Having succeeded in their own journey to recovery, Peer Support Workers often excel at helping others travel the same path. Doing so also helps the Peer Support Worker. By staying in close contact with those in recovery, they are far less likely to relapse.
Peer-Driven Support has an additional important benefit: it tends to extend treatment beyond the clinical setting to everyday situations and relationships.
From the very beginning, the innovative Recovery Kentucky model, upon which our efforts are based, applied a peer-driven approach with individuals given a safe place to live during the first critical stages of recovery. To this day, Recovery Kentucky administrators are assisted by Peer Mentors whose prior experience often proves invaluable.
Our approach to staffing—what might be called a “Therapeutic Community Model”—allows facilities to optimize all assets with only three or four staff members per facility licensed and paid a full-time salary. This approach often leads to full employment either on- or off-site. Many residents have a burning desire to work in recovery. By helping them get certified, we leverage the unique “Power of Passion” that drives them to benefit the many individuals, families and communities that would otherwise be beyond our reach.
Peer Support Workers can excel inside the program by leading recovery groups, providing training and mentoring, administering programs and agencies, and supervising other peer workers. They can also work with the public to build community relationships, advocate for people in recovery, develop resources, and educate both policymakers and the general public.
Our long experience with a wide variety of Peer-Driven Programs has also shown that Peer Support Workers, though highly qualified in many respects, may benefit significantly from training in other core competencies. In addition to explaining how Peer Support Workers can add value to your program, we can also help supervisors understand how best to maximize their contribution.