FUNDING BECOMING AVAILABLE!!!!
Interested in obtaining funding to become a Certified Peer Recovery Advocate (CRPA)? This month’s column is for YOU!
The Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) has announced there will be $250,000 (that’s about $500 per person) available to cover education/training, internship, testing & certification fees, including the cost of renewing the certification for current advocates. Way to go OASAS!!!!!!
WHY IS THIS HAPPENING?!?!?!
It’s happening because we asked and we were heard!
Commissioner, Arlene González-Sánchez states that “This initiative further strengthens our efforts to develop a coordinated network of community-based services and recovery supports that build upon the strengths and resiliency of individuals, families and communities.” According to OASAS, this funding will help retain and support 500 Certified Peer Advocates Statewide in 2017.
WHAT IS A CRPA?
What is a Certified Recovery Peer Advocate (CRPA) and how does that differ from a Certified Addiction Recovery Coach (CARC)?
CRPAs (pronounced “Cer-pahs”) are peer guides (or mentors), usually in recovery themselves, a family member of someone in recovery or a friend or ally of the Recovery Community with lived experience with addiction.
Similar to a Sherpa; (a member of a Tibetan people living on the high southern slopes of the Himalayas in eastern Nepal) CRPAs provide support for “foreign trekkers” and mountain climbers on the journey of Recovery!
The difference between a CRPA and a CARC is that they (CRPAs) are “Medicaid reimbursable” and can work in settings that are approved by NYS OASAS, while under the supervision of a credentialed or licensed clinical staff member, while CARCs (and Sherpa) cannot.
HOW TO BECOME A CERTIFIED PEER RECOVERY ADVOCATE
You can begin your journey by taking the basic CCAR Recovery Coach Academy training or any IC&RC (International Certification and Reciprocity Consortium) approved training that covers:
- Recovery Advocacy – 10 hours
- Mentoring & Recovery Education – 10 hours
- Recovery & Wellness – 10 hours
One also needs to obtain 16 hours of training in Ethics for Peer Professionals. A total of 46 hours of training is required for the CRPA.
See our website’s training page for a current list of all trainings available that count towards certification.
APPLY FOR CERTIFICATION:
Once you complete your training you can apply for certification through one of two certification boards in New York State:
- The New York Certification Association
- The New York Certification Board which certifies CRPA & CRPA-Provisional
SIT FOR THE EXAM:
Once you’ve completed training and applied for certification, you will need to sit for examination. The IR&RC provides a CRPA candidate guide and each board can tell you what the procedures are for their examination.
COMPLETE ‘WORK’ HOURS AND DOCUMENT SUPERVISION:
In order to complete the certification process, you’ll need to document 500 hours of “work” experience as a Recovery Peer Advocate. This can be either paid or volunteer experience providing peer recovery services and must be documented by a supervisor. You’ll also need to document 25 hours of supervision by a qualified supervisor.
At this point you might be asking yourself, “How can I get that experience if I am not certified yet?” The good news is that you can begin working as a Peer Advocate before you get certified. Some avenues include obtaining your CRPA- Provisional, CARC or by volunteering as a Recovery Peer Advocate after completing your initial training!
Stay tuned to find out how to apply for the funding! As soon as we know, you’ll know. Both the New York Certification Board (NYCB) and the New York Certification Association (NYCA) assure us that FOR-NY will be one of the first to be informed. Once we have the information, we’ll send an email with links to applications and instructions.
Next month’s Recovery Talk will focus on a Certified Recovery Peer Advocate working in the OASAS treatment system.