New York City’s need for a diverse cadre of Disaster Emotional and Spiritual Caregivers who can be activated in case of disaster has been escalated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Currently, NYDIS has a roster of 258 Disaster Chaplains who can be deployed in the event of a natural or human-caused disaster. While this capacity is enough to meet the needs of a local emergency, it is insufficient to meet the chaplaincy needs of an event with widespread effects or which creates long-term spiritual care needs like the current pandemic. Additionally, the current roster does not have the depth of linguistic, cultural, and religious competency necessary to meet the diverse religious needs of many minority groups in NYC. Apart from growing the roster, NYDIS would also like to document the unique specialties of each existing volunteer, whether it be language capability, minority community cultural competency, or spiritual care specialty.
Expectations and Goals for the specific project on which AmeriCorps Member is serving:
In an effort to build a sufficient roster of trained, credentialed Disaster Emotional and Spiritual Caregivers, NYDIS is planning on reopening our training curriculum in 2021, which had to be suspended for the year of 2020 due to COVID-19 restrictions. Our curriculum offers a three-day training that prepares faith leaders or institutional chaplains to volunteer as disaster chaplains in mass-care settings or to serve as disaster chaplains within their house of worship, religious community, or professional institution. Additionally, we offer Spiritual Care Worker Certification and Train the Trainer Certification. NYDIS provides these trainings for a much-reduced price, in an attempt to increase equity by making this credentialing accessible to under-resourced communities historically excluded from disaster response efforts. These efforts are currently unfunded mandates, but ones that are important enough that NYDIS will continue trying to build the city’s capacity regardless of funding. NYC needs a resilient cadre of Disaster Chaplains who will be able to comfort and console members of all faith traditions whenever the need arises.
Member Position Summary:
The AmeriCorps Member would assist NYDIS in coordinating and strengthening the volunteer Disaster Chaplaincy capacity of New York City. The AmeriCorps member would assist coordinating the trainings, managing the volunteer database, streamlining activation protocols, identifying volunteer gaps, and ensuring all volunteer information is accurate. This support will help ensure a smooth and rapid activation in case of disaster.
• Collaborate with and report to the Senior Manager of NYDIS’ Faith Sector Community Preparedness Program
• Support engagement and education of NYC religious specific to disaster and public health preparedness and resiliency
• Assess the cultural and language competency of volunteers and develop a plan to build capacity to meet city-wide emergency management needs
• Communicate regularly with current cadre of Disaster Chaplains to ensure volunteer engagement, satisfaction and maintaining qualifications and contact information.
• Create a strategic volunteer engagement plan and volunteer outreach plan
• Manage volunteer database, including data input, management, and data trend tracking
• Develop, conduct, and analyze volunteer surveys
• Assist Senior Manager in coordinating all volunteer recruiting and trainings – including registrations, instructor and course coordination, and advertising/outreach.
New York City’s need for a diverse cadre of Disaster Emotional and Spiritual Caregivers who can be activated in case of disaster has been escalated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Currently, NYDIS has a roster of 258 Disaster Chaplains who can be…