Survivor Support Volunteer Position Description


Position title:

Volunteer Grief Facilitator


What we're about:

The Survivor Support Program provides grief support to survivors: individuals, families and friends impacted by a suicide and/or homicide. 

  • We provide both an individualized, face-to-face format and a group format.
  • Support is offered day or evening at one of our three offices: downtown, North York and Scarborough.
  • Philosophy: Each person's grief is unique. We support the survivor from the place that he/she is at. We help to identify and enhance the survivor's own abilities and strengths.
  • We embrace diversity.

What would you be doing?

  • As volunteers, you will play a key role in providing individualized, face-to-face grief support to survivors.     
  • Volunteers work in teams of two. The teams are comprised of a survivor peer--someone who has been impacted by suicide or homicide--and a non-survivor (someone who has not experienced this kind of loss).
  • The volunteer team will meet with the same individual or family for eight sessions, each of which lasts between one and two hours.
  • Volunteers will provide regular updates about session scheduling and content to program supervisors.

What experiences and qualities are we looking for?

Meaningful life experience:
  • We welcome applications from survivors--those of you who have first-hand experience with suicide or homicide.  
Direct support experience:
  • Those without first-hand experience with suicide or homicide would have a background—at least one year of experience-- directly supporting others who are coping with significant life and emotional situations.
Personal qualities:
  • A good face-to-face presence—a warm and engaging personality, superior listening skills and an ability to convey empathy.
  • Emotional resilience, stability and maturity.
  • An ability to accommodate a regular and consistent meeting schedule.
  • Openness to feedback.
  • Good teamwork skills.
  • Willingness and ability to work with individuals of diverse backgrounds and beliefs.

What is our responsibility to you?

To provide training, protocols, policies, support and supervision to help volunteers be effective.

What do we ask in return?

A minimum commitment of one year from the end of training.
  • Four matches with participants throughout that year.
  • While you are matched, to be available on a consistent schedule for meetings with the survivor.
  • Adherence to the philosophy, procedures and policies of the Survivor Support Program.

What will be expected of you:

  • Fill out an application here and submit it.
  • Provide two references, including one that is professional or volunteer-related.
  • Police check, including vulnerable sector screening.
  • $40 fee is required to offset the administrative costs of materials provided and reference checks. 
  • Successful completion of the training program.
  • Working within the Survivor Support Program policies and procedures guidelines.
  • Maintaining confidentiality about your work in the Survivor Support Program.
  • Participation in ongoing training.
  • Note: Vulnerable sector involvement or a criminal record will not necessarily preclude a volunteer from their role in the Survivor Support Program. Decisions will be made on an individual basis. All information collected will remain confidential.
Survivor Support Program volunteer training happens twice a year, in the Sprint and the Fall.