COUNCIL OF VOLUNTARY SOCIAL SERVICES
The Council of Voluntary Social Services (CVSS) was founded in 1940 as a coordinating body for non-governmental organizations (NGOs) involved in social development. CVSS is the oldest and largest umbrella NGO in Jamaica. It is a company limited by guarantee and not having a share capital and registered as a charity.
CVSS is an Approved Charitable Organization as under Section 2 and Section 17 of the Charities Act, 2013 of Jamaica and a Member of the International Council on Social Welfare.
Our mission is to build the capacity of members and the wider community and create sustainable alliances, facilitating mutual support and joint action; and to represent the concerns of the social sector including disadvantaged and vulnerable groups at national and international levels.
PURPOSE OF ORGANIZATION
The purpose of CVSS, as outlined in its Mission Statement, is to bring together voluntary social service organizations for consultation, mutual information sharing, planning and action. Its primary focus remains capacity building with both its membership and other NGOs.
CVSS has lead the establishment of new and innovative social programmes within Jamaica, some of which have become independent organizations. It has produced research and publications that have provided critical information on social conditions and social service provision.
The scope of work undertaken by CVSS includes:
- Membership Education and Sensitization: keeping the members updated on current issues of relevance to the voluntary sector.
- Human Resource Development and Training: Promoting and fostering sound principles of action in the management of nonprofit organizations and providing training to all levels of staff.
- Advocacy: CVSS is concerned with representing disadvantaged and vulnerable groups in our society. It works in collaboration with member agencies to articulate issues of concern to the sector.
- Liaison: CVSS liaises with Government on matters affecting the social sector, especially in the areas of policy and legislation.
- Inter-Agency Collaboration: Member agencies meet in sectors to plan joint programmes for information-sharing, problem solving, and to address and take action on social issues.
- Volunteer Recognition: Awards are made to volunteers who have given outstanding service to organizations in the sector, and to organizations and companies who work with volunteers.
- Services to Members: CVSS administers pension and health schemes for staff members of voluntary organizations.
SPECIAL ACHIEVEMENTS AND HIGHLIGHTS
Some major achievements of CVSS have included the provision of short-term professional training for NGO personnel in various aspects of social development and welfare; the establishment of the Citizens’ Advice Bureau; assistance with the establishment of the United Way of Jamaica, the local office of the Save the Children Fund (U.K.), Belize Council of Voluntary Social Services, as well as VOUCH. CVSS has also published several editions of the books Handbook of the Social Services in Jamaica and Where to Find Help in Kingston.