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Certified Peer Support Specialist Program

Alameda County, CA
Program Year: 2021

The District Attorney’s Office offers justice involved individuals alternatives to incarceration and prosecution through several groundbreaking programs, which now include excellent peer support in addition to mentoring and rehabilitative services. An essential element of our success in improving the effectiveness of county programs is District Attorney Nancy O’Malley’s recognition of the value of excellent peer support training and certification, and her creation of the Certified Peer Support Specialist (CPSS) Program. Consistent with the DA’s vision to make excellent peer support a goal and a sustainable reality in Alameda County, the CPSS program creates greater awareness of the many values of excellent peer support and how excellent training is essential to excellent peer support. DA O’Malley created a partnership with RI International (RI) to bring to Alameda County the excellent peer support training and national certification they provide for their graduates. This training and certification allows those with lived experience and who are justice involved to become Certified Peer Support Specialists. This opportunity may start with those who are currently moving through the justice system and have experienced the benefits of peer support themselves, thus it is a multilevel approach. The Certified Peer Support Specialists combine their training with their lived experiences to create hope, and support the individuals they serve in achieving their individual goals and a brighter future. The CPSS participate in ongoing training to gain knowledge of resources available to those they serve and the skills to successfully guide individuals to various services and to serve as positive role models in the community. To build on this success, the District Attorney’s Office has established collaborations and partnerships with numerous community agencies and organizations, government agencies, educational institutions, and vocational training facilities and career opportunities. CPSS receive their training and certification from a training provider RI International, which provides an internationally recognized Peer Support Specialist Training program. RI International provides a certificate upon graduation that is recognized in several states, including California. The District Attorney orchestrated CPSS in Alameda County to provide necessary training for those who have lived experience to allow those individuals to offer their experiences and peer support skills to support others in building a better, brighter life through navigation to opportunities and services.

Ms. Nancy E. O'Malley
District Attorney