2.3 Group Roles

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Users of this online learning resource are responsible for connecting with government and local organizations to ensure access to relevant information on refugee sponsorship in their community.



Roles and Responsibilities



The benefit of working with sponsorship groups is that members can share the responsibilities of sponsorship, including handling separate tasks or performing specific roles.

It can be useful to imagine sponsors as providing a web or network of support around refugee newcomers. Each person in a group forms a node on that network, which is their role, providing support for a settlement task.

You and the other group members may share responsibility for certain settlement roles, or each may take on a specific settlement task. This will depend on your group’s organizational structure (the next subject).

Stage 3 of this online learning resource covers specific areas of settlement support, but for now, it is useful to consider the following areas when thinking about planning with your group.

  • Fundraising
  • Budgeting
  • Furnishings and Clothing
  • Housing
  • Education
  • Orientation
  • Language
  • Applications / Entitlements
  • Transport
  • Employment
  • Social Events
  • Health and Medical Coverage



Group Organization



Group Decision-Making

In Stage 3 we will review specific settlement tasks that your group will likely undertake. That said, many roles are very interdependent and may require group decision making. As such, it is important to consider your group’s organizational structure and form a consensus around how tasks will be fulfilled and how group decisions will be made.


Some sponsorship groups find it necessary to form a sponsorship committee with different roles assigned to different members. Depending on the size of your group, there might be a smaller ‘leadership’ team for the committee, including a Group Lead (or Co-Leads), a Finance Lead and other Team Leads who are responsible for different settlement tasks and subcommittees. There may also be supporting members, or volunteers, who assist with specific activities, or provide more general assistance in a variety of areas. However, how you organize your sponsorship group is up to you and your group.


Once you and other group members have determined how to structure your group, it will be important to reflect on how the group operates and what the expectations are of group members. Here are some considerations to keep in mind. It would be helpful to refer to these as you begin planning to sponsor.

  • How often will the sponsorship group meet?
    • Will the frequency change depending on the sponsorship circumstances?
    • Who will be expected to participate in the meetings?
  • Will notes be taken?
    • If so, by whom?
    • How will they be shared with the group?
  • How will decisions be taken?  
    • Are decisions made by certain individuals or sub groups?
    • By majority vote?
    • By consensus?
    • Does the voting process depend on the decision to be taken?
  • If questions or concerns arise, how does a sponsorship group member bring them to the group?
    • Are settlement focal points used?
    • Is there a communications coordinator?
    • Are certain questions and concerns raised to the whole group, certain individuals, or no one, depending on privacy and confidentiality issues?



Check-In: Group Roles

In a training journal, briefly answer the following question: How do you intend to (or how do you) structure your sponsor group? If not already done, take some time to discuss it with your sponsorship group?


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