Peer Mentors: Alliances That Work

Excerpt of the Spring 2010 article:

A Supportive Approach to Supervision for Peers Living with HIV by Janie Riley, originally published by the AIA

Liz Bates is a peer working in the field of HIV. When asked how supportive supervision has helped her, she said, “Sometimes clients come to me in crisis. I recently had a client who was homeless and refusing to go to a shelter. In supervision, I’ve learned how to help without getting too involved. But that is hard emotionally. I need to be able to talk about how it feels when I can’t help someone enough.” Most peers like Liz have a heartfelt passion for their work, so it is perplexing that peers in HIV programs nationwide often leave their positions within a few months. Programs nationally have been addressing the issue by taking a closer look at the supervisory needs of peers (Raja et al., 2008).

Peers who receive supportive supervision are likely to stay in their positions longer, thus benefitting programs from the value that peers bring over time. WORLD (Women Organized to Respond to Life Threatening Diseases) has provided its peer staff with supportive supervision for more than seven years. Located in Oakland, California, WORLD offers local and national programs designed to support HIV+ women, their families,and communities, and inspire a compassionate response to the HIV pandemic. Founded by Rebecca Denison in 1991, WORLD originally consisted of a network of women infected and affected by HIV/AIDS.Together, they helped each other survive and cope with the many losses that occurred during the early years of the AIDS crisis….Read entire article

The National Abandoned Infants Assistance Resource Center‘s mission is to enhance the quality of social and health services delivered to children who are abandoned or at-risk of abandonment due to the presence of drugs and/or HIV in the family. The Resource Center provides training, information, support, and resources to service providers who assist these children and their families.