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Spinal Cord Injury Paralysis Resource Center

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Reeve Foundation Peer and Family Support Program

Peer Mentor Training and Certification Process

Peer Mentor Training at the Boca Raton

The peer mentor training and certification process is a critical part the Peer & Family Support Program because it allows us to complement the existing skills of our experienced peer mentor candidates, while providing additional training and building confidence of less experienced peer mentor candidates.

We believe it is very important to have a consistent base-line of training for volunteers across national program; a training level that will increase through re-certification every two years.

The training curriculum and format was designed after reviewing numerous best-in-class peer mentoring programs, along with interviews and site visits with other peer mentoring program managers. At the foundation of the peer mentor training and certification process is the Peer Mentor Training (PMT). A PMT is a combination of on-line training with an assessment, followed by an on-site training session.

Each Peer Mentor Candidate is required to complete the online modules (currently 10-modules that typically take approx. 90 minutes to complete) that introduce the concepts that are discussed in greater detail during the on-site training, as well as, providing an introduction of the Reeve Foundation and the extensive information and resources it offers through its Paralysis Resource Center. Each Peer Mentor Candidate is required to pass a short online 10-question competency assessment at the end of the online modules as part of the training.

The on-site training is a full-day interactive class that is a combination of presentations and break-out group interaction. The presentations cover Effective Peer Mentoring, Ethics, Interpersonal Communication Skills, and Information/Resources. The breakout groups provide an interactive discussion platform that builds on the concepts reviewed in the on-line modules and presentations, and allows our peer mentor candidates to bond, share their collective experiences and make them better peer mentors.

Sample On-site Peer Mentoring Training Agenda
9:30 AM   Continental Breakfast
10:00 AM   Welcome and Introductions
10:15 AM   Effective Peer Mentoring
11:15 AM   Break
11:30 AM   Ethics, Values and Peer Support
12:30 PM   Lunch
1:30 PM   Interpersonal Communication Skills
2:30 PM   Break
3:00 PM   Resources For Peer Mentors
4:00 PM   Wrap-Up, Questions and Evaluations

View the on-line modules at ReevePeerMentor.org.

Peer Mentor Training at the Courage Center

Certification Requirements
Each peer mentor candidate must complete 5 parts to be certified:

1. Complete an on-line application and follow-up interview
2. Complete the online modules and pass the online assessment.
3. Attend the on-site training session and actively participate
4. Sign and abide by the PFSP code of conduct.
5. Consent to a background check by signing the consent form at the training. The PFSP will run checks on felony and misdemeanors. If a peer mentor candidate's background check is flagged we will review the report and speak to the peer mentor candidate before a decision is made on whether the peer mentor candidate can be certified.

Applying to become a peer mentor
There are 2 application tracks:

1. Are you applying for the program and a specific peer mentor training session?
Please complete the online application which can be found by clicking on reevepeermentor.org and follow the instructions. There is a drop box on the application that shows the current list of peer mentor training sessions: please select the session you would like to attend.. Please allow 2 business days for the application to be processed.

Peer mentor candidates will receive an email instructing them that their application has been processed and will provide instructions for taking the on-line module and assessment.

Peer mentor candidates will be contacted by a program staff member within a week of your application being processed. They will explain other details of the training and certification process and answer any questions.

2. Are you applying for the program in anticipation of peer mentor training session in the future?
Please complete the on-line application. Allow 2 business days for the application to be processed.

Peer mentor candidates will be contacted by a program staff member within 2 weeks of your application being processed. The staff member will explain other details of the training and certification process and answer any questions.

To inquire about upcoming trainings or to discuss any specific training questions, please call 800-539-7309 or email Peer@ChristopherReeve.org.

Post Training
After successfully completing the training and all the certification requirements, the certified peer mentor will receive a PFSP ID badge, certificate and polo shirt. They are immediately considered active peer mentors and are eligible to be matched with potential peers.

Peer mentors will also receive an email from the PFSP Administrator inviting them to join "MentorNet", a private peer mentor only online community on the Reeve Foundation website. The MentorNet is just for peer mentors to "meet" each other; share experiences and ask questions of other peer mentors across the country. It's the place to go when peer mentors need "mentoring".

