Peer mentor training: Pathway to competency for facilitators of Healthy Mothers Healthy Families workshops

Helen M. Bourke-Taylor, Sarah Grzegorczyn, Kahli S. Joyce

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Healthy Mothers Healthy Families (HMHF) is a women's health and empowerment programme designed to promote the health and well-being of mothers of children with a disability. An ongoing need to extend the reach of HMHF to more mothers, and increase scalability, resulted in development of a training programme based in principles of adult and transformative learning, to credential mothers as HMHF facilitators. The current study evaluated the process and outcomes of the competency training programme for new facilitators. Methods: A pretest and posttest design with midway data collection point was implemented to evaluate the facilitators' competence following the training programme. Surveys contained specifically designed demographic questions, open-ended questions, self-report of competency and estimation of need for education/training. Fifteen predetermined criteria enabled self-ratings. Training of facilitators occurred alongside delivery of 23-day HMHF workshops. Workshop participants provided anonymous objective evaluation of the facilitators' competencies. Triangulation enabled comparison of self-ratings, workshop participant ratings and author evaluation of new facilitators. Results: Facilitators (N = 7) completed all theory and practical elements of the HMHF facilitator education package and were successfully credentialed in May 2020. Overall, facilitators' competency ratings were highest at Time 3, which followed successful co-facilitation of at least three HMHF workshops. As expected, facilitators rated their highest need for education/training at baseline. At Time 3, facilitators self-reported a lower need for education/training for all competency criteria. All facilitators received mean anonymous competency ratings from workshop participants (N = 294), above the predetermined benchmark that was required to become credentialled. Conclusions: The HMHF competency training programme, based on principles of adult and transformative learning, was effective in training seven HMHF facilitators who were mothers and had suitable professional backgrounds to deliver HMHF workshops. Training supports the fidelity of the HMHF intervention. Further research to evaluate maternal outcomes for participants attending the facilitator-lead workshops is warranted.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)575-587
Number of pages13
JournalChild: Care, Health and Development
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2021


  • adult education
  • children with disabilities
  • mental health
  • mothers
  • peer mentor training

Cite this