MS Society – Central Alberta Chapter
Position / Placement: Support Group Facilitator
MS Society Support Group Facilitator
MS Society of Canada support groups provide members with an opportunity to discuss common issues related to MS, including strategies for how to cope better with the disease. The groups offer emotional support, information and practical help though the experience of others. Group facilitators play an essential role in assisting this process by providing leadership to the group.
This position reports to the programs and services coordinator/manager of the chapter/division office.
This position is a position of trust in Programs & Services. The Support Group Facilitator will be required to complete the screening process including completion of appropriate background checks in compliance with the National Screening Measures Policy (2006).
· Facilitate the support group meetings by ensuring everyone has an equal opportunity to speak and share information.
· Involve group members in the sharing of roles and responsibilities of the group where possible, such as introducing and thanking guest speakers, greeting new members, setting meeting reminders, etc.
· Coordinate the location, time and date of the group meetings and inform the MS Society designate should this change.
· Work with group members to establish and uphold group norms/ground rules as outlined in “Support Group Etiquette”.
· Ensure group members understand and adhere to the Confidentiality Statement by reviewing the statement at regular intervals and whenever a new member joins the group.
· Be the contact with the MS Society designate for information, and concerns within the group.
· Refer members to the MS Society designate for needs beyond the scope of the group.
· Conduct and/or participate in regular group evaluations as required.
· This position involves between 3 and 5 hours a month of volunteer work.
· Facilitator training and meetings (once or twice a year) as determined by the MS Society. The training and meetings may require part of a weekend, an evening, or half day.
· Overall commitment of 1 year minimum with a preference for 2 years.
· MS Society of Canada support groups provide members with an opportunity to discuss common issues related to MS, including strategies for how to cope better with the disease. The groups offer emotional support, information and practical help though the experience of others. Group facilitators play an essential role in assisting this process by providing leadership to the group.
· Strong interpersonal and oral communication skills.
· Ability to work with confidential information and maintain confidentiality.
· Ability to lead by example in relation to confidentiality and conduct.
· Ability to direct and redirect group conversations to keep the meeting focused and ensure all members can have the opportunity to speak.
· Ability to involve group members in planning and running the meeting: developing the meeting agendas, inviting guest speakers, using the ground rules and disclaimers appropriately, acquire MS Society of Canada information, etc.
· Good working knowledge of MS.
· Commitment to attend all of the meetings, except in times of illness or other exceptional circumstances in which the facilitator will inform the MS Society designate as soon as possible.
· MS Society will provide training and support prior to leading support groups on your own.
· MS Society will regularly provide you with up-to-date information about MS treatments, research, events and tips for running successful groups.
· MS Society designate will assist you in conflict resolution, information gathering, and ideas for meeting topics when requested.
· MS Society will advertise your group information on the Society’s website, in newsletters and other print materials.
· MS Society will act as the first contact for individuals interested in support groups and will refer interested individuals to the designated group contact/facilitator.
Organization: MS Society – Central Alberta Chapter
Contact Person: Tammy Norris
Phone Number: 403-346-0290