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Supervision And Support: The Key To Program Success. Careful attention and guidance Continual availability to peer counselors Ongoing support. Who Should Coordinate And Manage Peer Counselors?. Most programs supervise peer counselors at the local level

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Supervision and support the key to program success
Supervision And Support:The Key To Program Success

  • Careful attention and guidance

  • Continual availability to peer counselors

  • Ongoing support


Who should coordinate and manage peer counselors
Who Should Coordinate AndManage Peer Counselors?

  • Most programs supervise peer counselors at the local level

  • Time commitment of a supervisor varies according to number of peer counselors employed and caseload




Mentoring role
Mentoring Role

  • Mentoring vs. supervisor role during the first six months

  • Transition to “supervisor” role




Ongoing supervision
Ongoing Supervision

  • Monthly staff meetings

  • Ongoing communications

  • Weekly activity reports


Alaska WIC and other programs use electronic communications to keep staff connected. Electronic listservs can be used to share program information, practice counseling scenarios, and brainstorm ways to manage difficult breastfeeding problems.


Case scenario 4
Case Scenario #4 to keep staff connected. Electronic listservs can be used to share program information, practice counseling scenarios, and brainstorm ways to manage difficult breastfeeding problems.


Other issues
Other Issues to keep staff connected. Electronic listservs can be used to share program information, practice counseling scenarios, and brainstorm ways to manage difficult breastfeeding problems.

  • Religious beliefs

  • Language differences

  • Cultural diversity

  • Civil rights policies

  • WIC clinic policies


Case scenario 5
Case Scenario #5 to keep staff connected. Electronic listservs can be used to share program information, practice counseling scenarios, and brainstorm ways to manage difficult breastfeeding problems.


Confidentiality issues
Confidentiality Issues to keep staff connected. Electronic listservs can be used to share program information, practice counseling scenarios, and brainstorm ways to manage difficult breastfeeding problems.

  • WIC and State confidentiality policies must be taught and reinforced

    • Confidentiality agreement

    • Scenarios at monthly staff meetings


Case scenario 6
Case Scenario #6 to keep staff connected. Electronic listservs can be used to share program information, practice counseling scenarios, and brainstorm ways to manage difficult breastfeeding problems.


Peer counselor monitoring
Peer Counselor Monitoring to keep staff connected. Electronic listservs can be used to share program information, practice counseling scenarios, and brainstorm ways to manage difficult breastfeeding problems.

  • Weekly/biweekly phone calls with staff

  • Regular review of contact logs

  • Spot checks of weekly activity reports


Mississippi WIC includes peer counseling program monitoring to keep staff connected. Electronic listservs can be used to share program information, practice counseling scenarios, and brainstorm ways to manage difficult breastfeeding problems.as part of its overall nutrition education monitoring.


Reasons to dismiss peer counselors
Reasons To Dismiss to keep staff connected. Electronic listservs can be used to share program information, practice counseling scenarios, and brainstorm ways to manage difficult breastfeeding problems.Peer Counselors

  • Not performing job duties

  • Fraud

  • Inappropriate conduct for a “role model” in the community


Supporting your peer counselors
Supporting Your Peer Counselors to keep staff connected. Electronic listservs can be used to share program information, practice counseling scenarios, and brainstorm ways to manage difficult breastfeeding problems.

  • Making referrals to peer counselors

  • Supporting an active breastfeeding environment that promotes the peer counseling program

  • Ongoing communication through

    • Monthly staff meetings and clinic meetings

    • Access to lactation consultants

    • Regular contact with supervisor

    • Affirmation


“Peer counselors need support because they are supporting these mothers. They are going through a lot of difficult changes and life situations, and they need the same type of nurturing they are asked to provide to the clients.”

Peer Counselor Coordinator

“They need lots and lots of affirmation. It’s very demoralizing to sit and call 25 women in a row and have every one of those contacts be a bad experience, either be told, ‘She doesn’t live here anymore’ or ‘No, I’m not gonna do that,’ or to leave a message, leave a message, leave a message…but no one ever returns your call.”

Peer Counselor Coordinator


Respecting and empowering peer counselors
Respecting And Empowering these mothers. They are going through a lot of difficult changes and life situations, and they need the same type of nurturing they are asked to provide to the clients.”Peer Counselors

  • Childcare difficulties

    • Can your clinic allow small infants in arms to accompany their moms to the clinic setting?

    • Can monthly peer counselor staff meetings be held outside the clinic setting?

  • Financial concerns

  • Transportation issues


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