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Department of Behavioral Health Accepts Applications for Peer Specialist Certification Training

Wednesday, October 19, 2016
Application must be submitted by 12 Noon, Thursday, November 10, 2016

Media Contact:  Phyllis Jones, Public Information Officer
(202) 673.1937 desk   (202) 631-3077 mobile

Washington, DC—The District of Columbia Department of Behavioral Health is accepting applications for Peer Specialist Certification training classes that will start in January 2017. The deadline is 12 noon, Thursday, November 10, 2016. 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.

Applications are being accepted for the core peer specialist certification training, family specialty training, youth peer specialty training and the peer specialist certification waiver.  Qualifying individuals may apply for any combination of certifications utilizing the Winter 2017 Peer Specialist Certification Application.

The peer specialist certification program helps prepare individuals to qualify for available peer specialist jobs within the DBH 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 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, Thursday, November 10, 2016 to [email protected] or the Office of Consumer and Family Affairs, 64 New York Avenue, NE, 3rd Floor, Washington, DC 20002 (mailed to the attention of Adrienne Lightfoot or hand-delivered to an OCFA staff member).  No faxes will be accepted. No application will be considered after this date. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Applicants selected for interviews will be contacted by 5 pm, November 28, 2016.  Applicants who are selected to participant in the in the Certified Peer Specialist Training will be notified in early January 2017.

When does the program occur? (Approximate dates)
Peer specialist certification training: January 30 to March 10, 2017
Family peer specialist certification training: March 20 to March 31, 2017
Youth peer specialist certification training:  March 20 to March 31, 2017
All classes take place at DBH headquarters, 64 New York Avenue NE, Washington, DC. 

After successful completion of class work, an 80 hour field practicum must be completed with a DBH certified community based behavioral health provider by May 2017.  The field practicum will be arranged with the Office of Consumer and Family Affairs.  Following completion of the field practicum requirements, a certification examination must be passed (the exam is open book/notes).  Waiver applicants are required to take a certification examination.  Each participant will receive a stipend after successfully completing all certification requirements.

For additional information regarding the peer specialist certification program, contact Adrienne Lightfoot, Program Coordinator, at (202) 671-4089 or [email protected], or for an application,  please email  [email protected].  You also can apply here