Using role play as tool for peer providers

In the paper Role-playing as a Tool for Hiring, Training, and Supervising Peer Providers, Hans Oh, MSW, MEd and Phyllis Solomon, PhD discuss the unique challenges of managing and supervising employees who are both providers and consumers. For instance, hiring peers is often difficult because employers do not have well-established criteria they can use to identify strong candidates for peer positions. But if an employer can determine what qualities they are looking for in a peer, role-play may be one way to bring out a candidate’s natural reactions, thoughts and behavior and overall attitude toward client care. Also, while peers possess experiences that make them uniquely qualified to engage and inspire clients, they often need help developing the necessary helping skills. Role-playing is a suitable teaching method that can advance these skills. Finally, in some cases, peers may be reluctant to share with supervisors their challenges and difficult experiences if they know that they are being evaluated. In light of this tendency, the authors say role-playing allows supervisors to get a first-hand sense of how the peers are performing on the job through actions that the peers demonstrate as opposed to relying on self-report.

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