Peer work raises recurring issues.  In this section, we will address some of the hurdles facing peer work and provide suggestions on how to deal with them.

We can identify a number of critical factors that have to be addressed when initiating or conducting peer work:

  1. Expectations
  2. Stigma
  3. Lack of agency commitment
  4. Legal barriers
  5. Neglect by decision-makers
  6. Limited involvement
  7. Need for clear objectives
  8. The debate on evidence

“ never hurts to consider new opportunities; sometimes people find they really do like doing something they’d never thought of before.  Peer work isn’t for everyone, and agencies that run these programs must be aware of that.  If peers change their mind after accepting a job, or if it just doesn’t work out, no harm done.  But peers and agencies might be in for a pleasant surprise!”

Toronto Harm Reduction Task Force in Peer Manual, A guide for peer workers and agencies