Peer Mentor Training at the Boca Raton

Re-Certification is our opportunity to update all the peer mentors on program changes and enhancements and to provide additional information and training. It also allows the peer mentor to choose if they wish to continue in the program.

Re-certification occurs every two years, and we all go through the process at the same time. Typically, any new peer mentors (those certified within the prior 6-months) are waived through the re-certification process and automatically receive their new badge and certificate.

Re-certifying peer mentors will be required to go through an online training module that is designed to provide new information to them, along with providing any information on changes or enhancements to the program. Re-certifying peer mentors will also be required to re-affirm their Code of Conduct and background check status.

This is an important step in our program since we hold ourselves and all peer mentors to a high ethical standard. Additionally, most states require the program to run background checks on all personnel working with persons in a vulnerable position.

The re-certification is designed to be simple and speedy for all re-certifying peer mentors. It provides good information that will be useful to the peer mentor, and should take very little time. Most peer mentors complete their recertification in approximately 30 minutes. The recertification process runs every two years during the month of July. The next scheduled re-certification is July 2015.

PMT Considerations
Due to the expense and significant resources required to conduct a peer mentor training, we will most likely not be back to the same city for 12 months or longer. We strongly encourage you to apply for consideration for the peer mentor training session when it is scheduled for your area. That may your only chance to get certified for some time.

Please note: The PFSP does not pay or reimburse for travel and lodging for peer mentor candidates attending a training session.

The Reeve Foundation would like to thank the University of New Mexico for assisting in the development of the peer mentor training curriculum, the certification process and the program's learning management system.

A Reeve Foundation Fact Sheet on Pediatric SCI (PDF)

A Reeve Foundation Fact Sheet on Religion and People with Disabilities (PDF)

A Reeve Foundation Fact Sheet on Adjustment to SCI (PDF)

A Reeve Foundation Fact Sheet on Aging with SCI (PDF)

A Reeve Foundation Fact Sheet on Caregivers PCAs Respite (PDF)

A Reeve Foundation Fact Sheet on Veterans Benefits (PDF)

Military & Veterans Programs (MVP)

A Reeve Foundation Fact Sheet on SCI Autobiogs or Biogs (PDF)

A Reeve Foundation Fact Sheet on SCI Chat Rooms (PDF)

A Reeve Foundation Fact Sheet on SCI Research (PDF)

A Reeve Foundation Fact Sheet on SCI Tutorial 101 (PDF)

A Reeve Foundation Fact Sheet on SCI Videos (PDF)

A Reeve Foundation Fact Sheet on Brain and Spinal Cord Tumors (PDF)

A Reeve Foundation Fact Sheet on Deep Vein Thrombosis (PDF)

A Reeve Foundation Fact Sheet on Mindfullness (PDF)

A Reeve Foundation Fact Sheet on New Injury Top 10 Questions (PDF)

Arkansas Spinal Cord CommissionThe mission of the Arkansas Spinal Cord Commission is to administer a statewide program to identify and meet the unique and lifelong needs of people with spinal cord disabilities in the state.

American Association of SCI Psychologists and Social WorkersPromote research to improve quality of care and works to improve skills and techniques of members.

Angel Flight for VeteransVeterans Angel Flight (VAF) facilitates no-cost or reduced-rate patient travel services for needy veterans and their families.

CaringRoad.comCaringRoad.com is dedicated to helping family caregivers obtain information, locate services and find support so they can make informed decisions about the care of their loved ones. An online community of family caregivers.

CareCure CommunityCareCure Community features a SpinalNurse bulletin board with informed comments on matters of the bowel, and all issues of paralysis.

Canadian & American Spinal Research OrganizationPromotes and supports funding research to ultimately find a cure for paralysis. Also publishes journal of latest research they fund. Call (800) 361-4004 or use the link above.

Canadian Paraplegic AssociationAssists people with spinal cord injuries and other disabilities to achieve individuality, self-reliance and full community participation. Call (613) 723-1033 or use the link above.

Craig HospitalWith funding from the US Department of Education's National Institute on Disability & Rehabilitation Research, has developed educational materials to help people with spinal cord injuries live in the community maintain their health. Topics include skin care, exercise, heart disease, weight control, alcohol abuse and conditions related to the aging body. Use the link above and click on SCI Health and Wellness.

Caregiver.comOffers a directory of support groups for caregivers.

