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Supporting Youth Recovery Enhanced Certified Recovery Specialist Certificate Program

Applicants between the ages of 18 - 30 are preferred, but all individuals are welcome to apply.  

Peer Paraprofessional Certificate in Supporting Youth Recovery

The Supporting Youth Recovery Enhanced CRS program prepares peer paraprofessionals to obtain the Certified Recovery Specialist (CRS) credential and to provide peer-based addiction recovery support services to children, adolescents, transition-age youth, young adults and their families.

This enhanced CRS training goes far beyond the Pennsylvania Certification Board (PCB) 78 hours CRS requirement.  Students receive 90 hours of classroom instruction, including core content related to the behavioral health needs of children, youth, and families, along with seminars in professional development and skill building to enhance student employability, professionalism, and leadership.  Topic areas include, but are not limited to, adolescent development, recovery and resilience planning, social media and peer support, Youth Mental Health First Aid, recovery messaging for young people, family recovery, and supporting LGBTQQI youth. 

In addition to classroom based training, students are required to complete an innovative 100 hours of field placement, putting their knowledge into practice and gaining practical skills in providing the targeted populations with recovery support services. Field placement and related activities include hours of direct provision of services through a supervised placement within a youth serving agency, planning, developing, and facilitating a youth-oriented recovery support group, professional self-assessment and development activities, advocacy in action learning projects and more.  

To be considered for the certificate program, potential students participate in a competitive application and interview process in which they must demonstrate an ability to commit to the program, stability in their own recovery journey and a clear intent to work with the target population. If accepted into the program, students are awarded a full scholarship which covers all training costs and materials.

The Council operates three cohorts of about 25 students per year.

Our Team:
Pamela Dillon, CRS, Project Coodinator 
Lyndsey Maisey, CRS, CFRS, Field Placement Coordinator
Leilany Vargas, CFRS, Student Support Specialist 

Please read the FAQ below for more detailed information:

Supporting Youth Recovery FAQs 

Potential students must have:

• Minimum of High School Diploma or GED
• Personal lived experience with recovery from Substance Use Disorders and/or Co-Occurring Disorders (substance misuse and mental health challenges) in a continuous manner for a minimum of 18 months
• A demonstrated interest in working with youth, adolescents, and/or young adults with behavioral health challenges, as well as with their families
• An understanding and acceptance that there are multiple pathways to recovery
• An ability to commit to completing all Certificate Program requirements including 90 hours of classroom instruction and 100 hours of Field Placement Activities

Admission Application

To be considered for the certificate program, students must complete an application and interview process, and be willing to commit to the entire program. If accepted through the competitive application process, students will be awarded full scholarship for the certificate program. 




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