Peer supporter role descriptions

The role of peer supporters will vary between projects and should be tailored to fit individual agency or organisation needs and environments. Position descriptions assist to define roles and tasks and clarify expectations for the organisation, the peer supporter and the young people they are working with. A role description should be developed regardless of whether the peer supporter is paid or not. Incorporated into these position descriptions should be reference to ongoing development and support.  Some other things to consider when developing a role description for a peer supporter include:

  • Define goals and objectives for the peer supporters
  • What is your target community? Are peer supporters a part of that community? How old should the individual be?
  • Defining prerequisites: skills, knowledge, etc. What skills will the individual need to best carry out the given responsibilities of the job?
  • How well does this person relate to others? Should the individual have past experience working within a team environment?
  • What motivates this person?
  • Will you pay your peer supporters and/or provide other incentives?
  • What is the time commitment for peer supporters? What type of a work schedule will be required of the individual?
  • What kind and how much relevant work and/or field experience will the individual need in order to succeed?
  • Who will the individual be working with both inside and outside of the agency (staff vs. clients)?
  • What, if any, outside responsibilities does the candidate have that may interfere with the job?

Example role description

The following information outlines the expectations of a peer support role that may be included in a role description.

Primary objectives
  • To provide information, peer support and referral to all clients accessing the organisation.
  • To carry out a range of administrative and peer support tasks essential to the day to day running of the organisation.
  • To implement strategies within the organisation in response to current trends and client needs.
Key responsibilities
  • Sourcing appropriate information and contacting people.
  • Providing peer support.
  • Providing appropriate referrals.
  • Being involved in organising support activities.
  • Staff program sessions at the service, including providing a peer mentor role to volunteers, overseeing smooth running of the facilities and providing peer based support and education to young people accessing the service.
  • Co-coordinate and facilitate specific targeted activities i.e. retreats and workshops.
  • Conduct a range of administrative tasks including responding to inquiries, rostering and liaising with volunteers and developing resources and fundraising initiatives.
  • Attend regular team meetings, relevant training and complete performance appraisal reports.
Selection criteria
  • Understanding of a peer support/education model or programs.
  • Ability to communicate effectively.
  • Ability to work as part of a diverse team and in group environments.
  • Ability to work autonomously.
  • Ability to display initiative and provide creative solutions to problems.
  • Ability to facilitate groups.
  • Ability to work after hours and on weekends.
  • Experience using a computer and associated programs.
  • Successful application for a Working With Children Check.

Additional information that should be included:

  • Conditions
  • Time required
  • Additional requirements
  • Remuneration and/or incentives.