For details on training, certification, examination, applying and more, visit capeercertification.org.
In 2020, California passed a law (Senate Bill 803) that makes it possible for certified peer support specialists to be eligible for Medi-Cal reimbursement through county mental health plans and substance use disorder plans (behavioral health plans). This important step in the delivery of behavioral health care values the experience that peers — persons with lived experience — can provide and expands counties’ capacity to care for those who need them.
County behavioral health plans selected CalMHSA to implement a single, standardized Medi-Cal Peer Support Specialist certification program. This was done in recognition of the need for a uniform process across the state — one that does not require peers to obtain multiple certifications in multiple counties, supports quality and application of standards, creates efficiency for counties, and adds credibility to the peer profession in California. Key program activities include:
- Creating and implementing the certification program, approving training entities, certifying persons, conducting investigations, and collecting data
- Administering and disbursing scholarships
- Monitoring program activities, evaluation, and quality assurance; processing complaints and appeals
Lucero Robles, LCSW
Director of Quality Assurance
Email: [email protected]
Alameda, Amador, Butte, Calaveras, Colusa, Contra Costa, Del Norte, El Dorado, Fresno, Glenn, Humboldt, Imperial, Inyo, Kern, Kings, Lake, Lassen, Los Angeles, Madera, Marin, Mendocino, Merced, Modoc, Mono, Monterey, Napa, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Riverside, Sacramento, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Francisco, San Joaquin, San Luis Obispo, San Mateo, Santa Barbara, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Siskiyou, Shasta, Solano, Sonoma, Sutter/Yuba, Stanislaus, Tehama, Trinity, Tulare, Tuolumne, Yolo
- Spanish Version of Medi-Cal Peer Support Specialist Certification Exam Available Beginning Dec. 22! We are thrilled to announce a significant milestone in to the Medi-Cal Peer Support Specialist certification program’s increased accessibility and inclusivity: the addition of a Spanish version of the certification exam. This development will ensure we reach a wider audience and foster an even more diverse community of certified professionals in the behavioral health workforce. To ensure a smooth experience for eligible candidates opting for the Spanish version, the process is as simple as selecting the “Spanish” option on the screen when scheduling the exam. Offering this exam in Spanish as well as English will extend the reach of the certification program, broaden the process to include more peers, and assist more Californians on a path to hope and recovery. The Spanish version is made possible with funding from the Department of Health Care Services.
- The Medi-Cal Peer Support Specialist Certification Registry is now available.
- The Best Practice Guide for Employing Medi-Cal Peer Support Specialists includes valuable insights for optimizing the integration of a peer workforce.
Please note: Due to a lower than anticipated number of scholarship applications for specific areas of specialization, the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) is exploring the possibility of reallocating scholarship funds to other program areas. These may include the development of Spanish curriculum and offering fee waivers to eligible peers who are seeking certification. As a result, scholarships are currently unavailable for application until final decisions are made. CalMHSA remains committed to working closely with DHCS on the funding details and will provide timely updates to the community as needed.
Specialized training to support individuals who are unhoused, justice-involved, or in need of crisis services, and for parent/caregiver/family member peers, will also be available. However, those areas of specialization are not required for certification as a Medi-Cal Peer Support Specialist.
Medi-Cal Peer Certification Stakeholder Advisory Council
Recognizing the need for input from peers and other stakeholders to implement a Peer Support Specialist certification program, CalMHSA established a Stakeholder Advisory Council that makes recommendations on behalf of a variety of stakeholder groups. The development and selection of the Advisory Council members was conducted in collaboration with the California Association of Mental Health Peer Run Organizations on behalf of DHCS. Advisory Council members were selected through an application process, and the membership reflects the Medi-Cal populations served by the county specialty plans. Wherever possible, Advisory Council members represent underrepresented or difficult-to-engage communities. CalMHSA values continuous quality improvement; the Advisory Council will serve as an avenue for ongoing feedback during the implementation phase and beyond.