Certified Peer Specialist Training
What is a Peer Specialist?
A Certified Peer Specialist (CPS) is a person who is willing to self-identify as a person with a serious behavioral health disorder (mental illness, or co-occurring disorder) with lived experiences. To be certified, the person must have received specific training in the role, functions and skills of the Certified Peer Specialist position. The purpose of a Certified Peer Specialist is to support others in their recovery process. This relationship between peers is characterized by mutual trust and respect, sharing of experiences, learning about the recovery process, supporting the peer in multiple settings, achieving goals and moving toward a more meaningful life in the community.
Who can become a Peer Specialist?
Certified Peer Specialists will be reimbursed through HealthChoices and the requirements for this position are based on the State guidelines for CPS qualifications.
In accordance to the OMHSAS definition of CPS, DBHIDS requires applicants to meet the criteria listed below:
- A self-identified current or former user of mental health or co-occurring services who can relate to others who are now using those services
- High school diploma or GED
- Demonstrated proficiency in reading and writing
- Within the last three years has 12 months (not necessarily consecutive) full or part-time paid or volunteer work experience; one year of college or other educational experience (within the last three years) can be substituted for the work experience
- Ability to establish trusting relationships with their peers
- Commitment to recovery, choice, and empowerment
How do I apply?
- Complete the attached application
- Attach proof of your mental health services for a serious mental illness
- A copy of your High School Diploma/GED
- Verification of 12 month work activity
- Proof of Philadelphia residency
- A current resume
- A professional letter of recommendation
- A copy of a Story-Telling or Family Story-Telling Training
Completed applications can be submitted by email (DBHIDS.PeerCulture@phila.gov) or mail (DBHIDS PCCI, 1101 Market St, 7th Floor Philadelphia, PA 19107.) There are a limited number of slots available for the class. This is a competitive process with no guarantee of employment after the training. Applications that are received incomplete will not be processed.
Visit our Latest News section to find out if CPS training is open.
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