Tools we have created through our research which we hope can help others in doing peer support work and/or PAR.
Power Mapping Tools
Participatory action research (PAR), and other participatory and community-based research methods, ask us to (re)consider how power and roles are distributed on our research teams. But there is little guidance on how to put this inquiry into action. Our research on how PAR teams work together has found that shared values help 'power-diverse' teams navigate ambiguity and decision-making, and that making power explicit is vital in doing equitable work together.
We wanted to develop a tool that could help other PAR teams - and our own - (1) name our values, and (2) make power explicit on our team. We have piloted this tool with our original PAR team, as well as a second research team, using these teams' feedback to revise and improve upon the tool. You can find view and download our tools below.
Hiring and Interview Tools
Hiring peer support specialists to a team requires thoughtful preparation to create spaces that are inclusive and responsive to both the needs of peer specialists and those they support. We have created two brief guides to aid in the equitable hiring practices of peer support specialists.
For teams hoping to integrate peer support specialists, our hiring guidance centers the experience of peer support specialists as we outline tips for
1) understanding foundational elements of an affirming peer support program, 2) recruiting and interviewing potential candidates with lived expertise, 3) onboarding candidates to a role that centers experiences of homelessness.
For individuals interested in applying for peer support specialist roles, we have created a companion guide to help potential candidates search for a position, understand what many peer support specialist roles entail, prepare an application and cover letter, and tips for interviewing.