Previous Next

Module 3: Supporting Direct Care Professional (DCP) Peer Mentors

In the Workplace

Provide encouragement (a personal face-to-face thank you from administration, program coordinator, supervisory staff).
Mail handwritten notes or postcards to their homes.
Provide mentors with stickers for a job well done or inspirational sayings. (Note: we have learned that mentors and most of your DCP staff feel better about giving a sticker to someone else (a co-worker, person they serve, employer) than receiving one.  They are care “givers” after all! 
Hold regularly scheduled mentor meetings.

A meeting with mentors just to check in can be helpful in keeping them motivated, giving them an opportunity to share challenges and successes, and to problem-solve.  Meetings can be brief (30 minutes), but long enough to validate their roles and thank them.  This may also be a good time to collect periodic evaluations on their satisfaction with the program (See Module 4). Scheduling the meetings regularly on a certain day and time of the month is recommended (e.g. 2nd Tuesday of the month).  We also recommend holding the meetings no less than quarterly.  The important thing is to establish a realistic meeting schedule so you can give the meetings the priority they need.  Cancelling 4 out of 5 meetings doesn’t send the message that the DCP Mentor Program is important.

Encourage DCP Mentors to take turns facilitating their own meetings with perhaps an area of focused conversation around finding solutions to a particular challenge. Provide a list of potential topics for their meetings. DCPs will also brainstorm on a potential list of topics during their mentor training.  They can and should be able to identify some of their own meeting topics.

Resource #17: "Sample: Direct Care Professional Peer Mentor Potential Meeting Topics"

Respond to feedback you receive from them or learn from periodic program evaluations.
Solicit their input on what you might offer in the way of continuing education to enhance their mentoring skills (communication skills, how to empower or motivate others, meeting facilitation, and how to deal with difficult co-workers).
Allow the mentor to mentor!  This reinforces the importance of the position and the importance of orientation for new staff.  One of the biggest downfalls mentors have encountered is being “pulled” from their role as a mentor because of working short-staffed.

Module 3: Page 2