Family Support Specialist – Family Workshops and Parent Support Network

  • Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital
  • Aug 22, 2019
Full time Coordinator

Job Description

A Family Support Specialist can be the first line of welcome, information, and health system navigation for clients and families living with childhood disability. Working as part of the hospital’s Client and Family Integrated Care team, the Family Support Specialist facilitates client and family-centred approaches to education and training. The position plays a key role in client and family information sharing, resource development, workshop coordination, and peer networking activities at Holland Bloorview.

The Family Support Specialist will advance Holland Bloorview’s mission, vision and values by: supporting clients and families to find appropriate, meaningful and evidence-informed education resources and workshops in a timely manner; partnering with hospital staff, students and Family Leaders (volunteers) to design user-friendly education resources and workshops; and advocating for client and family choice in health care decision-making and daily living.

This Family Support Specialist position is anticipated to be a two-year temporary part time (0.6 FTE) position.


Workshop and Parent Support Network Development & Coordination

  • Develops, implements and evaluates family workshops from October to June of each year
  • Prepares communications plans to effectively promote family workshops both within and beyond Holland Bloorview
  • Liaises with workshop presenters and hospital partners, and promptly responds to client and family questions and concerns regarding workshops
  • Partners with hospital programs and Family Leaders (volunteers) to facilitate respectful and informative discussions
  • Coordinates Holland Bloorview’s Parent Support Network: a series of topic-specific peer support and education sessions for parents/caregivers of children living with disability
  • Sources new and existing learning materials and partnerships to supplement family workshops and topics for Parent Support Network
  • Partners with members of the CFIC team and other hospital programs to continuously improve the impact of family workshops and Parent Support Network (e.g., audience diversity, promotion, accessibility, alignment with hospital strategies)
  • Works with Family Leaders in supporting and training them to co-facilitate Parent Support Network sessions
  • Routinely asks for and integrates the feedback of clients and families, staff, students, and Family Leaders (volunteers) regarding family workshops and Parent Support Network
  • Performs administrative tasks as needed: coordinating workshop scheduling, room and audio/visual bookings, tracking workshop metrics in database
  • Updates resources and events on the Family Resource Centre website clearly and consistently
  • Other duties as required

Client and Family Information Consults

  • Ensures the Family Resource Centre offers a warm and welcoming space to the 8,000+ inpatient/outpatient clients and families that visit Holland Bloorview annually
  • Provides personalized support and consultation to clients and families via telephone, in person or group sessions; and by using a range of methods and materials
  • Facilitates the expansion of resource material including multi-lingual and alternative formats to ensure greatest ease of use and accessibility
  • Refers clients and families to partner agencies and organizations as appropriate
  • Collaborates with Holland Bloorview employees, students and volunteers to develop and maintain an up-to-date multimedia collection of relevant, diverse and credible information for clients and families (e.g., educational tip-sheets, videos, online resources, and pamphlets)
  • Networks with community agencies to support information sharing with families



  • Post-secondary degree or diploma in a related field, such as social work, education, community and social services, or health services preferred or equivalent work experience
  • Training and/or relevant experience in client and family-centred care


  • Professional or lived experience with childhood disability is an asset
  • Computer proficiency is essential (e.g., Microsoft Office: Word, Excel, Powerpoint; Google Docs; Evite; Mailchimp)
  • Significant experience in providing support and education to people working in the field of health care and community/social services, in engaging communities in outreach activities and community development
  • Experience working in a pediatric healthcare setting preferred

Special Skills

  • Demonstrate a passion and commitment to role modelling client and family-centred practice
  • Strong public speaking, presentation and group facilitation skills
  • Work collaboratively with children and youth with disabilities and their families, staff and community
  • Communicate with sensitivity and clarity, always demonstrating respect
  • Demonstrate initiative, enthusiasm and creativity
  • Ability to manage conflict and emotional distress
  • Develop, plan, implement and evaluate new programs and activities, as well as evaluate and modify existing ones
  • Formulate ideas and plans within a team setting, practicing effective listening and open communication
  • Able to effectively set priorities and organize workload; allowing for the completion of assigned projects within a pre-determined schedule
  • Prepare and make clear, concise and substantiated presentations, proposals and reports

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Job Category



Toronto, ON