Building on strengths

Peer work programmes are more than a response to a technical need or to a specific problem.  Meaningful peer work has a positive focus, and builds on individual and community strengths, and the experience and skills of both peer workers and the target group.  Good peer work principally builds on people’s capacity and not primarily on their limitations, needs and problems.

Peer support is an organised way of extending what is often already happening in daily life:  what people know, have experienced, and their capacity to deal with it. Peer work can be seen as enabling and extending organic learning.

The main source of peers’ capacity to communicate and to support is their shared experience and shared identity with (other) members of the target group.