Volunteer Facilitator Training
Screening & Placement Policy
Procedures for Becoming a Volunteer Facilitator
1. An applicant will complete a “Facilitator Training Application” and “Questionnaire”
and pay the course fee.
2. A chosen applicant (trainee) will complete all hours of the “Facilitator Training.”
3. Prior to the “Placement Meeting” the trainee will have completed:
• reading the “Facilitator Skills Manual”
• a “Post-Training Facilitator Application”
• a “Post-Training Facilitator Questionnaire”
• a “Facilitator Confidentiality Agreement”
• a “Requests for Personal References” form
• a “Pre-Background Check Disclosure Authorization and Release”
4. When a trainee has been approved for placement as a facilitator, she/he will be
placed in a group according to the needs of The Dougy Center and the volunteer's
availability. A file will be compiled, including the above documents and a contact
form. This file will be kept in the “current volunteers” central file.
5. The Dougy Center's needs for facilitators are determined by the TDC staff group
coordinators, who make a request for additional volunteer facilitators, and give the
start date for which the volunteer is needed.
Volunteer Facilitator Job Description
Volunteers are expected to demonstrate a working knowledge of The Dougy Center’s
“Training Manual for Volunteer Facilitators.”
A facilitator participates as a caring peer who is willing to share his or her story of loss in
a group of children, teens, or adults. There is no formal counseling or therapy as a part
of these groups. Staff and facilitators support each other. Facilitators and participants
share as well as teach and learn about their own life experiences.
There is a required one hour pre-meeting before each group session and a one hour
debriefing post-meeting immediately after each one and a half hour group.
TDC staff coordinators are responsible for supervising facilitators in their respective
groups. If a facilitator is going to miss a meeting, he or she is to contact the staff
coordinator so that appropriate adjustments can be made for the group.
Volunteers are to respect that what is said in the support groups is to remain
confidential, except in cases of suicide or homicidal ideation, child abuse as defined by
Oregon state statute, chemical dependency on the part of any group participant, or
when a parent or legal guardian has signed a “release of information” form. All
volunteers must sign a “Facilitator Confidentiality Agreement” form before being placed
in a group.
Volunteer facilitators must report any communications or suspicions of suicidal ideation
or actions, child abuse as defined by Oregon state statute, threats to harm others, or
chemical dependency of any group participant directly to their staff coordinator
before the family leaves the center so the coordinator can ensure the safety of
Volunteers are expected to respect their interaction with participants is a helping
relationship. The establishment of personal relationships or interactions with family
participants may interfere with the healing process and the mission of The Dougy
Center and is not allowed. Volunteers are not to establish personal/intimate
relationships with participants during program services or initiate or continue any
contact with any child, teen, or adult participant outside The Center in person, by phone,
e-mail, or any other connection.
• Be present and provide a safe environment for participants to grieve.
• Enforce safety rules and group guidelines.
• Use the “Essential Skills” with individuals and in groups.
• Note and discuss individual participant’s needs.
• Hold to time limits: help start and end groups on time.
• Report all concerns about abuse, suicide, homicide, drug usage, etc.
immediately to staff coordinator.
1. All materials brought by a facilitator to share with any group must be reviewed
and approved of by the staff coordinator before group.
2. What takes place in the children/teens's groups is confidential. It is important
for the facilitators to interact regularly with parent/caregivers for the purpose
of building trust but without breaking confidentiality. Generalized statements
about a child/teen's participation are appropriate. For example: "Jacob is
working on his grief. We appreciate you bringing him.”
3. If an adult has any concerns about the progress of her children or the
activities in the group, facilitators should encourage parents to check in with
and address their questions to the staff coordinator.
4. Confidentiality must be observed with any and all information disclosed by
participants and facilitators in group, pre-meetings and post-meetings.
Discretion must be used so that all participants continue to feel safe sharing
with each other.
5. The staff coordinator is available to address the parents' meeting about what
takes place in the children/teen's groups.
6. Facilitators may not contact a participating child, teen, or parent/caregiver by
phone, letter, e-mail or face to face outside the center. Do not accept phone
numbers, addresses, or e-mail addresses from participants. Please disclose
these interactions to the staff coordinator immediately.
7. Facilitators are asked to help maintain order in the play areas, either with the
children prior to moving from an area or the ending of the group “play time.”
8. A facilitator needs to be with a child/teen in any and all areas of The Center
during group time and until the parent/caregiver takes over the supervision of
Pre-meeting: Purpose and Goals
The pre-meeting is a time for facilitators to check in with each other about events,
thoughts, and feelings in their lives. It allows them to clear their head of outside
events and be present and ready to “be with” the children. The group usually
spends the first few minutes listening to music as a way to relax from the day and
focus their thoughts. After music, each facilitator has an opportunity to share with
the group about what is happening in their lives, new awareness related to their
personal grief process, and thoughts about their experiences in the group.
