May 29, 2020
Women’s Peer Support Program
The Peer Support Program is coordinated by the Circle of Care and builds on the value, impact and benefit that can be experienced by women living with HIV when they are able to receive support from other HIV-positive women as well as benefits for those HIV-positive women who are providing support. Circle of Care strives to create safe and inclusive space for all women and recognizes the need to provide appropriate services to trans women and trans feminine people.
The program is based on an empowerment model that recognizes the inherent skills of peers, the value of their roles in supporting others and the value of their lived experience. It recognizes the value of peer support for HIV positive women, who often are unable to share their HIV status with their peers, families, partners or children. As a result of this program HIV positive women can access important social and personal supports to better deal with their HIV status.
The following are the objectives of the program:
- To recruit, train and place HIV positive women to provide peer-based support to other positive women.
- To provide services such as accompaniment, advocacy, system navigation and counseling supports.
- To offer skills building, capacity development and empowerment opportunities for peers.
- To empower HIV-positive women to share their lived experience with others.
Peer Workers provide the following:
- Support to other women as they navigate the social service system.
- Support services provided include; appointment support, service access, leadership, advocacy (how-to and on-site), facilitation/education, family support and harm reduction.
- Peer Workers will help to create social spaces that are welcoming and supportive.
Black CAP’s Women’s Peer Support Coordinator provides the following:
- Provide one-on-one client support for HIV positive women
- Peer coordination: This includes the recruitment of peers as volunteers, screening, training, support, management, placement, and evaluation of Peer Workers.
Agencies can request the support of peers by contacting Black CAP.
The Women’s Support Program is funded by the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care through the Toronto Circle of Care Initiative
Women’s Peer Support Coordinator