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a/ 4,260 represents nationally recruited trainees.
b/ Represents trainees to be recruited, evaluated and processed.
The expansion of the VISTA Program requires a corresponding recruitment and communications effort to attract qualified volunteers.
Personnel Compensation and Benefits are expected to increase by $135 thousand over the FY 1978 level. This increase reflects the full year cost of 8 administrative support personnel transferred to Recruitment and Communications during FY 1978 as well as the conversion of seasonal permanent positions to full-time status.
Other Expenses will show an increase of $234 thousand over the FY 1978 amount. An improved advertising campaign, along with an intensive local recruitment effort, will account for most of the increased funding. This reflects the Agency's desire to reestablish individual program identities and to bring them to the attention of the public.
Voluntary action has been a part of America's way of addressing both national and international goals since our country's founding. It represents a tremendous national resource which performs many essential services to the poor and disadvantaged at home and abroad. According to the Department of Commerce report on Social Indicators, 1976, the number of Americans volunteering has increased from 24.3 million, or 18.1 percent of the population in 1965 to nearly 36.8 million, or 23.5 percent of the population in 1974. This indicates that voluntary service is measurably on the increase in the United States.
ACTION wants to participate in efforts to link people in need with people who care and to strengthen its cooperation with the private volunteer sector for two reasons: First, voluntary action is a costeffective means of achieving our goal of addressing and improving basic human needs in our communities as well as in the Third World nations. Second, voluntary action provides a way for individuals both to express their sense of responsibility to the larger community and to gain selfconfidence in their own abilities to develop themselves.
Office of Voluntary Citizen Participation. To enhance the effectiveness of the government's ability to better relate to the private voluntary sector, ACTION is establishing the Office of Voluntary Citizen Participation (OVCP). This reorganization of formerly disparate Agency functions will provide an integrated base from which to promote, encourage, and advocate voluntary action in the United States and overseas. OVCP will utilize the experiences of voluntary groups which meet national and international challenges consistent with ACTION's commitment to meet basic human needs. This office will also permit ACTION to take full advantage of its unique ability to act as a focal point for domestic and international communication, coordination, and assistance to national as well as international voluntary service programs.
VOLUNTARY CITIZEN PARTICIPATION continued
Advocacy and Inter-Agency Cooperation. The Office of Voluntary Citizen Participation (OVCP) will advocate the continued growth of volunteering in its many manifestations; participate with other agencies and organizations to foster self-sufficiency of the private volunteer effort; cooperate with other Federal agencies to guard voluntary citizen participation from inadvertent government interference and stimulate and promote inter-governmental cooperation in the effective use of volunteers.
Former Volunteer Project. In response to recommendations from the Independent Foundation, a group which actively represents former VISTA and Peace Corps volunteers, OVCP is establishing the Former Volunteer Project. This project will provide a continuity between volunteer service and the return to civilian life; enhanced career assistance; a means of communication to and among former full-time volunteers; opportunities for continuing involvement of former volunteers in the affairs and mission of the Agency; a greater public awareness of the volunteer experience; and the need for international and domestic development.
Cooperation with the Private Sector. OVCP will establish and maintain communications with the private voluntary sector; identify ways to collaborate and assist with research and information that is needed by citizens involved in voluntary action; and work to avoid duplication between the government and existing organizations which operate volunteer programs.
Integration of Programs. Within OVCP, ACTION will also bring together the following Domestic and International program functions:
State Volunteer Services Coordinator Program
Information, Collection and Exchange
It is estimated that the Office of Voluntary Citizen Participation will be fully operational at the end of FY 1978. The increase in costs of $613 thousand is a result of full-year funding of the personnel and related expenses of the Office and the financing of the Former Volunteer Project which is planned for funding in FY 1979 at $250 thousand.
1/ Details of these programs are found on pages 50-54 of this document.
The purpose of the Former Volunteer Project is to assist in the activities of ACTION's former volunteers. The Agency will maintain a data base, provide communications support, publish a monthly newsletter, and contract for special services. The project staff will be responsible for intra-agency liaison on behalf of former volunteers.