Bereavement Counselor

  • SERVICE THE POSITION IS FOR: Hospice of Holland
  • POSITION REPORTS TO: Director of Counseling Services
  • DEPARTMENT: 05 – Counseling Services
  • FLSA CATEGORY: Non-Exempt
  • WORKERS COMP CLASS: Nursing and Counseling – Outside of Nursing Home
  • EEO CATEGORY: Professionals

Job Description Summary

Assists bereaved individuals in managing grief, emotional concerns and resource needs related to the bereavement process.

Essential Job Functions

  1. 1. Assesses grief responses, risks and needs of bereaved individuals. Develops, implements, evaluates and updates individualized care plans for bereaved clients based on assessments and client needs.
  2. 2. Provides grief counseling and education regarding grief symptomology and grief process for bereaved individuals.
  3. 3. Assists bereaved individuals in identifying and utilizing appropriate resources to meet environmental, financial, legal or psychological needs.
  4. 4. Assists patient care staff in assessing anticipatory grief concerns and/or bereavement risk factors prior to patient’s 
death as requested.
  5. 5. Assists in facilitating grief support groups for bereaved clients.
  6. 6. Documents all client contact and activity in an accurate, professional and timely manner.
  7. 7. Participates in Hospice and community programs as requested to promote understanding of Hospice philosophy and goals and 
to educate community members about grief issues.

The above statements are intended to be a representative summary of the major duties and responsibilities performed by incumbents of this job. The incumbents may be requested to perform job-related tasks other than those stated in this description.

All employees are required to comply with the policies and procedures of Hospice of Holland, Inc. and with all state, federal, and other regulatory requirements. They will also comply with confidentiality laws as described in the Notice of Privacy Practices as well as accepted professional standards and practice.

Job Qualifications:

Education and Experience

  1. 1.Education: Master’s degree in social work or counseling is required. Current Michigan licensure as Clinical Social Worker or Professional Counselor.
  2. 2.Experience: Two plus years experience in counseling, grief work, group facilitation and/or family systems is preferred.
  3. 2.Other: Current Michigan Driver’s license and available transportation.

Skills and Knowledge:

  1. 1. Ability to work as part of an interdisciplinary team.
  2. 2.Excellent communication skills.
  3. 3. Ability to work comfortably with clients of various cultural and spiritual backgrounds.
  4. 4.Knowledge of the process of grief and its implications (physical, cognitive, emotional, social, and spiritual).
  5. 5.Ability to practice empathy, with warm acceptance of individuals wherever they may be in the myriad of grief experiences.


Building Customer Loyalty – Effectively meeting customer needs; building productive customer relationships; taking responsibility for customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Communication – Cleary conveying ideas and information through a variety fo media to individuals or groups in a manner that engages the audience and helps them understand and retain the message.

Managing Work – Effectively managing one’s time and resources to ensure that work is completed efficiently

Technical/Professional Knowledge and Skills – Having achieved a satisfactory level of technical and professional skill or knowledge in position-related areas; keeping up with current developments and trends in areas of expertise.

Valuing Diversity – Appreciating and leveraging the capabilities, insights, and ideas of all individuals; working effectively with individuals of diverse style, ability, and motivation.


The incumbent normally receives little instruction or control on day-to-day work and receives general instructions on new assignments. The employee receives guidance in terms of assignments and objectives. Only the final results of work are typically reviewed. The employee is expected to plan the sequence of detailed steps to accomplish the work using experience and education. The employee is expected to solve through initiative, most problems of detail that come up in the course of work. The employee is expected to be able to interpret policies and guidelines and apply them to routine situations that arise. They are personally responsible for accomplishing prescribed results and objectives, and have considerable freedom while the work is in progress. The employee may provide technical/informational guidance to someone as a content expert.

Physical Requirements:

The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of the job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities.

While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to sit, talk, and hear. The employee must also be required to stand and walk. Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, distance vision, and ability to adjust and focus. The employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 50 pounds.

Working Conditions:

The working conditions described here are representative of those encountered in the job. Specific conditions may be different than those described. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities.

  1. 1.May be exposed to extremes of heat and cold in all weather conditions. Must drive in various weather conditions on roads in varying degrees of repair.
  2. 2.Subject to varying and unpredictable situations. Handles emergency or crisis situations. Travel required.
  3. 3.Ability to enter into patient homes under varying environmental conditions.

Continuing Education Requirements:

Hospice personnel are expected to participate in appropriate continuing education as may be requested and/or required by their immediate supervisor. In addition, Hospice personnel are expected to accept personal responsibility for other educational activities to enhance job-related skills and abilities.

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