The Caregiver InitiativeA project of the Johnson & Johnson Consumer Products Company to help family caregivers provide care to their loved ones and reduce their own stress. Includes information on caregiver needs, and training materials for family caregivers.

Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center (DVBIC)The mission of the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center (DVBIC) is to serve active duty military, their dependents and veterans with traumatic brain injury (TBI) through state-of-the-art medical care, innovative clinical research initiatives and educational programs.

Department of Veterans Affairs -- Benefits AdministrationCommitted to helping veterans get the services they have earned such as patient care and veteran's benefits.

Determined 2 HealProvides helpful information for the newly spinal cord injured.

Disabled American VeteransAn organization of disabled veterans focused on building better lives for disabled veterans and their families.

Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain InjuryDCoE assesses, validates, oversees and facilitates prevention, resilience, identification, treatment, outreach, rehabilitation, and reintegration programs for psychological health and traumatic brain injury to ensure the Department of Defense meets the needs of the nation's military communities, warriors and families.

Fisher HouseThe Fisher House™ program is a unique private-public partnership that supports America's military in their time of need. The program recognizes the special sacrifices of our men and women in uniform and the hardships of military service by meeting a humanitarian need beyond that normally provided by the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs.

Family Caregiver AllianceCaregiver Media Group is a leading provider of information, support and guidance for family and professional caregivers.

Family Caregiving: It's Not All Up to YouNFCA and the National Alliance for Caregiving launched a public education campaign to give information and support to caregivers.

Homes For Our TroopsTheir mission is to build specially adapted homes for severely disabled soldiers and their families.

Federal Recovery Coordinator ProgramThe program is designed to cut across bureaucratic lines and reach into the private sector as necessary to identify services needed for seriously wounded and ill service members, veterans and their families.

Homes for Wounded HeroesThis program assist veterans in adapting their homes for a disability that occurred serving in Iraq or Afghanistan at little or no cost for the veteran.

Fallen Patriot FundWas established to help families of U.S. military personnel who were killed or seriously injured during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Injured Marine Semper Fi FundProvides financial assistance and quality of life solutions to marines and sailors injured in combat, training, or with life threatening illness. Can help with associate expenses including purchasing of special equipment, adaptive vans or vehicles, and handicap home purchases and modification.

FacingDisability.comFacing Disability is a web resource with more than 1,000 videos drawn from interviews of people with spinal cord injuries, their families, caregivers and experts. I know that this is a lot to ask, but we'd be so grateful for your help. I'm looking forward to discussing this link with you, and to answering any questions you may have.

Kosair Charities Center for Pediatric NeuroRecovery at the University of LouisvilleThe Kosair Charities Center for Pediatric NeuroRecovery provides activity-based therapies to promote recovery from neurologic injury in children; conducts research to enhance recovery; and trains families, practitioners and scientists to maximize recovery and improve the quality of life for children and their families. In short, we are here to help kids kick paralysis and through science have every reason to hope.

Military One SourceMilitary OneSource is provided by the Department of Defense at no cost to active duty, Guard and Reserve (regardless of activation status) and their families. Military OneSource is there for military personnel and their families by phone or online.

Model Systems CentersA federally funded program of 14 specialty medical and/or rehabilitation centers across the US. The SCI Care System collects and submits acute, rehabilitation and follow-up (annual, long-term post-discharge) data on SCI patients who received care in the these centers following injury.

The Miami Project to Cure ParalysisThe Miami Project to Cure Paralysis has studied functional electrical systems for exercise.

National Family Caregiver Association (NFCA)The National Family Caregivers Association educates, supports, empowers and speaks up for the more than 65 million Americans who care for loved ones with a chronic illness or disability or the frailties of old age. NFCA reaches across the boundaries of diagnoses, relationships and life stages to help transform family caregivers' lives by removing barriers to health and well being.

The National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (NSCISC)NSCISC supervises and directs the collection, management and analysis of the world's largest spinal cord injury database. Headquartered at the University of Alabama, Birmingham.

National Spinal Cord Injury Association (NSCIA)At NSCIA, we educate and empower survivors of spinal cord injury and disease to achieve and maintain the highest levels of independence, health and personal fulfillment. We fulfill this mission by providing an innovative Peer Support Network and by raising awareness about spinal cord injury and disease through education.

