The task of forming, supporting and guiding the group belongs to the MyTime group facilitator. The facilitator will be responsible for ensuring the development of a healthy culture of positive social support as well as coordinating the various educational activities that the group decides to participate in. The following is a description of the role and key tasks of MyTime facilitators.
The group facilitator will ensure groups are established which meet the basic requirements of the program.
- Group membership is open to parents and carers of a child under school age who have a disability or chronic medical condition and who are eligible for the Carer Allowance (Child).
- Group membership will total approximately eight parents or carers. Groups must have a minimum of four parents in order to be counted for the purpose of achieving set targets.
- Group sessions will take approximately two hours and may consist of any or all of the following activities:
- settling in time for parents/carers and children
- a focused activity or discussion
- time with the children
- a break for morning/afternoon tea
- wind up and planning for next time
- Over a 12 month period, a Mytime group will provide the equivalent of 64 hours of group sessions as follows: 32 weekly two-hour meetings, or 16 fortnightly four-hour meetings, or a variation on this arrangement to be negotiated with the PRC. No MyTime group session can be less than two hours in duration.
Role of the facilitator
The group facilitator will ensure the development of a healthy culture of positive social support as well as coordinate the various educational activities the group decides to participate in. This will involve:
- facilitating the group sessions and providing information on caring for a child with disabilities, and activities, support and information about other services and supports.
- facilitating group sessions using a collaborative and exploratory style to discuss approaches, solutions and strategies rather than a lecture style of information.
- being responsive to local needs and promoting parent participation in the design and content of the program.
- using an accessible and inclusive approach that is responsive, respectful and supportive of language and culture.
- focusing on building parents strengths and skills.
- gradually encouraging parents to take on responsibility, beginning with tasks such as bringing morning tea to share or setting up a list of contact details of group members.
- following up with parents who do not attend group sessions on a regular basis.
Completion of administrative duties
- Set up of the venue for each session. This could include performing a safety check of the area with the play helper, providing name tags, and pens, seating, room temperature (heating/cooling), white board and markers, TV/video/DVD player/extension cord (if needed), tea/coffee making facilities.
- Ensuring all group resources required for the session are ready.
- Organising professionals and community members to meet with the group to discuss issues raised by parents.
- Help parents to complete parent registration forms and process them within the MyTime system.
- Keep a record of details for each session, including attendance, discussion topics, and times.
Participate in professional education activities
Group facilitators and parents will have automatic membership to a national resource network through the program website. This will ensure that:
- Group facilitators will have access to up-to-date, evidence based information on supporting parents of young children with disabilities.
- Group facilitators will have continuing access to program support from the PRC.
It is expected that group facilitators complete all program orientation requirements and continue to participate in online professional support--that is, read, provide feedback on, and apply information shared through this website and through direct communication.
Help further develop the MyTime program
Group facilitators will have the opportunity to contribute to the ongoing development and improvement of the program. This includes:
- content ideas
- format and style of resources
- additional tools for group facilitation.