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Grief & Bereavement Counsellor - Temporary Contract - Full-Time

Grief & Bereavement Counsellor

Temporary Contract:

March 2021 – April 2022

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 a life limiting 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 Resource 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 Supportive Services Manager to work with current clients within the Supportive Services Counselling Programs.  This position will provide day to day delivery of the St. Joseph’s Hospice Caring Hearts Children’s Program (CHCP), the Adult Bereavement Program and Counselling Program in accordance with St. Joseph’s Hospice (SJH) standards and policies and procedures.

The successful candidate will provide personal counselling to adult palliative, caregiver, and bereaved clients as well as anticipatory grief and bereavement counselling to children & youth clients of SJH within the Counselling Program. The Grief and Bereavement Counsellor will complete assessments and deliver individualized grief support.  The successful candidate will also assist with education and training for the community at large on topics related to bereavement and services offered by SJH and will work as part of a multidisciplinary team to meet the identified needs of clients.

In collaboration with the Supportive Services Manager, the role will also include the coordination, planning, and implementation of all aspects of the Caring Hearts Children’s program (CHCP) in accordance with the Mission, Vision, and Values of SJH.

This position will require flexibility in scheduling and will involve periodic evening and weekend hours.


  •  Assess each client’s eligibility and suitability for CHCP support groups, counselling, and special events.
  • Provide personal counselling to palliative, caregiver, and bereaved clients of SJH.
  • 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.
  • Provide age-appropriate resources and psychoeducation based on the client’s needs.
  • Maintain clean and organized program areas.
  • Organize groups based on community needs and trends.
  • Coordinate programming available to elementary and high schools when appropriate.
  • Considering the COVID-19 pandemic, the candidate must be comfortable with conducting remote/virtual assessments and counselling.
  • 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 clients 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 Supportive Services Manager.


  • A university degree/college specialization in Counselling, Social Work or equivalent (ie. MA Counselling, MSW, BSW, SSW) with a focus on working with grieving youth and adults.
  • Registered member in good standing with the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers (OCSWSSW), College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario (CRPO), or equivalent College.
  • Certificate in Grief and Bereavement or Thanatology from a recognized post-secondary institution    preferred.
  • 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.
  • 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 considers your accessibility needs.

To further explore this opportunity, please submit your résumé with cover letter on or before February 26, 2021 to the attention of:

Katlyn Joosten

Supportive Services Manager

St. Joseph's Hospice Resource Centre

475 Christina St. N.

Sarnia, ON   N7T 5W3

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