Family Council Recruitment!

by Family Councils Ontario

While Family Councils across the province are unique, a common challenge is recruitment. Who to recruit, how big should our Council be, what positions are we looking to recruit for… these are all common questions! So, let’s consider the different aspects of Family Council recruitment!

Who Do you Want to Recruit?

First things first: before you set a recruitment goal, consider who you want to recruit. Are you looking for certain skills (facilitation, brochure creation, event management), projects (to build a new gazebo or gather artwork for bathing areas), leadership positions (do you need a new secretary?) or to generally build your membership.

Now, you can set a goal. Remember to be SMART. Goals should be:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Realistic
  • Timely

So, an example would be that your Council wants to recruit 3 new members by September. This is a specific goal (3 new members), it is measurable (did you successfully recruit 3 new members? 2? 4?), attainable, realistic and timely.

Now that you’ve set a goal, it’s a good idea to remember that numbers aren’t everything! The size of your Council does not necessarily indicate its strength or success. Continually reaching out to new families and planning for ongoing success is important, but don’t get too caught up in the numbers. The outcome is not the only important thing, the process matters too.

Ongoing outreach is an important aspect of keeping a Family Council growing and thriving, so consider:

  • How can families be introduced to the idea of a Family Council?
  • Do you include information on your Council in the Home’s admission package?
  • How can families and friends of residents be encouraged to participate?
  • Do you post notices of your upcoming meetings? Do you specifically advertise that new members are welcome to attend?
  • How will we ensure that staff and new families know we exist?
  • Does the Home’s staff know about your Council and what activities your group does?

Consider how and why you got involved with the Family Council and brainstorm with other members on ways that you can reach out to families and friends of residents. The motivations for your involvement will likely be important to others!

Recruitment Ideas from Family Councils:

  • Newsletters
  • Posters & flyers
  • Info in monthly mailings
  • Family Council website
  • Bulletin board or display
  • Welcome tea or BBQ
  • Personal invitation
  • Projects or events:
  • Family Council Week
  • Project for residents
  • Networking meeting

The great thing about Family Council recruitment is that there are so many things your group can try! The flip side is that you may have to try many different tactics over and over again until you find what works for your group and your Home. Each Home and Family Council is different, so pick one idea and give it a try.

Recruitment is an ongoing process and it is important that you develop a recruitment plan early on. Remember to have fun with the process!

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