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Grief/Bereavement Counsellor - Temporary Contract/ Maternity Leave - Full-Time

Grief/Bereavement Counsellor

Temporary Contract/ Maternity Leave: September/October 2020 – December 2021

1.0 FTE (37.5 hours per week)


St. Joseph’s Hospice of Sarnia Lambton is a faith-based organization that provides quality of life at the end of life, offering compassionate holistic care and support to individuals living with terminal illness. Support is extended to their family members and caregivers, and to those grieving the loss of a loved one. Hospice programs and services are offered at no cost to those we support and are available irrespective of age, gender, religion, race, ethnicity, or economic status.

Whether in the community, our Wellness Centre or our 10-bed residence, St. Joseph’s Hospice provides specialized support programs and services with a person-centered approach. Individuals and families are intimately involved in creating their own care plan which addresses their unique needs. Our competent and committed Hospice staff and volunteers work together as a team with other community partners and service providers to provide full support and quality hospice palliative care.

St. Joseph’s Hospice is currently seeking a qualified individual to fill the temporary position of Grief/Bereavement Counsellor. Reporting to the St. Joseph’s Hospice Sarnia Lambton Program Manger to work with clients within the Caring Heart’s Children’s Program (children and adolescents ages 6-18) and the Adult Bereavement Program. This position will provide day to day delivery of the St. Joseph’s Hospice Caring Hearts Children’s Program (CHCP). And the Adult Bereavement Program in accordance with St. Joseph’s Hospice (SJH) standards and policies and procedures.

The successful candidate will do assessments and delivery of grief support activities which includes individualized and supportive programming tailored to meet the bereavement needs of clients and participating volunteers. By also assisting with grief education and training for the community at large on topics related to bereavement and services offered by SJH, the successful applicant will work as part of a multidisciplinary team to meet the identified needs of clients. This position will require flexibility in scheduling and will involve periodic evening and weekend hours.

In collaboration with the Coordinator and the Program Manager, the role will also include planning and implementation of all aspects of CHCP in accordance with the mission, vision, and values of SJH.


§  Assess each client’s eligibility and suitability for CHCP support groups and special events.

§  Make appropriate community referrals, where indicated, for additional support resources.

§  Determine an individualized care plan and create a service agreement based on each client’s needs.

§  Review and monitor each client’s program participation plan regularly.

§  Provide age appropriate resources and psychoeducation based on the client’s needs.

§  Maintain clean and organized program areas, including art, talk and playroom areas.

§  Organize groups based on community needs and trends.

§  Coordinate programming available to elementary and high schools when appropriate, and continuing client contact.

§  Provide individual grief and bereavement counselling to adults and children

§  Respond to requests for resources or information.

§  Provide input into ongoing evaluations of programs.

§  Research and recommend new programs.

§  Assist in donor relations as required to support SJH.


§  Maintain client and volunteer confidentiality.

§  Respect boundaries of children and care givers participating in programs.

§  Act in an ethical and professional manner, consistent with the professional code of ethics and agency policy.

§  Perform duties based on bereavement support groups scope of practice and best practices of social care.

§  Remain current on bereavement trends, research, information and education for children and adults.

§  Commit to ongoing professional development and maintain competence in his/her practice.

§  Report any risk concerns, challenges, incidents or concerns immediately to the Program Manager.


§  A university degree/college specialization with a focus on working with bereaved youth and adults (i.e. BSW, MSW, RSW, Register Psychotherapist, Play Therapist, Art Therapist, Certified Child Life Specialist, Child and Youth Worker (CYC) or Early Childhood Educator (ECE) credentials, certification or additional training in Thanatology or Adults.

§  Professional or volunteer experience working with children and adults coping with loss.

§  An understanding of the developmental stages of children.

§  An understanding of the differences of grieving needs of children and adults.

§  A member in good standing with a registered college in Ontario required.

§  Experience in public speaking, adult education, group facilitation.

§  Excellent written/oral communication skills and computer skills.

§  Valid Drivers’ License (Ontario), insurance and use of vehicle for work. 

§  First Aid, crisis intervention training, suicide intervention training.

St. Joseph’s Hospice is an equal opportunity employer and we will accommodate your needs under the Ontario Human Rights Code. Upon individual request, hiring processes will be modified to remove barriers to accommodate those with disabilities. If you require any accommodations to fully and fairly participate in the application, interview or selection process, please contact Human Resources and we will endeavor to provide a suitable accommodation in a manner that takes into account your accessibility needs.


To further explore this opportunity, please submit your résumé with covering letter and on or before August 7, 2020 to the attention of:

Katlyn Joosten

Supportive Services Manager

St. Joseph’s Hospice

Please note that only those selected for an interview will be contacted.