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CIL-NET Presents… Building an Effective Peer Support Program: A Proven Volunteer Model

CIL-NET Presents… A Brand-New National Onsite Training

Building an Effective Peer Support Program: A Proven Volunteer Model

IL-NET Logo - CIL-NET + SILC-NETPeer support is a hallmark of the Independent Living Movement and a core service – both in statute and philosophy – of Centers for Independent Living. We all know what peer support is, but running an organized, effective peer support program with limited funding and staff must be unique to each CIL’s capacity and need. If you and your staff would like to learn more about implementing a proven volunteer model for peer support, then you won’t want to miss this training.

Our presenters operate the volunteer-based peer support program at Arizona Bridge to Independent Living (ABIL) in Phoenix, Arizona. You’ll learn all aspects of this best-practice peer support program, from planning to implementation and expansion with resource materials so you don’t have to invent the wheel!

Don’t miss this exciting opportunity! 

Learning Objectives

By the end of this training, you will learn:

  • The types of mentoring, the service delivery structure and the background and philosophy of ABIL’s Peer Mentor Volunteer program.
  • How to determine your organization’s vision, purpose, goals, staffing, and funding sources, and how to gain staff and board buy-in for a peer support program.
  • All the components of establishing an administrative infrastructure, including: recruitment, orientation and training, supervision, program coordination, ongoing maintenance, volunteer retention and recognition, and program evaluation.
  • How to build and maintain mentoring skills, professionalism, and a firm commitment to the IL philosophy.
  • The necessary interpersonal and communication skills required of your mentors.
  • The process for matching mentees with mentors: matchmaker or juggling act?
  • How to increase mentor awareness of community resources.
  • Strategies for improving mentee self-confidence in achieving their goals and empowering them to help others increase their independence.
  • What it is to “pay it forward” and the benefits that peer mentoring provides to consumers, mentors, the CIL, and the entire community.

Target Audience

  • CIL executive directors, program managers, independent living specialists, and other staff members of CILs who are involved in coordinating or providing peer support.
  • Note: for a volunteer peer support program, the commitment of decision-makers is key.


Westin Seattle: 1900 Fifth Avenue / Seattle, WA 98101

  • Front Desk Phone: 206-728-1000
  • Rate: $179/night + tax
  • Reservations can be made by calling 888-627-8513.
  • Mention “IL-NET Training” when making your reservation to receive the group rate.
  • Guestroom reservation deadline is August 22, 2014.

Meet Your Presenters

Amina Donna Kruck is Vice President of Advocacy Programs at Arizona Bridge to Independent Living (ABIL). She is a state Professional Licensed Counselor with a Master’s of Counseling from Arizona State University. Amina creates programs which empower individuals with disabilities and their families through advocacy related workshops, mentoring, facilitating wellness groups, providing technical assistance for the development of consumer-driven initiatives, and developing community partnerships to address barriers to consumer choice, equal rights and self-determination. She is ABIL’s designated lobbyist and provides workshops on the legislative process, disability oppression / liberation, self-advocacy skills, and is a regular contributor to ABIL’s monthly newsletter, “The Bridge.”

April Reed is Volunteer Program Manager at Arizona Bridge to Independent Living (ABIL) in Phoenix. She coordinates the ABIL Peer Mentor and General Administrative Volunteer programs, which includes recruiting, training, and matching mentors with consumers working on independent living goals. April has facilitated several IL-NET online classes on volunteer peer mentoring program development. She facilitates disability presentations to schools, the monthly mentoring and discussion group for mentors, mentees, and consumers and coordinates volunteer activities, including a monthly volunteer group and staffing of community information tables. April started as a Masters level intern at ABIL and her first ABIL staff position was as ABIL’s Information and Referral Specialist. April is a Licensed Masters Social Worker, receiving her Master’s degree in Social Work from Arizona State University in May 2005.


PRESENTED BY CIL-NET: A program of the IL-NET national training and technical assistance project for Centers for Independent Living (CIL-NET) and Statewide Independent Living Councils (SILC-NET). The IL-NET is operated by ILRU, Independent Living Research Utilization, in partnership with the National Council on Independent Living (NCIL) and the Association of Programs for Rural Independent Living (APRIL).


  1. I am living in my in my friends basement, I had now else to go, at the time when I moved here. I don’t think it to it can be to healthy for me. Because on top of having sceldrema , I also have lupus, and Reynolds. I know housing takes so long to get into, but they should put have some housing put aside for people . because it tuff on our bobys , thank- you .Kathleen

  2. theadvocacymonitor says

    Hi Kathleen. Thank you for your comment. Are you in touch with your local Center for Independent Living? Here is a link to CILs by state:

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