Course:APBI 496 - BC SPCA Community Outreach Practicum

From UBC Wiki

Community Outreach Practicum Student

Position Title: Practicum Student - Vancouver Community Outreach

Department: Prevention & Enforcement

Position Reports To: Specialist, Outreach - Pet Food Banks

This in-person position suits an individual who exudes compassion for animals and their guardians equally, regardless of their personal circumstances. The student will assist the Outreach – Low Income & Food Bank Services at the Charlie’s Pet Food Bank (CFB) held weekly at Jacob's Well 543 Powell Street, Vancouver. CFB is one of 35 provincial pet food banks operated by the BC SPCA where pet food, accessories and support is provided weekly to animal guardians in the downtown area of Vancouver. Many of Charlie’s clients face barriers due to mental health issues, drug addiction and/or financial issues while trying to care for their pet. This role will include the management and operation of the pet food bank including coordination with BC SPCA Vancouver Facility and Animal Hospital. The student shall learn approaches to supporting and managing the health and welfare of animals in this unique community. The student will work collaboratively with staff and volunteers to improve individual welfare for clients accessing CFB.

The student has a direct reporting relationship to the Specialist, Outreach – Pet food banks.

Duties and Responsibilities

BC SPCA Training

  • Completion of BC SPCA online:
    • COVID-19 Branch safety plan
    • Building a Respectful Workplace
    • Staff training Behaviour & Welfare
    • Introduction to Health and Safety
    • Policies and Procedures
    • Introduction to Cognitive Bias
  • Other training courses identified by Manager, Outreach
    • Pets For Life - Why Access to Animal Resources is a Social Justice Issue
    • Fear Free Shelter Program
    • Sophia Yin Low Stress Handling

(16 – 20 hour Week 1)

Charlie’s Pet Food Bank

  • (As needed by Outreach Specialist – Low Income & Food Bank Services)
  • Provide phone support for Charlie’s phone line weekly (hours to be determined)
  • Assist Outreach Specialist with:
    • Load and deliver food & supplies to CFB Thursday mornings
    • Sorting, packing and distribution of food at CFB
    • Assisting and support of volunteers at CFB
  • Engage visiting clients accessing CFB
  • Answer questions, provide resources to clients as needed
  • Refer clients requesting spay/neuter to the BC SPCA Vancouver Animal Hospital
  • Provide advice on training, handling and care that falls in line with BC SPCA Philosophies (5 - 6 hours weekly Thursday mornings)
  • Pick-up and storing donated food as needed

Applied Communication

  • Create information brochure/poster/video/other, to be determined in consultation with Outreach Specialist – Low Income & Food Bank Services, that is for volunteers, public or other shelter professionals


  • Maintain and record weekly CFB statistics, including food bank and training


  • Minimum 20 hours a week with Thursday mornings of the each month being mandatory for this position, remaining hours are flexible.
  • Performs other duties as required

Contacts and Communication

  • Direct contact with Specialist, Outreach – Low Income & Food Bank Services
  • Staff, volunteers and public
  • Works collaboratively with Vancouver Animal Community Centre staff

Knowledge and Skill Requirements

  • Must have genuine compassion for animals and people, previous animal care training or equivalent experience
  • Social work experience or training an asset
  • Ability to identify and defuse possible hostile situations
  • Experience coaching and mentoring
  • Excellent communication, organizational and interpersonal skills
  • Ability to support staff and volunteers
  • Philosophical harmony with BC SPCA policies, programs and protocols
  • Computer Skills – Windows, MS Office; knowledge of Shelter Buddy an asset
  • Ability to lift minimum 20kg bags of food or litter
  • Driver’s license an asset

Organizational Relationships

Organizational Relationships between the practicum students and other staff members at BC SPCA for the Outreach Practicum.