CHARTER FOR THE RECOGNITION OF PEER HELPERS
By signing the Charter, organizations commit to working collaboratively with peer workers to ensure that the principles and values of the Charter are upheld.
The Charter for the Recognition of Peer Helpers is an independent peer worker-led project. Although CACTUS Montréal is an organization that adheres to this charter and distributes it, it is in no way responsible for this project.
What Are Peers?
A peer is someone who wishes to disclose that they have lived or are living the same experiences or realities as one or more other people in their environment or community.
What Are Peer Workers?
A peer worker is someone who is willing and able to use their experience to listen, support and offer information to listening, support, accompaniment and information to people they share community with.
Why are peer workers important?
Improving Services and Developing Other Approaches
They allow the organization to stay informed of the realities experienced by the community, which enables it to have a better understanding of the issues experienced by members of the communities it seeks to reach;
- They allow for the adoption of complementary or alternative approaches;
- They can eventually serve as positive role models in the lives of service users;
- They promote the fostering of trusting relationships between service users and different resources (they act as a “bridge”);
- They make it possible to connect with people who are reluctant or difficult to reach thanks to their informal approach;
- They promote the rights of service users and ensure their voices are heard by management and field teams;
- They allow for the development of alternative intervention tools.
Principles and Values That Must Be Upheld by the Organizations Adhering to the Charter for the Recognition of Peer Helpers
Equitable Working Conditions in All Intervention Roles
- Offer training to allow for the career advancement of peer workers.
- To apply the current pay scale with the possibility of adjustment according to their aptitudes or years of experience.
- Allow peer workers to serve as staff representatives on the Board of Directors (or equivalent).
- Include peer workers in team and clinical supervision meetings.
- Provide peer workers with the same tools and benefits as other staff members.
Consideration and Valuation of the Experience and Expertise of Peer Workers
- Seek and respect the opinions and suggestions of peer workers.
- Include at least one peer worker representative on the Board of Directors (or equivalent).
- Try to ensure the presence of at least one peer worker per team.
- Encourage the sharing of perspectives and adapt intervention practices to take the perspectives of peer workers into account.
- Provide opportunities for peer workers to develop their own tools or initiatives.
Getting your organization to endorse the Charter for the Recognition of Peer Helpers
- Learn about the Charter’s content and get a copy of it.
- Introduce the Charter to your work and management team.
- Introduce the Charter to the administrative team/Board of Directors and have them officially endorse it.
- Write the name of the organization and the date of endorsement in the appropriate space on the poster.
- Display the Charter and encourage colleagues and service users to read it.
Getting a Copy of the Charter for the Recognition of Peer Helpers
To obtain one or more copies of the Copy of the Charter for the Recognition of Peer Helpers, visit the CACTUS Montréal office (300 Sainte-Catherine Street East) between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. (Monday to Friday).