The practitioners will be the face of your program and it’s imperative that considerable care goes into the selection of your facilitation roster. Work with your stakeholders to identify the education, experience, skill, and training requirements you want in a facilitator. Casting a wide net will bring a list of applicants with a vast array of experience and skill. Additionally, be wary of inadvertently creating a homogenous roster. Seek out a diverse pool that considers the diverse make-up of the population to be served and is inclusive of a variety of professional and personal backgrounds.
- What process and/or criteria will be used in selecting facilitators?
- Does the diversity of your roster reflect the population base to be served?
- What associations, universities, parent centers have you reached out to as you recruit applicants?
- You can’t tell from a piece of paper (resume) who will be a good facilitator. It is better to train many and then identify those folks who stood out in training for selection to the roster.
- Consider what limiting factors you may be placing on applicants. Are you requiring an advanced college degree? Must applicants have at least five years of experience? Are the limitations likely to have a negative impact on your available applicant pool?
- Consider a trial period for new facilitators, such as three facilitations before being added to the final roster.
- Be mindful of potential conflicts of interests. One facilitator, a retired school administrator, was the president of the state’s professional administrator’s association. This was not disclosed, but was noted by a parent who assumed the facilitator would advocate for schools over parents as a facilitator. Another facilitator trainee, an attorney, disclosed that he often represents parents in special education issues. The state determined this was a disqualifying factor for being a state facilitator.