Become a Volunteer Co-facilitator with Sharing Kindness
Volunteers are needed to provide compassionate grief support to children and families grieving the death of a significant person in their lives. If you are interested in becoming a volunteer co-facilitator for our peer grief support groups, please read the information below. We appreciate your willingness to companion children and adults through their unique grief journeys.
View our updated list of peer grief support programs.
Volunteer co-facilitator FAQs
Why is it important?
Sharing Kindness wouldn’t exist without our volunteers. Volunteer co-facilitators’ caring presence and willingness to be with children, teens and families is the cornerstone of the grief support we offer.
With the guidance and supervision of our professional staff, trained volunteer co-facilitators are valued and integral members of our bi-weekly family peer support groups.
What is a volunteer co-facilitator?
As a volunteer co-facilitator, you’ll assist our mental health clinicians with running evidence-based peer grief support groups, which Sharing Kindness provides free of charge to our Cape & Islands community.
What training is required, and why do I need to be trained?
Volunteer co-facilitators and clinicians are required to attend our two-day training to enable them to follow our peer grief support model. The training provides participants with a clear understanding of our philosophy, principles and approach to peer grief support. Through learning and practicing the essential skills of awareness, reflection and facilitating play, volunteers and clinicians are better able to understand their role and explore the dynamics of child, teen and adult grief.
What are the benefits of becoming a volunteer co-facilitator?
This volunteer position offers a rare opportunity: to make a difference in the lives of people who are grieving. Together with our mental health clinicians, you can play a role in helping participants share their experience, form connection and foster resiliency.
Responsibilities & expectations
Following completion of Sharing Kindness Peer Support Group Training, volunteer co-facilitators will:
- Understand and implement Sharing Kindness’s model of peer support
- Be able and willing to share a loss story with a group of children, teens, and adults
- Commit to volunteering in a monthly peer support group (or bi-weekly for family groups) for at least one year
- Agree to be at Sharing Kindness’s group every other week for three hours
1. Pre-group meeting to plan and share themes and activities for the evening
2. 1.5-hour peer group support with children, teens or adults
3. Post-group debrief meeting
- Be the group’s timekeepers to start and end on time
- Maintain safety for all participants and themselves. Hurtful language and behavior will
be stopped and immediately addressed.
- Follow the lead of the group clinician
Master’s level clinicians supervise volunteers. Supervision topics often include:
1. How volunteers are impacted by working with bereaved families
2. How personal grief reactions may be activated
3. Current research on grief and loss
4. Challenging group interactions
5. Conflicts with other co-facilitators
- Contact the group coordinator/clinician if they are going to miss a meeting or arrive late
- Respect the confidentiality of all participants except in cases of suicidal or homicidal
ideation, child abuse as defined by state statute, and chemical dependency on the part
of any group participant. These will be reported to the clinician BEFORE the post-group
debrief to ensure the family’s safety
- Direct any questions from parents/caregivers to the group clinician
- Respect that the relationship between participants and their families is a helping
relationship. Volunteers should not establish personal/intimate relationships with
participants during or after program services.
- Volunteers will not initiate contact with participants by phone, text, email, or social
- Help clean up and organize playrooms at the end of the group
- Ensure the safety of participants at all times
Families and volunteers are assigned to a group that meets every other week on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday evenings. We ask volunteers to make a one-year commitment of three hours (5:00 to 8:00 pm) every other week. The new groups run from January to June 2023, and then on an academic schedule from September-June. Currently, our support groups take place in various locations throughout the Cape.
All volunteer co-facilitators must complete a two-day training on our peer grief support methods. Our training is intentionally designed to honor the sensitive and powerful nature of grief balanced with the needs of our volunteers. Due to this, our volunteer training has size limitations to ensure that participants receive adequate support throughout the training process.
**We may receive more applications than spots available for the training. Please note that applying does not guarantee entry into training. Also, completion of training does not guarantee assignment to a group.
**No trainings are scheduled at this time.**
Things to consider
Please consider the following before you decide to join our volunteer team:
● If you have experienced the death of a significant person in your life within the last year, we ask you to discuss this with us before applying. The required training can be an intense experience for those who are newly bereaved.
● After the training, you will need to complete a Massachusetts Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) form.
● Are you able to make a long-term commitment?
● What evenings are you available?
● What age group would you prefer?