sessions listed within a series is mandatory. Click below for dates.

Click here for core skills training info + dates

project-based or non-direct service VOLUNTEERS 

Project-Based and/or Non-Direct Service Volunteers are individuals (or groups) that will not interact with clients on an ongoing basis or handle private information. 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 includes gardening, maintenance, cleaning, building, organizing, consulting, and/or sitting on our You Are the Light Gala Planning Committee!

This kind of volunteering does not require the completion of Core Skills Training, though it is still encouraged and a great way to learn more about First Step and best practices for working with and advocating for survivors! Applications and background checks are often required, and training requirements depend on staff supervision/involvement and frequency of volunteering.

Current Volunteer Placements

Review upcoming and open volunteer placements at First Step by clicking the button below.

Click here!


Learn more about our Core Skills Training series, a mandatory training program required for most of our volunteer placements, and check on upcoming dates!

Click here!


Check out the varying levels of our volunteer requirements and qualifications by clicking the button below.

Click here!


After you have read about our program and have a general idea of where you think you may fit in, use the contact form below to indicate your interest and availability! A staff member will reach out in 3-5 business days to discuss next steps including sharing any dates for upcoming info sessions or interview opportunities.

If the upcoming training dates do not work for you or the current and available placements are not of interest to you, email to be added to the waitlist.

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