Building an Effective Peer Support Program: A Proven Volunteer Model (15 Hours)

Training Source: 
Seattle, WA
Beginning Date: 
End Date: 
Type of Training: 

About the Training

Peer support is a hallmark of the Independent Living Movement and a core service – both in statute and philosophy – of Centers for Independent Living. We all know what peer support is, but running an organized, effective peer support program with limited funding and staff must be unique to each CIL’s capacity and need. If you would like to learn more about implementing a proven volunteer model for peer support, then you will want to view this training. This on-demand training was a originally conducted as a three day training in September 2014.

The presenters operate the volunteer-based peer support program at Arizona Bridge to Independent Living (ABIL) in Phoenix, Arizona. You’ll learn all aspects of this best-practice peer support program, from planning to implementation and expansion with resource materials so you don’t have to invent the wheel!

Target Audience

This training will be most beneficial for CIL executive directors, program managers, independent living specialists, and other staff members of CILs who are involved in coordinating or providing peer support. 

Learning Objectives

You will learn:

  • The types of mentoring, the service delivery structure and the background and philosophy of ABIL’s Peer Mentor Volunteer program.
  • How to determine your organization’s vision, purpose, goals, staffing, and funding sources, and how to gain staff and board buy-in for a peer support program.
  • All the components of establishing an administrative infrastructure, including: recruitment, orientation and training, supervision, program coordination, ongoing maintenance, volunteer retention and recognition, and program evaluation.
  • How to build and maintain mentoring skills, professionalism, and a firm commitment to the IL philosophy.
  • The necessary interpersonal and communication skills required of your mentors.
  • The process for matching mentees with mentors: matchmaker or juggling act?
  • How to increase mentor awareness of community resources.
  • Strategies for improving mentee self-confidence in achieving their goals and empowering them to help others increase their independence.
  • What it is to “pay it forward” and the benefits that peer mentoring provides to consumers, mentors, the CIL, and the entire community.

Training Materials/Resources

Below are links to the recorded sessions, the PowerPoint presentations, text transcripts of the presentations, and a link to additional resources on CIL Core Services and Peer Support. To view individual presentations, follow the links below. To view a catalog of presentations from this training, visit

Day One: Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Module 1: General Overview of Peer Support and ABIL’s Program

Module 2: Mechanics of a Volunteer Peer Support Program

Module 3: Implementing an Effective Peer Support Program

Module 4: Day One Review and Wrap-Up

Day Two: Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Module 5: Day One Review & Participant Feedback

Module 6: Building Awareness, Skills, and Commitment of Mentors, Part 1

Module 7: Building Awareness, Skills, and Commitment of Mentors, Part 2

Module 8: Disability Liberation Theory…Moving Mentors into the Advocacy Role

Module 9: Far-Reaching Benefits of a Successful Peer Mentor Program

Module 10: Day Two Review and Wrap-Up

Day Three: Thursday, September 25, 2014

Module 11: Day Two Review and Participant Feedback

Module 12: Action Plan Reporting

Additional Training, Publications and Resources on CIL Core Services and Peer Support