Facilitators also have time to share their affirmations, concerns, hesitations, and
questions with the group. Pre-meeting is a time for the staff coordinator to share
relevant information about new families in the group and updates on continuing
members. The facilitators and staff coordinator work together to strategize for
the group, problem-solve issues that have come up, and plan activities
Post-Meeting: Purpose and Goals
The post meeting is a time for facilitators to discuss the group and share how
they were personally affected by working with the participants. This may include
questions about how to handle certain situations, personal grief reactions, and
evaluations of what worked and didn’t’ work well in the group. It is also a time for
facilitators to nurture each other with affirmations, support, and acceptance. The
staff coordinator is present to answer questions about The Dougy Center model
and specifics about relating to participants, as well as provide feedback and
training for the facilitators. The staff coordinator is also responsible for sharing
business information about upcoming Center events, trainings, and plans for
When a facilitator has a concern about the behavior of a group member, another
facilitator, the group coordinator, or an action of the center’s staff, he/she should
follow the grievance procedure listed below. It is important for the successful
operation of the program to resolve any conflicts in a fair manner as they arise.
Each facilitator should be responsible for bringing up issues that are problematic
so they can be resolved before they become big issues. This process will allow
for the successful resolution of problems that arise within the group process and
provide all parties with an opportunity to be heard.
1. Address the issue directly with the person involved. The Group
Coordinator is available to support facilitators in this discussion.
2. If the issue is not resolved to the satisfaction of the facilitator, the concern
should be presented to the Group Coordinator, in writing. A meeting of
the involved parties will be scheduled to discuss the issue and resolve the
3. Following unsuccessful resolution at the above level, a meeting with the
Director of Program Services will be scheduled for mediation of the
4. Questions or concerns about the program operation or policies of the
center should be addressed to the Group Coordinator or Director of
Program Services. Facilitator should not involve the Board of Directors in
the grievance procedure. The Board will be made aware of the conflict by
the Executive Director if appropriate and will become involved when
Facilitator Confidentiality Agreement
The Dougy Center personally impacts the lives of others in many ways. As a
facilitator, you will frequently be an observer and recipient of confidential
information concerning facilitators, participants, and their families. Information is
disclosed with the implicit understanding of a sacred trust. Based on the basic
right of privacy for all persons, it is our ethical obligation to maintain trust. When
participants come to The Center, they have the choice to reveal information
about themselves. This may include information about feelings, thoughts and
behaviors of themselves or others that they expect to be held in confidence.
Participants sign a form “Your Rights to Privacy and Exceptions to Privacy” with
these exceptions. The SEVEN EXCEPTIONS TO PRIVACY are duplicated here
for your information as a facilitator:
Exception # 1: Oregon law requires our staff to report to the appropriate
government agency any suspected physical, sexual, or
emotional abuse or neglect.
Exception # 2: If we learn that someone with whom we are working has a
specific intent to bring harm to himself/herself, we reserve
the right to inform other family members and/or make
appropriate referrals if necessary.
Exception # 3: If we have reason to be concerned about the drug and/or
alcohol use or abuse by a child or teen, we reserve the right
to inform the parent. If we suspect a participating adult is
using drugs and/or alcohol before a group, we reserve the
right to speak to the adult.
Exception # 4: If information is ordered by the court, including a
subpoena, we will attempt to contact you about the order. If
you oppose the release, the court may nevertheless require
compliance with the order.
Exception # 5: If we learn that someone participating in the program
intends to commit a violent act, we may take steps to
protect the intended victim against such danger or inform the
police, or both.
Exception # 6: The rights and exceptions to privacy apply to information
disclosed in support groups. All group members are
encouraged to keep such information confidential, but the
Center cannot guarantee they will do so.
Exception # 7: At times the Center uses case examples of children and
teens and their families in publishing journal articles,
conducting professional training, and fund-raising efforts. We
may anonymously refer to your situation in those
circumstances. Your child, teen, or family’s complete name
will never be used without your specific written approval.
Confidentiality Agreement (page 2.)
If a facilitator hears or observes any information related to these seven
exceptions during groups, she/he is obligated to discuss that information with the
TDC group coordination before the child, teen, or adult leaves The Center so that
a plan of intervention can be implemented immediately.
I have read the “confidentiality agreement” and I agree to:
1. Hold in confidence outside TDC all information disclosed by participants
2. Perform the duties as outlines in the “Facilitators Job Description”
3. Make no copies of any part of the “Facilitator Training Manual” without
4. Commit to one year as a facilitator in a peer support group, regularly
attending bi weekly group meetings as scheduled
5. Tell my group at least two weeks in advance of my closure
6. Initiate no contact with families outside TDC by person, phone, mail,
7. Abide by the decisions of the parents and care givers of the children/teens
8. Facilitate under the supervision of TDC staff
9. Discuss immediately information related to “The Seven Exceptions to
Signature: ____________________________ Date: _________________________
Print Your Name:_______________________