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Topic Collection: Volunteer Management

In times of crisis, many individuals feel the need or desire to volunteer to assist with response and recovery operations. Healthcare facilities and emergency healthcare providers and responders should have plans ready to activate. Plans should address details such as credentialing, assigning, and managing spontaneous volunteers. The resources in this Topic Collection include guidance and strategies, legal information, and templates for incorporating volunteers into disaster management.

This ASPR TRACIE Topic Collection is in the process of being developed and comprehensively reviewed. If you have resources to recommend for inclusion in this Topic Collection, specifically illustrative examples, plans, tools or templates, please email your recommendations to askasprtracie@hhs.gov.

Topic Collection (PDF - 404.5 KB)

Chu, V. (2011). Emergency Response: Civil Liability of Volunteer Health Professionals. Congressional Research Service.

This report provides an overview of the Federal and state liability protections available to volunteer health professionals.
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Fernandez, L., Barbera, J., Van Dorp, J. (2006). Strategies for Managing Volunteers during Incident Response: A Systems Approach. Homeland Security Affairs 2 (Article 9).

The authors present a systems-based approach to spontaneous volunteer planning and management. Several graphics illustrate components of the approach and Figure 5 highlights an example of this type of systems modeling (from Arlington, VA).
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National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster. (2014). National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster Home Page.

This website allows volunteer organizations to "share knowledge and resources throughout the disaster cycle." It features links to national and state members, partners, committees, task forces, and information on joining the group.
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Public Entity Risk Institute. (2009). Citizens Corps Volunteer Liability Guide: An Overview of Legal Issues and Approaches to Address Liability for Emergency Volunteers. Federal Emergency Management Agency.

The aim of this guide is to provide an overview of volunteers and liability, a summary of the law and liability, lists sources of liability protection (e.g., volunteer acts, and Good Samaritan laws), and explains risk management as it relates to liability. Also included are checklists that can be tailored by volunteer organizations.
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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response. (n.d.). The Emergency System for Advance Registration of Volunteer Health Professionals (ESAR-VHP). (Accessed 11/10/2015.)

This factsheet provides an overview of ESAR-VHP and links to opportunities, frequently-asked questions, partner organizations, and other related pages.
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Western Massachusetts Medical Reserve Corps. (2013). Spontaneous Volunteer Management Plan Template. Western Massachusetts Medical Reserve Corps.

This plan template can be tailored by emergency planners, incident commanders, and disaster volunteer groups, to help plan for and manage spontaneous volunteers. It may also be used as a general reference to guide development of a facility-specific volunteer plan.
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