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Department of Behavioral Health Accepts Applications for Certified Peer Specialist Program

Tuesday, May 9, 2017
Application must be submitted by 12 Noon, Friday, June 9, 2017

For Immediate Release
May 9, 2017
Contact: Phyllis Jones   (202) 673-1937 desk   (202) 631-3077 mobile 

Washington, DC—The District of Columbia Department of Behavioral Health is accepting applications for the Certified Peer Specialist Program.  The deadline to apply is 12 noon, Friday, June 9, 2017.  Participants in the program will learn how to help individuals receiving behavioral health treatment develop goals, monitor their own progress and advocate for effective services. A peer specialist is a model for personal recovery and ongoing coping skills.

The Certified Peer Specialist Program is managed by the Consumer and Family Affairs Administration. Applications are being accepted for the core peer specialist certification training, family peer specialty training, youth peer specialty training and the peer specialist certification waiver.  Individuals may apply for any combination of certifications using the Summer 2017 Peer Specialist Certification ApplicationApplicants also can apply for a waiver of the requirements to complete the classroom work and the field practicum based upon prior coursework or certification as a peer specialist or equivalent granted by DBH or another jurisdiction, or based upon prior or current work experience.

The peer specialist certification program helps prepare individuals to qualify for available certified peer specialist jobs within the community behavioral health provider network. Under general supervision, a certified peer specialist performs a wide range of tasks to help individuals regain control over their lives and their own recovery process.  DBH encourages certified providers to include certified peer specialists in their workforce.

Who is eligible for the program?  The training is for self-identified current or former consumers of behavioral health services who have the ability to support other individuals diagnosed with a mental illness and/or substance use disorder. To be eligible for consideration, an applicant also must be a District resident (except for waiver applicants) and at least 18 years of age with a high school diploma or equivalent.  

How do I apply for the program?  A completed application along with a resume; proof of residency; evidence of education which may be a high school diploma, GED or equivalent, and two letters of reference (at least one of which is work or volunteer related) must be submitted by 12 noon, Friday, June 9, 2017. An application may be submitted by email to [email protected] or [email protected], or mailed or hand-delivered to the Consumer and Family Affairs Administration, 64 New York Avenue, NE, 3rd Floor, Washington, DC 20002 (mailed to the attention of Terri Harrison or hand-delivered to a CFAA staff member).  No faxes will be accepted. No application will be considered after 12 noon, June 9, 2017. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Applicants selected for interviews will be contacted by 5 pm, Friday, June 19, 2017. Applicants who are selected to participant in the Certified Peer Specialist Training will be notified by Friday, June 30, 2017.  Each participant will be eligible to apply for a transportation scholarship contingent upon availability of funds and completing all certification requirements.

When does the program occur? (Approximate dates for the three-week training program)
Peer specialist certification training: July 10, 2017 to July 28, 2017
Family and Youth peer specialist certification training: July 31 to August 2, 2017
Location to be determined.

After successful completion of classroom training, an 80 hour field practicum must be completed with a DBH community based behavioral health provider by September 2017. The field practicum will be arranged by the Consumer and Family Affairs Administration. Following completion of the field practicum requirements, a certification examination must be passed. Waiver applicants are only required to interview and if selected pass the certification examination.

For an application and/or more information, please email [email protected] or go to, click on consumers and scroll down to the peer specialist certification program.