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Intervention: Peer Supports

Intervention: Peer Supports. By, Kelsey Schonhard. What is peer supports?. An intervention strategy unto which people of an educational system help one another through natural friendships created by the program.

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Intervention: Peer Supports

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  1. Intervention: Peer Supports By, Kelsey Schonhard

  2. What is peer supports? • An intervention strategy unto which people of an educational system help one another through natural friendships created by the program. • There are many different types: elder peer aiding younger peer, general education peer aiding special education peer, and special education peer aiding special education peer.

  3. Classroom application • Ways to use peer supports in the classroom: • Pairing partners • Group work • Oversee activities • Available if necessary

  4. Demographics • Approximately 77% of schools across the United States do have some form of Peer supports in place at their school. • While, approximately 23% of schools do not have any ‘formal’ form of Peer supports in place in their school.

  5. Benefits of peer supports • Students are more approachable than adults • Builds relationships • Increases disabled students confidence

  6. Benefits continued… • Increased social interactions in the classroom • Increased academic performance • Increases students with disabilities interest in extracurricular activities

  7. Benefits continued… • Lastly, EVERYONE benefits from peer supports! • Teachers, students with the disability, and peer supporters themselves

  8. Limitations • As with any benefit, comes a limitation. • Public interest, buy-in • Role of staff • Further research

  9. Qualities of a good peer mentor • Good listener • Doesn’t judge • Knows the school well • Good communicator • Positive attitude

  10. Facts about peer supports • The most common form of peer supports is called “Peer befriending” and in second place is “Peer mentoring” • The peer supporters are trained most often by internal staff members • It is most utilized in the school lunchroom. • Can be applied to walking down the halls, playing outside, and uninstructed times of the day

  11. Study by Catherine Houlston • (1) Which of the following options described the existing peer support initiative (more than one option could be selected): a befriending approach –encouraging peer supporters or ‘buddies’ to build friendships with vulnerable or lonely children; a conflict mediation approach – training peer supporters to resolve peer conflicts and bullying situations; a counseling approach – whereby peer counselors provide support to students through relatively formal structured sessions; a mentoring approach – whereby a relationship is formed between a peer mentor who acts as a role model to another pupil (usually younger) who is in need of support and guidance; a lunchtime club – informal sessions run by peer supporters during break times that students are able to attend without appointment to engage in various games and activities; and, lastly, there was an ‘other’ option where respondents were asked to give brief details associated with peer support initiatives.

  12. Survey Continued • (2) How long the peer support scheme had been operating in the school. • (3) Qualitative information about the main objectives and expected outcomes • (4) The source of the training provided for peer supporters (all applicable answers could be selected): local authority; neighboring schools; CHIPS (Child line in Partnership with Schools); the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children; another external agency – with name of organization if known; internal members of staff; or ‘no formal training’. • (5) The total number of students typically trained. • (6) The approximate gender ratio of these students. • (7) The year group(s) these peer supporters were in. • (8) Whether the school was involved in sharing practice in peer support schemes with other schools (‘yes’/‘no’/‘don’t know’).

  13. Online resources • The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) • “Peer Resources Network”:

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