Become a Peer Support Volunteer

The Parent Peer Support Program provides an opportunity for family members to meet and talk to trained Peer Support Volunteers who have the experience of caring for a child with limb difference and can relate to the challenges that some parents, children and young people face.

This program is an early intervention one, designed to reduce the feelings of isolation and confusion that are sometimes associated with caring for a child with a limb difference. A Parent Peer Support Volunteer can offer guidance, be a role model and share their own personal experiences. Most importantly, these volunteers can offer a ‘listening ear’.

Parent Peer Support Volunteers all have personal experience of being the parent or carer of a child with a limb difference or grew up as a child with a limb difference themself. Peer Support Volunteers are not experts, they are people who have experienced similar issues and are willing to share that with others wanting their support.

The Program

The Parent Peer Support Program provides an opportunity for family members to meet and talk to trained Peer Support Volunteers who have the experience of caring for a child with limb difference and can relate to the challenges that some parents, children and young people face.

The Parent Peer Support Program sits alongside our adult Peer Support Program which provides peer support to amputees and persons with limb difference of all ages, and has been running for nearly 10 years.

The Role of Parent Peer Support Volunteers

Parent Peer Support Volunteers all have personal experience of being the parent or carer of a child with a limb difference or grew up as a child with a limb difference themself. Peer Support Volunteers are not experts, they are people who have experienced similar issues and are willing to share that with others wanting their support.

As part of the program’s governance structure volunteers are required to attend formal training to enable them to understand the legal requirements of volunteering, the role of Limbs 4 Life and learn about the best way they can offer support to a peer. Following completion of the training program, orientation and checks (police and referee checks) participants can then commence their role as a Parent Peer Support Volunteer.  Peer Support Volunteers may make visits in hospital, in other health centres, in community centres and/or in public settings.

All Parent Peer Support Volunteers have ongoing support and assistance from Limbs 4 Kids (and Limbs 4 Life) and, through this managed program, have the chance to assist other parents, children and young people to move forward in their lives.

Police Check

Limbs 4 Life has a duty of care to all people that request a visit from a Peer Support Volunteer.  As such, the organisation requires all people who apply to become a Peer Support Volunteer to undergo a Police Records Check.  We can provide you with assistance to complete the Police Records Check and Limbs 4 Life will absorb all costs relating to the check.

Training

Limbs 4 Life conducts ParentPeer Support Training for parents on a regular basis. Training is usually conducted over the course of one day.

Peer Support Requests

Individuals, primary care-service providers, family members, friends or healthcare professionals can request a Peer Support Visit.  This may occur over the phone, in a health care facility or in the community.  In all circumstances the individual who is receiving the visit must consent to meet with a volunteer.  While we understand that family members and friends can have the person’s best intentions at heart, receiving peer support is a personal choice which must lay solely with the individual. Limbs 4 Life can provide separate Peer Support Volunteer visits to family members or friends upon request.

Volunteer Visit Matching

Limbs 4 Life always tries to match a Parent Peer Support Volunteer with the person requesting on the basis of: reason for their child’s limb difference (if relevant); site of limb difference (eg. hand, arm, foot or leg); culture; and, geographic location. If a face-to-face visit cannot be arranged, Limbs 4 Life can organise online or telephone support from a Peer Support Volunteer.

Get Involved

Peer Support is well recognised as a mechanism that provides considerable positive benefits for both the Peer Support Volunteer and the person/s receiving support. Peer Support is offered in many settings and for different reasons but has shown to be particularly beneficial in a disability setting because it can assist all parties to build connections, increase independence and enhance wellbeing.

Limbs 4 Kids is keen to increase the number of parents and carers formally trained as a Parent Peer Support Volunteer.  The training is free, a great way to expand your knowledge about peer support, an opportunity to meet other parents and carers and a way of ‘giving something back’ to the community.  Many Parent Peer Support Volunteers say that the chance to support other families in a similar situation to themselves has been a most rewarding and fulfilling experience.

Similarly, parents and carers who have received assistance from a Parent Peer Support Volunteer say the experience has provided them with great insight and helped to reduce any fears or concerns they may have had.

Apply to become a Parent Peer Support Volunteer

To express interest in becoming a Parent Peer Support Volunteer complete the form below and return to kids@limbs4life.org.au or call 1300 782 231.