Peers, Policy and Practice: Peer work and peer involvement in Europe – peer-fect practices from a grassroot perspective (asbtract)

Speaker: Katrin Prins-Schiffer (Correlation Network, Amsterdam, Netherlands)

The presentation will give an overall overview on peer work and peer involvement in Europe, building on the experience of various grass root organisations. The presentation is based on the work of the expert group  on peer support within the European Network Correlation (www.correlation-net.org).

One of the various work packages within the project is targeting the issue of peer work and peer involvement. The work, being carried out by a number of European experts will finally result in an updated  Manual on peer work, based on an original version, which has been compiled by the Trimbos Institute in 1994. The expert group on peer support carried out a European wide survey on peer support to gather information on (best) practices and expertise all over Europe. The European survey on peer support and the expertise within the various partner organisations of Correlation gives useful and essential information on the current practice on grass root level. It helps us to understand what is being done on a practical level, what is still missing and where the challenges are.

Conclusion: To support and encourage the implementation of peer work and peer support, it is essential to improve knowledge among service providers, peer workers and policy makers and to create an enabling environment for peers. Cooperation between service providers, peer workers and researchers is essential in order to define and develop supportive mechanisms for peer work initiatives.