'Effectively Employing Young Adult Peer Providers' Toolkit

NYAPRS Note: The following timely toolkit was prepared by Jonathan Delman, PhD, JD, MPH, Assistant Research Professor, Transitions Research and Training Center Vanessa Vorhies Klodnick, PhD, LCSW, Senior Researcher, Thresholds under a grant with funding from the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR), and from the Center for Mental Health Services of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Here are some excerpts from the introduction:

A Toolkit for Effectively Employing Young Adult Peer Providers

The University of Massachusetts Medical School, Department of Psychiatry, Systems and Psychosocial Advances Research Center (SPARC), Transitions Research and Training Center (RTC), are pleased to present: A Toolkit for Effectively Employing Young Adult Peer Providers.

This toolkit was developed specifically for provider organizations that employ or want to employ young adult peer providers,

The peer provider position itself is fairly new and unique in relation to other provider staff jobs. Its introduction can be seen by other staff as the provider’s lower cost alternative to their jobs, and they can feel threatened, disrespected and concerned about their job status. Often employees are not knowledgeable about the peer role and responsibilities, leading to role confusion and conflict between peer and non-peer staff. It is incredibly challenging for peer providers to be successful without the support of at least some co-workers, as well as individualized, supportive and regular supervision.

Thus, the provider and program leadership must support peers, co-workers and supervisors to work collaboratively through enhanced trainings, team building strategies, personnel policies, and sharing their enthusiasm for the potential of the YA peer role.

This toolkit provides employers with direct guidance on how to enhance their capacity to sustain and grow a young adult peer workforce.