TIP Teens is a program which involves young people (ages 16-21) as active volunteers in the Trauma Intervention Program. It is expected that involving teens in the local TIP Chapter will directly benefit the teens and will also enhance the capability of TIP to serve youth who have been traumatized. The goals of the TIPTeens program are threefold:
- To increase the awareness of teens about the plight of victims and to increase their emotional first aid skills.
- To give teens a meaningful volunteer opportunity in the community.
- To increase the effectiveness of the local TIP Chapter to help traumatized children and adolescents by using young volunteers (TIP Teens) who can establish “a connection” with young victims.
How the TIP Chapter Will Use TIP Teens
TIP Teens may be involved in a number of ways in the TIP Chapter. Following are examples of how the TIP Teens will be involved:
- As members of a TIP intervention team responding to a crisis situations.
- As “backup” volunteers when there are traumatized teens or children on scene.
- As volunteers with special skills (bilingual, for example) who are called out by a TIP volunteer when those skills are needed.
- As members of the TIP Speakers Bureau who assist in speaking about the TIP program in schools.
- As “eyes and ears” of the TIP program in the community. For example, a TIPTeen may deliver helpful materials to a teen who has experienced a traumatic event in a local high school.
- As National Trainers.
Policies and Procedures
- TIP Teens will be recruited from Peer Counseling Programs in schools, from police and fire Explorer Programs, from families and friends of active TIP volunteers, and from non-profit organizations who serve youth.
- TIP Teens will attend the same Volunteer Training Academy as adult TIP volunteers.
- TIP Teens will sign a Volunteer Contract similar to the TIP Volunteer Contract and will be expected to attend monthly continuing education meetings.
- Each TIP Teen’s involvement in the TIP Chapter will be contingent on written permission being granted by parents or a guardian. The parents or guardian must accompany the potential TIP Teen to the Orientation Meeting of the Volunteer Training Academy. The potential TIP Teen and their parents or guardian will be interviewed by a TIP staff person prior to the teen being accepted into the Volunteer Training Academy.
- Each TIP Teen will be assigned to a TIP volunteer who will be that teen’s mentor. This mentor will be responsible for:
- Reminding the TIP Teen of upcoming continuing education meetings and arranging transportation, if necessary.
- Debriefing the TIP Teen after a TIP intervention.
- Generally, the mentor will be responsible for the overall welfare of the TIP Teen in the TIP program.
- TIP Teens will be scheduled on the monthly schedule with an adult volunteer. If a call comes in, the TIP Teen will respond to the scene and will await the arrival of the adult volunteer. TIP Teens will never respond to a call alone and will never be left alone at a scene.
- A TIP Teen may be called as a “backup volunteer” who is requested by a TIP volunteer already on the scene. The requesting TIP volunteer will notify on scene emergency responders that a TIP Teen will be arriving, and the TIP volunteer will ensure that the TIP Teen is properly greeted and briefed upon arrival.
- The TIP volunteer(s) will make every effort to provide guidance and protection (if necessary) to the TIP Teen while on scene. Generally, TIP Teens will work closely “side by side” with the TIP volunteer(s) who requested their assistance.
TIP Teens will report that they use their TIP skills in other areas of their lives beyond the TIP program. For example, the TIP Teen may report:
- “I used my TIP skills to help a friend at school who lost his father.”
- “I was able to help on my job after a robbery because of my TIP experience.”
- “I now listen a lot more when my friend has a problem.”
TIP Teens will serve as a link between the TIP Chapter and local schools and youth organizations. TIP will more effectively serve children and adolescents who have been emotionally traumatized because of the addition of TIP Teens to our volunteer corps.