Peer support training gives participants a competitive advantage.
Health Careers NW (HCNW) Visit disclaimer page provides healthcare training and job search assistance to Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) recipients, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients, and individuals covered under Medicaid through the Oregon Health Plan.
In response to local demand, HCNW expanded their mental health training offerings, such as peer support specialist. Employers were interested in hiring HCNW participants with criminal backgrounds or substance misuse experience, to make services more relevant for customers through their shared experiences. Of the 162 participants who completed peer support training, 60 have started Substance Abuse and Behavior Disorder training, moving them up the career ladder.
Peer support training helps participants pursuing other high-level programs such as Medical Assisting and Licensed Practical Nursing. HCNW career coaches find it gives participants an advantage by arming them with sought-after skills. Students who complete peer support training are more competitive for admission into their desired program.
The peer support program is a strong steppingstone to further healthcare trainings, moving participants along the career ladder to self-sufficiency.
This Promising Practice was self-identified by the grantee and information contained in this document was provided by the grantee.