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Peer and Family Support Certification FAQs

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 Please download the Certification Guide for more detailed information about the certification process. 

 

How do I become a certified peer support specialist or family support partner?

The first step in becoming certified is to attend a training. BPA Health does not offer the training, but you can find training information on the training page. Please visit the training page to find links to the training entity’s websites. You will need to get in touch with the training entities listed to learn about training availability in your area.

After being trained, you will then start the certification process. Please review the certification guide to learn about the certification requirements you will have to meet after completing your training.

 

When is the next peer/family support training?

BPA Health does not offer training, but you can find training information on the training page. Please visit the training page to find links to the training entity’s websites. You will need to get in touch with the training entities listed to learn about training availability in your area.

 

What are the requirements for Idaho’s peer support specialist or family support certification?

IDAPA specifies certification requirements which are:

  • Lived experience
  • High school diploma or GED
  • 40 hours of training
  • 20 hours of supervision and 100-200 hours of work/volunteer experience
  • 10 hours of continuing education with at least 1 hour in ethics

Please review the Certification Guide for more information about certification requirements.

 

What are the steps in the certification process?

  1. Complete training
  2. Apply for 6-month certification
  3. Receive a 6-month certification
  4. Complete 20 hours of supervision and 100-200 hours of work experience
  5. Have your supervisor submit verification of your hours
  6. Receive a 1-year certification
  7. Complete 10 hours of continuing education annually
  8. Apply for certification renewal every year

Please review the Certification Guide for more information about the certification process.

 

What are the two types of certifications?

6-month:  Awarded after training to people who need to complete their hours of supervision and work/volunteer experience. No continuing education is required during a 6-month certification.

Full 1-year:  Awarded to people who have completed their hours of supervision and work/volunteer experience and to people who are renewing their certification by completing continuing education. Verification of work/supervision hours is not required after a person has received full 1-year certification.

 

Is a background check required to be a certified peer support specialist or family support partner?

We do not require you to submit your background check in order to be certified, but you will most likely need to pass a background check in order to be employed as a certified peer support specialist or family support partner. You can contact the Criminal History Unit at 208-332-7990 or [email protected] if you have questions about your ability to pass a background check and visit their website at https://chu.dhw.idaho.gov. Your background check will take place through your employer.

 

I need help setting up my peer/family support program or billing for peer/family support services.

Optum Idaho oversees billing for peer/family support services. Please visit Optum’s website at www.optumidaho.com and contact them with your question.

 

How do I submit my hours of work/volunteer experience?

Your supervisor will need to submit verification of your hours. Please direct your supervisor to the applications page. They can click the link at the bottom of the page that says “verify work/supervision hours”.

 

What do I do if I need more time to complete my work/supervision hours or my continuing education?

Please visit the applications page and click the link that says “request an extension”.

You will receive a 4-month extension if you are in your 6-month certification and working toward your work/supervision hours.

You will receive a 1-month extension if you are in your 1-year certification and working toward your hours of continuing education.

 

My certification expired. What do I do?

Are you in your 6-month certification and working toward your hours of work/volunteer experience or are you in your full 1-year certification and working toward your hours of continuing education?

6-month certification: Have you completed your hours of supervision and work/volunteer experience?

  • Yes: Your supervisor will need to submit verification of your hours. Please direct your supervisor to the applications page. They can click the link at the bottom of the page that says “verify work/supervision hours”.
  • No: Please visit the applications page and click the link that says “request an extension of your 6-month certification”. You will receive a 4-month extension to complete your work/supervision hours.


Full 1-year certification:
Have you completed your hours of continuing education?

  • Yes: You will need to submit your renewal application and your certificates of completion. Please visit the applications page and click the link that says “renew your 1-year certification”.
  • No: Please visit the applications page and click the link that says “request an extension of your 1-year certification”. You will receive a 1-month extension to complete your continuing education.

 

How do I get my continuing education?

Please visit the continuing education page to see continuing education requirements and links to continuing education opportunities.

 

Can I get a copy of my certificate?

Sure thing. Please email [email protected] to request a copy of your certificate. Please include your current mailing address in your request.

 

I need a list of CPSSs/CFSPs in my area.

You can request a list of CPSSs and/or CFSPs here. The list contains names and locations of CPSSs/CFSPs, but we do not give out contact information for certified professionals.

 

I have a certification in another state. How do I get certified in Idaho?

Please visit the applications page and click the link that says “Apply for peer support specialist certification by reciprocity from another state”.

 

How do I submit a complaint about a CPSS/CFSP?

Please visit the complaints page to submit your complaint.

 

I need to find a CPSS/CFSP to provide services to me/my family member.

You will need to connect with a mental health agency in your area who offers peer/family support services. You can contact Optum Idaho to be connected with a mental health agency. Their website is www.optumidaho.com.

 

Who does what?

BPA Health

Manages certification for peer support specialists and family support partners. We handle all certification applications, approve hours of continuing education and work/supervision experience, and handle complaints. We do not reimburse for peer/family support services or oversee training entities.


DHW

Oversees peer/family support training entities. They can be contacted at [email protected].


Training Entities

Provide 40-hour training for peer support specialists and family support partners. There are various organizations throughout the state that offer training and their contact information can be found on the training page. Those interested in training need to visit the training page and contact training entities to see when they are offering training. BPA Health does not offer training.


Optum

Reimburses for peer/family support services, handles all billing and credentialing, and connects people with peer/family support services. They can be reached at www.optumidaho.com.


Employers

Become credentialed through Optum to provide peer/family support services, hire CPSSs/CFSPs, and manage background checks for CPSSs/CFSPs.