Who should I ask?
Ask people who you
- have the same values as you
- who care about your loved one, or are committed to getting to know your loved one
Examples of people who could be potential board members are:
- brothers and sisters
- aunts and uncles
- friends of the family
- people who have previously worked with the person
- people the person sees frequently who have shown an interest in them.
For some, asking can be hard. Check out our article on Asking.
Board members don’t have to be experts in disability. These things can be learned and services can be purchased. The important thing that Microboard members bring to the board is their relationship, knowledge of and commitment to the individual.
You need to have between 5 and 8 people on your board to keep it personal, yet energetic and moving.
Someone who is paid directly by the Microboard cannot sit on that board because there is potential for this member to put their own interests before the person.
What do Microboard Members Do?
Board members firstly need to get to know the person really well by spending time with the person. They can do this through a shared interest and just weave spending time with the person into what they are already doing so it doesn’t need to be an extra task.
Microboard members help the person to experience a full life by helping them to
- brainstorm and problem solve
- do fun things together
- get to know others in the community
- monitor supports services
- ensure safety
The Microboard may also want to employ staff. Microboards that decide to provide services must be well organized, committed, and have the time to be the employer.
What are the roles and responsibilities of members?
Roles on the board include:
- Vice President
- Public Officer
Read our article on the specific responsibilities of these positions
Board members are responsible for
- upholding the association rules outlined in the constitution
- annual reporting
- keep meeting minutes
- keeping financial records
- keeping a membership register
Board members must follow the rules for incorporated associations in their local state. They have limited liability for any debts of the microboard as long as they follow the rules for managing the association. Check with your local government authority about the rules in your state.
Protecting the Person at the Centre of the Microboard
Setting up an incorporated association may seem relatively easy. However, microboards are not like your local soccer club or community garden society because there is one very vulnerable person at the centre of the microboard and their safety, dignity and human rights must be protected.
Microboards must follow these principles:
- Microboard members must establish and maintain a personal relationship with the person for whom the board is created.
- All people are assumed to have the capacity for self-determination. This capacity will be acknowledged, respected, and demonstrated in all of the dealings of the Microboard.
- All planning and decisions made by a Microboard will demonstrate regard for the person’s safety, comfort, and dignity, with consistent respect for his/her needs, wishes, interests, and strengths. This is called person-centered planning.
- Microboard members will act as sponsors to the community, ensuring the person participates in community activities with Microboard members (e.g. family functions, social events). This is done in ways that are natural for each of the people involved.
- Ensure the person has the opportunity to both receive from and give to his/her community, as well as with other individuals in his/her network.
- All Microboard members will conduct their board business in the spirit of mutual respect, cooperation, and collaboration.