Coordinators perform a variety of tasks that aim to support an individual in community through participation and friendship.
Coordinators do an initial visit to the family home and try and meet with every member of the family. Coordinators share with the family Extend-A-Family’s mission of inclusion. The coordinator listens carefully to what the family is looking for in terms of support for their son or daughter so that a realistic and individualized plan is put together.
Family coordinators perform various roles:
• They explore friendship or host relationships for children and youth.
• They explore participatory opportunities in community with local community groups and leaders.
• They are facilitators of friendship circles in schools.
• They organize and facilitate parent resource and support groups.
• They support families with inclusive opportunities around school issues.
• They support and share information on funding, workshops, recreation and other inclusive opportunities in the city.
• They facilitate support circles.
• They are connectors.
The partnership between family and coordinator is a crucial component to a meaningful and effective working relationship. Family coordinators try and strike a balance between being there for the family and allowing the family to take responsibility for encouraging independence of their son or daughter.
Family coordinators work closely with families to assist them in exploring resources in their community but more importantly, educate families on how to become creative in exploring these opportunities for themselves and their son or daughter. Family coordinators often look for the ‘connectors’ in community that understand the value of inclusion and who will take on the role of facilitator, friend or support person.