Life is complicated. It can happen that in the middle of your ISW or FDW, things need to change. This could be as a result of someone in the group coming down with COVID, it could be an early birth(!), or it could be any number of unforeseen circumstances that affect the number and/or participation of participants, Facilitators, and Trainers.
In the September 2022 Professional Development (PD) session on the new Trainer Development (TD) Guide, FDW Trainers discussed the ways in which groups need to be flexible and adaptable in complicated times.
Here are a few suggestions for ‘managing’ unforeseen circumstances:
- Have a plan. Discuss with the Facilitator or Trainer team what you will do in the event of either participant, Facilitator or Trainer illness or any other circumstance that disrupts the group.
- Try to always have two Facilitators or Trainers for each small group or a backup Facilitator or Trainer who is functioning as part of the entire team.
- Use technology if possible. If the participant can participate digitally but not in person, leverage the technology at your disposal to keep the process moving. This may mean facilitating a hybrid experience for the group.
- Using the Essential Components for ISWs or FDWs as guides (see Practices and Policies Section on the ISW Network website). Remember that in some circumstances, timelines may need to be adjusted to meet all required components. This may require bringing the group back together at other times or using technology to complete components.
- Trust the model and model the trust. Honour the group and its experience and needs. Share with them the challenges being presented and come to consensus about how it might work best for all involved.