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The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission
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Program Access – Companion and Job Coach

Expectations & Requirements for Companions and Job Coaches

The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, through its Montgomery County Department of Parks (“Commission” or “Montgomery Parks”) offers inclusive programs, classes, and volunteer opportunities. Companions and Job Coaches are instrumental in creating fulfilling and positive experiences for participants and volunteers with disabilities.

The following information outlines the definitions and responsibilities required by Montgomery Parks of a companion/job coach.


Volunteer/Participant (“participant”)

An individual with a disability who either registers for a class or program or signs up for a volunteer opportunity with support from a companion / job coach. Registration is required.


An unpaid individual (friend, family member, etc.) who accompanies and supports a participant with disabilities at a Commission-sponsored program, class, or volunteer job.  The companion may be required to pay a fee for their participation in the program, ex. for food or admission fees.

Job Coach/Agency:

A paid individual from an outside agency that is hired to support a participant with disabilities through training and skill development for a Commission-sponsored program, class, or volunteer job. Agencies are required to provide proof of background screening and required pandemic/epidemic vaccination status (ex. Covid-19). This also includes Direct Support Professionals.

Companion / Job Coach Responsibilities to the Participant

  • Respect confidentiality. Do not share personal information about the participant with the disability.
  • Arrive on time for the assigned program, class, event, or volunteer job.
  • Be aware at all times of the location of the attending participant.
  • Attend to the personal needs of the participant (feeding, dressing, toileting).
  • Repeat the facility staff directions when necessary.
  • Assist the participant with the transition from one activity to another.
  • Be courteous and respectful to all individuals.
  • Encourage and foster independence but provide support, explanations, and reminders as needed for the participant to complete their assignment as independently as possible.
  • Let the participant speak for him/herself as much as possible.
  • Facilitate and promote social interactions and friendships with other participants.
  • Facilitate and promote social and professional interactions with the facility staff.
  • Be an advocate for full inclusion by ensuring equal access to all activities, including accessible volunteer activities, transportation, and adaptation of activities.
  • The companion/job coach is responsible for attending to the participant’s needs and must be always aware of the participant’s involvement.

Companion / Job Coach Responsibilities to the Manager or Facility Staff

  • Dress appropriately for the program, class, event, or volunteer job, including nametag and closed-toe shoes.
  • Arrive 15 minutes prior to the start of the assignment.
  • Assist the participant to sign in & out, so their service hours are tracked accurately.
  • Use logbooks or work tracking methods provided by staff (i.e., logging animal care, etc.)
  • Report any injuries or safety issues to facility staff immediately.
  • Attend scheduled meetings/trainings.
  • Contact the direct supervisor and/or Volunteer Program Manager as early as possible whenever sick or unable to attend an assigned program, class, event, or job with the participant.
  • Interact with all participants and staff in a positive and professional manner.
  • Ensure the participant is not interrupting other programs, meetings, or activities that are not part of their assignment.
  • Follow the policies and procedures of the agency provided to ensure the participant follows them as well.
  • Notify staff of any modifications that would help the participant to be successful.
  • Report day-to-day problems such as staff or schedule conflicts to the direct supervisor and/or Volunteer Program Manager.
  • Work with participants to ensure that equipment and materials are used properly, safely, not damaged, cleaned, and returned to their designated location.
  • Work with participants indoors and outdoors in all weather as needed to complete the assignment.
  • Check with the facility or parks notification system for cancellations due to severe weather or other unforeseen circumstances.
  • Complete evaluation forms, as directed, by given deadline.

The lasting impression you make as a participant’s companion or job coach reflects directly on all in the Commission.  Please be sure your words and deeds help build our program and its reputation for quality.

If you agree to the statements listed above, please complete the following form. Please ensure to include the service coordinator or job coach’s supervisor in section 2b, if applicable and sign and date the form in section 3 (page 5).

Montgomery Parks Companion / Job Coach Form

After completing this form, please save and email it to the Program Access team at programaccess@montgomeryparks.org.