Counsellors (x2 Wits VIDA) - Soweto, South Africa - AJ Personnel

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    AJ Personnel background
    Full time

    Main purpose of the job:

    • To provide psycho-social support and counseling to research participants and community members (such as grieving parents)
    • To assist with facilitating community engagement activities and events


    • Wits VIDA, Nurses Residence, Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital, Soweto (main base) - Johannesburg

    Key performance areas:


    • Provide counseling to research participants and community members requiring support (for example, in the case of grieving parents who have just lost their child). This includes liaising with the field and MITS teams to act quickly and efficiently to provide support where need is identified
    • Provision of initial or fist-stage counseling, containment, and then assessing progress
    • Cautious management and provision or disclosure of sensitive medical information
    • Regular assessment of the psychological state of participants and ability to identify those who require further engagement. Referral and linkage of these participants to relevant health or community support services
    • Assisting bereaved participants who may also be experiencing other social challenges such as domestic or gender-based violence, substance abuse, and other trauma. This may include referral to local authorities or specialized services. (Note that this role serves in support primarily of research cluster participants and families of or children involved in unit research, and is designed as a basic support function, not a primary care function)

    Death Notification and participant enrolment

    • To collect death notifications from all wards, mortuary, and different study sites
    • Screen patient files and identify potential participants for MITS sampling
    • Enroll participants by educating them about the study and obtain informed consent according to SOPs
    • Complete relevant study documentation, questionnaires, and checklists

    Community engagement

    • Assist with facilitating community engagement activities and events: Through effective sustainable community and stakeholder relationships, build and maintain a link between the community and the organization to ensure the flow of important information (for example, about maternal and child health issues that affect community members). Such information may inform formative research or projects that may have meaningful community-level impact. Such relationships may be built through meetings and active presence at important community events
    • Provide ad hoc feedback on community issues/concerns and propose or facilitate resolution where applicable, reasonable and relevant
    • Assist in facilitating community engagement workshops and trainings and conduct informal interviews with community members and leaders as required
    • Write and present reports on community engagement activities as required
    • Regularly review information and issues and recommend interventions
    • Ensure all services are delivered in accordance with all relevant standards, policies, and Standard Operating Procedures. Write and review SOPs for the workstream and drive compliance
    • Build and maintain relationships with a network of community stakeholders such as councilors, social workers, Community Policing Forum members, Non-Profit Organisations, Faith-Based Organisations, Community-Based Organisations, and other relevant stakeholders to support research interests and community members
    • Support facilitation of stakeholder meetings and engagements or problem-solving as required
    • In conjunction with the various Community Advisory Boards help to organise and conduct community outreach events to create awareness and educate the community
    • Assist with resolving community conflicts, rumors, and misunderstandings around research studies and programs
    • Support the community engagement team with educational and advocacy material/content and activities


    • Maintain a log of all participants approached for consenting and counseling, as well as outcomes of the consenting/counseling process
    • File and capture the consent forms as per the study protocol
    • QC consent forms and other relevant files ensure that ICF and source documents are completed and signed correctly
    • Complete telephone logs of all calls made to participants
    • Reimbursements of participants, as per reimbursement SOP
    • Identify and report on participants in need of burial assistance
    • Schedule and complete the VA

    Customer Service

    • Communicate with donor representatives around compliance issues as and when required
    • Train Admin Staff on all financial requirements i.e. Recons, compliance with donor rules
    • Ensure all customer interaction (both internal and external customers) is of the highest professional level, e.g. respond to emails/queries within two days
    • Build and maintain authentic relationships with all stakeholders ensuring that all interactions are professional
    • Effectively manage work processes in order to maintain high levels of productivity

    Effective self-management

    • Take ownership and accountability for tasks & activities and demonstrate effective self-management
    • Actively and consistently maintaining high standards of professionalism in all aspects of personal presentation and delivery
    • Apply knowledge of the organizational systems, structures, policies, and procedures to achieve results
    • Demonstrate problem-solving ability and effectively manage work process to maintain high levels of productivity
    • Ability to work under pressure and meet necessary deadlines
    • Provision of appropriate resolution for challenges and deadlines not met
    • Support and drive the organization's core values
    • Maintain a positive attitude and respond openly to feedback
    • Take ownership of driving your own career development

    Required minimum education and training:

    • Relevant accredited Social Work or Counselling qualifications
    • Background in Psychology/Social Work

    Required minimum work experience:

    • 2 years experience working with people who are grief-stricken and dealing with psycho-social challenges
    • Experience in HIV counseling advantageous

    Desirable additional education, work experience, and personal abilities:

    • Willingness to work extended hours
    • Willingness to travel
    • Deadline driven
    • Must be able to work with little supervision
    • Computer literacy, including working with Microsoft Excel required

    Demands of the job:

    • Overtime/weekend work is required from time to time
    • Ability to develop relationships and instill trust quickly and effectively
    • Must be able to effectively counsel research participants, community members, and staff through varying trauma
    • Ability to handle multiple potentially emotionally demanding work commitments

    Communications and relationships:

    • Excellent communication skills (both written and oral) and the ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with all stakeholders
    • Must be fluent in at least 2-3 local languages (IsiZulu essential)


    • Only if you do meet the minimum job requirements and experience as mentioned above, you may submit a detailed updated CV.
    • Please Apply Online.
    • Please take note that the applicants who do not adhere to the above criteria will not be considered for the respective position.
    • The closing date for all applications: 27 May 2024.
    • Note AJ Personnel is fully POPI compliant.
    • Note WHC, in accordance with their Employment Equity goals and plan, will give preference to suitable applicants from designated groups as defined in the Employment Equity Act 55 of 1998 and subsequent amendments thereto.

    Please note:

    • AJ PERSONNEL is only responsible for the advertising of the advertisement on behalf of their client Wits Health Consortium.
    • Wits Health Consortium will only respond to shortlisted candidates.
    • Candidates who have not been contacted within two weeks of the closing date can consider their applications to be unsuccessful.
    • AJ Personnel does not have any salary or other information regarding the position.

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