Ethno-racial Treatment Support Network (ETSN) 2011 Update
Since its integration as a core program initiative of CAAT and the restructuring of its curriculum into a 2 level program of “Helping Ourselves” (Level 1) and “Helping Each Other” (Level 2); ETSN has made important progress in 2011.
Firstly, we established a new program advisory committee made up of a majority peer graduates from the program working with community agency representatives to advise on the design, implementation and evaluation of the program. Secondly, in 2011, we conducted two rounds of peer facilitator training involving 15 peer graduates; another round of level 1 training where 19 out of 20 participants successfully completed the course and graduated the highest percentage in our 8 year history! Last but not least, in September and October 2011, we successfully completed our first ever Level 2 training program that focused on peer counseling skills development.
A unique and innovative element of the ETSN training is its vision of community succession, structured mentor support and progressive peer engagement. Six core mentors worked intensively to provide structured mentoring support to a team of 12 peer facilitators (ETSN graduates) in planning, coordinating and delivering the whole training program to the participants. In addition, the facilitating team engaged in daily pre- and post-training debriefing to provide constructive feedback and support the continuing education of each other. The transformational leadership and enthusiastic commitment that emerged from this “community of learning” model was truly amazing.
In the coming year, we are working with the CIHR Centre for REACH in HIV/AIDS’ Intervention and Ethno-racial working group to engage in a study to look at best practices in evaluating the impact of our program and explores program expansion and replication opportunities through collaborative partnerships with other culturally diverse communities across Canada.