Volunteer and staff support

Training materials Staff and volunteer support
International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) & The International Federation Reference Centre for Psychosocial Support (2015). Caring for volunteers. Training manual and powerpoint. Available at:
This training handbook and ppt contains a two day training on staff and volunteer support. Day one contains a general introduction, risks and resilience factors, self-care, peer support and psychological first aid for helpers. Day two contains setting up a psychosocial support system for staff and volunteers, monitoring and evaluation, internal communication and developing and action plan
Lay Counselling. A 2-Day Training Workshop.
This Workshop with 10 modules about Lay Counselling includes an introduction with information about the training programme and ground roles, a module about the organization and its target groups, the role of lay counseling, referrals and reporting, basic skills of communication, structuring a counseling conversation, life events and coping, psychological first aid and self-care Module 8 is about peer support-it contains also some tools for volunteers and staff. This module can be used for a 2 hour training session.
Tools Staff and volunteer support
Lay Counselling. Peer support strategies.
This handout contains an introduction about peer support and a list with tips for lay counsellors to offer peer support in the best way.
Lay Counselling. Strategies for stress management.
This Handout provides strategies for stress management before, during and after stress.
International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) & The International Federation Reference Centre for Psychosocial Support (n.d.). Caring for volunteers. A psychosocial support toolkit. Available at:
This toolkit helps to assist volunteers before, during and after a crisis. It is “useful in developing effective psychosocial support strategies for volunteers and in sustaining their wellbeing and commitment in the important work that they do” (p.5). Chapters:
  1. Understanding resilience, Risks to volunteer wellbeing and Responsibility for volunteer wellbeing
  2. Understanding psychosocial support, developing support strategies, informing volunteers
  3. Response Cycle and volunteer psychosocial support: Before, during, after
  4. Psychological First Aid for volunteers
  5. Monitoring and Evaluation of volunteer support
International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) (2009). Managing stress in the field. Available at:
“In this practical manual the different types of stress experienced by delegates are described along with the associated symptoms. It highlights the importance of identifying and knowing personal, team and organisational resources…. It incorporates a new self-assessment questionnaire at the end of the booklet.” (p.2).
Guidelines and Handbooks staff and volunteer support
(additional materials for trainers and participants)
Antares Foundation (2005). Managing stress in humanitarian workers. Guidelines for good practice.
Available at:
“The Guidelines for Good Practice intends to help the agency and its staff to address stress within the organization and within themselves” (p.3). “The guidelines are meant as an orientation for organizations who are interested to build up their own staff care system” (p.4) and “are intended to enable the agency to act in ways that minimize the risk of adverse consequences for its employees” (p.6).The guideline includes 8 Guiding Principles: Policy Plan; Hiring, Screening and assessing staff; Training and preparation; Monitoring staff stress; Support with respect to daily stress; Support with respect to traumatic stress; End of assignment; End of assignment specific support
Burger, N. (2012). Guidelines for psychosocial support for uniformed workers. Extensive summary and recommendations.
The development of a guideline for psychosocial care within the uniformed services (e.g. rescue workers), based upon the IMPACT Guidelines: Multidisciplinary Guideline - Early psychosocial interventions after disasters, terrorist attacks and other traumatic events
Emergency Support Network (ESN) &Tunnecliffe, M. (2007). Best practice in peer support. Available at:
Not available online anymore!!
15 practice standards are summarized, that are assumed to be the consistent factors successful peer support programs have in common.