Organizational responsibilities towards young peer educators
Organizations that oversee young people’s work as peer educators have additional responsibilities in terms of ensuring the safety of those volunteers. Coordinators of youth-volunteer-led peer or near-to-peer education programmes should set up mechanisms to assess the capacities of the volunteers they support, specifically related to online provision. They should then consider how to provide adequate support to them, bearing in mind that the demands of online delivery can be quite different to in-person. Coordinators should pay attention to questions around setting boundaries, ensuring that young people are confident about answering all the questions in the relevant section above, and about making sure they keep boundaries around their own time and privacy when operating online.
Questions that coordinators monitoring young volunteers working in online provision should reflect on include:
- What policies does your organization have to cover the safety of young volunteers who are delivering online sexuality education? Are they up to date? Do they cover all the platforms of delivery that the volunteers may be using (synchronous, asynchronous, social media)?
- Do you need to update your working agreement with your young volunteers to reflect the changed nature of their online work?
- What training have the young volunteers already received in delivering CSE? How much did it cover?
- What additional training needs do they have? What topics covered in this guidelines document are they more confident on and what topics are new to them?
- How would they like to receive support during the provision of online education?
- How can you support them to protect their privacy and their volunteering/life balance? They may be doing more intensive or more frequent educational work than before, for example, if they are running asynchronous activities or using social media platforms as educational tools.
- What kinds of challenges are they facing during their online education?
- How can you make it easier for them to ask for help in the event of a problem? How can you support them to identify when they should report something formally?