The Australasian Birth Trauma Association (ABTA) supports families who have had a difficult birth experience. We want these families to know that they are not alone, and hope that the peer support we facilitate will go some way towards achieving this. Our live chat service is there to enable anyone who has suffered as a result of a traumatic birth to privately ask for help and support, or simply tell their story to someone who will understand. We receive emails from women, their partners, family and friends. They may have had a difficult birth recently, or it might have happened many years ago.
This is not an advice service; we are simply parents supporting parents.
What do P2P Mentors do?
- Ensure that you are available for live chat at the time you’ve stated availability
- Respond to live chat messages promptly and in accordance with the ABTA Code of Conduct, and the policies and procedures advised in your training
- Report anything requiring action to Volunteer Manager as soon as possible
- Participate in the training for this role offered by the ABTA
- Abide by the ABTA ethos, policies and procedures as an ambassador of the organisation
- Give feedback on your volunteering activities to the ABTA Executive Committee when requested.
What do P2P Mentors NOT do?
- You are not required to enter into any particular debate or to present an ABTA perspective on an issue
- Volunteers may empathise and make suggestions, but should not advise any particular course of action
- We do not expect any of our volunteers to provide counselling or therapy or to ‘make people better’; just to walk a few steps of their journey with them as someone who understands their circumstances.
- Volunteering roles have clear boundaries. ‘Acts of friendship’ are not part of this role and are the individual’s responsibility. Acts of friendship might include: becoming Facebook friends; exchanging telephone numbers; meeting face-to-face; attending appointments with a parent. This list is not exhaustive.
What skills, knowledge and experience do I need to do this role?
- We expect that you would have had personal experience of a difficult birth. In order to look after our volunteers’ well-being, we also advise that you wait until you consider yourself ‘well on the way to recovery’ before accepting this role, as you will be regularly exposed to experiences that may reflect your own and trigger painful memories.
- Commitment to ABTA’s mission
- Your own internet/email access
- An empathetic, non-judgmental attitude and a readiness to accept and be supportive of views which may be very different from your own.
What is the time commitment?
- We appreciate that our volunteers have a number of existing commitments and value the time they contribute to the work of the ABTA. Weekly contributions of time may vary from volunteer to volunteer. The ABTA will work with volunteers to accommodate individual circumstances where possible
- We ask that you commit to a period of 6 months as a volunteer initially to help us with our planning.
How will ABTA support me?
- You will receive a Mentor Guide, face-to-face or webinar facilitated training and mentoring.
- A Volunteers Closed Facebook Group has been established to provide support and facilitate easy communication between volunteers. This group is moderated by the Volunteer Manager
- Monthly debriefing meetings will be conducted to allow volunteers to discuss difficult situations encountered and provide feedback on improvements to the program
- We will provide clear guidelines for the identification of high risk women showing signs of self harm or harm to others and referral pathways
- We are a very small charity run almost entirely by volunteers, and are unfortunately not in a position to contribute to your internet running costs or install internet provision if you do not already have this.
What are the benefits to becoming a P2P Mentor?
- Greater involvement in the work of the ABTA
- The opportunity to utilise the challenges you have faced to make a vital difference to the well-being of parents who feel isolated and traumatised by their birth experience
- The opportunity to use existing skills and develop new ones
- A sense of belonging to the ABTA ‘virtual’ volunteer community.
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world;indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”
Margaret Mead, Anthropologist.