Certified Peer Specialist Practicum, January 2018

Internship - 15-week program, 3 days a week/7.5 hours per day

1211 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia PA 19107

The Certified Peer Specialist (CPS) Practicum will enhance existing professional skills by affording hands-on opportunities to apply what was learned in the CPS training. Practicum participants will gain proficiencies in the use of such professional tools as office machines and e-mail, will improve their written and oral communication skills, and will gain familiarity with workplace procedures and etiquette. By working with MHP’s Information and Referral program, participants will expand their knowledge of the behavioral health system and directly engage with persons in recovery and professional colleagues. This program is hosted by the MHP Advocacy Department and funded by the Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services.

Practicum participants will learn:

Communication Skills:   
Goal: Participants  will  practice  the  art  of  effective  communication  in  the  workplace
through interaction with persons in recovery, family members and the general public
via phone, e-mail, and written correspondence, and in person. They will:  

  1. Develop effective communication skills. 
  2. Engage in supervised role play. 
  3. Become proficient in using e-mail. 
  4. Have the opportunity to plan and lead facilitated group discussions.

Active Listening Skills: 
Goal:  Gain practice in the art of active listening. Develop strategies to maximize their
ability to identify relevant information and to make appropriate  referrals as they assist
those that contact MHP’s Information and Referral.    

  1. Practice using active listening skills by phone and in person. 
  2. Effectively discern what people are asking for through e-mail queries. 

Computer Skills and Competency with Office Machines: 
 Goal:  Enhance participants’ computer skills through hands-on practice, using
commonly encountered computer software and office machines. 

  1. Database management 
  2. Creating documents 
  3. Use of office machines 
  4. Documentation 

Professionalism, Boundaries, and Workplace Procedures: 
Goal: Participants will practice using professional behavior and setting and maintaining
appropriate boundaries. Participants will increase their knowledge of everyday
procedures and activities in the workplace. 

  1. Participants will have biweekly supervision as per Medicaid requirements for Certified Peer Specialists’ billable hours. 
  2. Participants will practice using professional etiquette and observing boundaries within work-related interactions. 
  3. Participants will engage in role playing using the basic ground rules and expectations of the workplace. 

Program Shadowing: 
Goal:  Provide participants with opportunities shadow working Certified Peer Specialists
at their MHP’s worksites. 

  1. Participants will schedule visits with other MHP’s worksites to learn about MHP’s various peer services, such as PeerNet, Recovery and Education Centers, The Well, etc. 
  2. Participants will gather information/resources about peer-provided services and have the opportunity for first-hand observation of peer-delivered services.  
  3. Participants will be able to interact with professional peers.  


  1. There will be a mid-course evaluation. 
  2. Certificates will be awarded at the completion of the program.

Program Requirements:

  1. Some previous work/volunteer experience
  2. Basic computer skills
  3. Some knowledge of the behavioral health system
  4. Basic communication and writing skills

Educational Requirements:

  1. Must have CPS Certificate and Resume

January 2018 Application

Please note: this practicum is open to Philadelphia-based CPS only.

If you have any questions, please contact Denise Sherman, 267-507-3843; email: dsherman@mhasp.org.