LDATs may choose to link with existing AOD peer support programs that have been shown to work.
You may find other programs through peak bodies for youth, local health services or by drawing on local knowledge and networks. There may be a number of existing peer support programs in place in your community (e.g. buddy program in the local secondary school) that you can support and build on.
A number of existing peer support programs in Australia are listed below:
Once you have found existing peer support programs, it may be useful to seek out further information directly from the organisation to find out if a partnership or delivery pathway is possible in your community.
Be mindful that there are numerous examples of peer support programs that focus on AOD treatment and recovery, which is outside the scope of the LDAT Program and its focus on preventing alcohol and drug issues before they occur.
You might want to consider the following questions (some answers may be available online, others you may have to seek directly from the organisation):
Due to the limited number of existing peer support programs available and the need for tailored approaches, many LDATs will work with partners to develop and deliver a targeted peer support program in their community. See Resources required section below and Delivering peer support programs: Key Steps for insight into what is required when developing new approaches.
Peer support programs can help to shape young people’s behaviours, knowledge and attitudes to alcohol and other drugs and whether and how they use them, but the way peer support is used makes a big difference.
AOD peer support programs are most effective when approaches are based on principles of effective practice:
AOD peer support programs have been shown to be ineffective and increase interest in drug use when it is based on:
Setting objectives for your Community Action Plan is an important part of the LDAT planning process.
Some example objectives for peer support programs are provided below. Groups can develop their own objectives, although you may find these a useful starting point:
Whether you are linking in to an existing peer support program or developing your own program, strong partnerships will be critical to your success. Partners can support the peer support program in many ways, including promoting the program, recruiting young people as participants and peer leaders, working with schools to facilitate programs, providing a venue for training, financial support, and much more.
How the peer support program is structured and delivered may influence the type of individuals, networks and organisations that your group partners with.
Partners may include:
See also Working with community partners.
All peer support programs need to be adequately resourced. Below is an indicative list of resources required to deliver peer support programs. LDATs may be able to provide some of these resources or work with partners who can provide additional support.