National Alliance for CaregivingThe Alliance was created to conduct research, do policy analysis, develop national programs, increase public awareness of family care giving issues, work to strengthen state and local care giving coalitions, and represent the US care giving community internationally.

New York Online Access to Health (N.O.A.H)Offers information and links related to spinal cord and head injury treatment, rehabilitation, and children. Materials in Spanish.

Neuroscience for KidsOffers an understandable look at the segments of the spinal cord; from University of Washington.

NJ Self-Help Group ClearinghouseEnables people to help themselves with self-help groups.

OEF/OIF ServicesOperation Enduring Freedom (OEF) Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF)

Operation Helping HealProvides financial assistance to wounded service men and women returning from our current overseas military operations.

Paralyzed Veterans of America, in support of The Consortium for Spinal Cord Medicine, offers authoritative clinical practice guidelines for bladder management. Consumer guides are available to download.

Rebuilding Together's Heroes at HomeHeroes at Homesm was launched by Rebuilding Together and Sears Holdings in May 2007. Heroes at Home strives to improve the lives of all low-income U.S. service members, veterans, and military families in need across America by making necessary repairs, improvements, and modifications to their homes.

Rebuilding Together's Veterans Housing InitiativeCreated to meet the growing needs of veterans from past and present wars. The initiative serves to fill the gaps in housing modifications and repair services that retired and active service men and women struggle to meet. Working in partnership with corporate sponsors, Rebuilding Together's Veterans Housing Initiative strives to provide safe and accessible housing for all low-income veterans.

Red Cross Family Caregiving ResourcesInformation for caregivers.

SpineUniverseAt SpineUniverse our goal is to help patients and their families understand their back or neck problems. In clear, straightforward language we aim to explain what causes spinal problems and how they can be treated. We are committed to ensure that all of the information we present is trustworthy and of the highest quality.

Spinal Cord Injury CaregiversYahoo Internet Forum is a place to share information and to support other caregivers who are caring for people with SCI.

Spinal Cord Injury Information NetworkThe Spinal Cord Injury Information Center features clinical information about bowel management and all other medical issues of paralysis.

Soldiers AngelsProvides financial assistance to OEF OIF service members and veterans for financial assistance to pay mortgages and utilities.

University of Alabama at BirminghamOffers an information sheet (Info Sheet #11) on bladder care and management.

United Spinal AssociationOur mission is to improve the quality of life of all Americans living with spinal cord injuries and disorders (SCI/D), including multiple sclerosis, spina bifida, Lou Gehrig’s Disease (ALS), and post polio.

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Fact Sheet: VA and Spinal Cord InjuryOf the more than 250,000 Americans with serious spinal cord injuries and disorders, about 42,000 are veterans eligible for medical care and other benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

VA Center LocatorGuide to the over 1300 VA centers in the US broken down by region.

Well Spouse AssociationA national, not for profit membership organization that gives support to wives, husbands, and partners of the chronically ill and/or disabled. Through information and support groups, the organization address issues common to family caregivers: anger, guilt, fear, isolation, grief, and financial threat.

The Wounded Warrior ProjectSeeks to assist those men and women of our armed forces who have been severely injured during the conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere around the world.

Paralysis Resource Center The Reeve Foundation Paralysis Resource Center Information Specialists are reachable business weekdays, Monday through Friday, toll-free at 800-539-7309 from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm ET. You may also schedule a call or send a message online.

Reeve Foundation Online Paralysis Community Connecting people living with paralysis, families, friends and caregivers so we can share support, experience, knowledge, and hope.

Quality of Life Grants DatabaseFind resources within the PRC Quality of Life Grants Database. Search by Zip Code, State or an Entire Category.

Library Books and VideosFind resources within the PRC library catalog.

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The Reeve Foundation Paralysis Resource Center Information Specialists are reachable business weekdays, Monday through Friday, toll-free at 800-539-7309 from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm Eastern U.S. Time. International callers use 973-467-8270. You may also schedule a call or send a message online.

This project was supported, in part by grant number 90PR3001, from the U.S. Administration for Community Living, Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, D.C. 20201. Grantees undertaking projects under government sponsorship are encouraged to express freely their findings and conclusions. Points of view or opinions do not, therefore, necessarily represent official Administration for Community Living policy.