Relief Assistant Role Description

Reports to:
Community Coordinator

As a live out relief assistant your role is to be models that assist in growth and bring about relationships with one another. The primary focus is to enable the L’Arche Community to provide quality care and facilitate quality of life for the *core members. Individuals providing relief coverage are asked to respect the life in the homes of which they share time and the principles by which L’Arche operates (See Charter of L’Arche). Relief employees are not guaranteed a set number of hours on the schedule. The role is on an as needed basis only. Relief assistants also have the right to turn down offered shifts when it does not fit their personal schedule.


  • Be a presence to the core members.
    • Enable the core members to develop their potential social and personal skills by providing direct care for all appropriate physical, medical, emotional, and social needs.
    • Work alongside the core members so as to promote solidarity, self-esteem, and independence.
    • Assist in the implementation of core member ISP goals.
    • Accurately record daily tasks and activities in designated journals, calendars, and medical sheets.
    • Accompany core members to medical appointments, shopping, and social activities etc.
    • Communicate with other agencies, parents, or team members in a professional manner.
  • Provide support to the team
    • Relief assistants are responsible for participating in the day to day routines of the home and the core members.
    • Follow DDS and Irenicon policies and procedures.
    • Share responsibilities for maintaining a clean and organized home.
    • Respect the spirituality of L’Arche


  • CORI and national finger print background checks
  • Hold a valid driver’s license
  • CPR and First Aid Certification
  • Complete Fire Safety Training within 60 days of employment and annual Human Rights/ DPPC training

Physical Requirements

  • Independently lift 50lbs while standing
  • Navigate stairs independently without assistance
  • Hear and respond to an alarm during the night (if providing overnight coverage)
  • Shovel emergency evacuation walk-ways in the event of snow
  • Provide physical hands on support to individuals during evacuation; this includes using a wheelchair, rolling bed or providing physical assistance
  • Independently ensure a safe evacuation for core members in under 2 minutes and 30 seconds.
  • Bend, stoop, kneel, or stand for more than 15 minutes at a time to support core members to perform ADL’s. This includes; hands-on assistance with showering and bathing, personal hygiene, dressing, and meal preparation

Knowledge, Skills, and abilities

  • Knowledge of common mental disabilities and their obvious symptoms.
  • Knowledge of the principles and practices of L’Arche.
  • Ability to develop and maintain an understanding attitude towards persons with disabilities and to instill this attitude in other persons.
  • Ability to identify the needs of a person with disabilities and to gain their confidence and cooperation.
  • Ability to work with a team.
  • Ability to communicate effectively both verbally and in writing.
  • Ability to prepare and maintain necessary records and reports as assigned.
  • Ability to learn and listen.
  • Ability to respect others unique gifts, talents, and abilities


  • A desire to share your life with persons with and without disabilities.
  • A desire to build community.
  • A willingness to work with the House Manager in forming a team within the household.
  • Participation in meetings, trainings, formations as required
  • Participation in community events
  • Willingness to respect and uphold the traditions of the home and of the community.
  • Willingness to work within the structures, routines, and traditions.

Hours and Compensation

  • As a relief companion assistant, you are not entitled to regular hours each week. Your employment is on an as needed basis. You will be solicited for availability for open shifts by the Program Coordinator or House Manager. It is up to your discretion to accept the hours.
  • Awake pay is set above the Massachusetts minimum wage rate and is based upon experience and relevant certifications.
  • Asleep pay is set at the Massachusetts minimum wage rate.
  • Your earned compensation will be paid on a bi-weekly basis for any hours worked during the pay period.
  • You are a non-exempt employee, and are entitled to overtime pay for any hours worked over 40 in a week. In accordance with state laws, your overtime rate is based on a blended regular rate of pay, which is calculated based on your total compensation/total number of hours worked/per week.