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Focus on Peer Workforce Development

Core Team 3, focused on peer workforce development, at the Peer Recovery Center of Excellence is housed at the Addiction Research Institute within the Steve Hicks School of Social Work at the University of Texas at Austin. Its primary focus is on supporting the growth, advancement, and sustainability of the peer recovery support specialist workforce. To that end, this core team engages in work around certification processes for peer recovery support specialists, pay and benefits equity, professionalization of the workforce, and career ladder development, among others.

University of Texas at Austin, Addiction Research Institute, focuses on substance use recovery and long-term health and wellness. It has been the home of the Region 6 South Southwest ATTC for 25 years. UT has collaborated with the Texas behavioral health agency on planning, design, implementation and evaluation of the state’s transformation to a ROSC for SUD services. This initiative included development of local ROSC collaborations, TA for RCOs and existing SUD treatment providers in implementation of the recovery model and integration of PRSS.

UT is focusing on Peer Workforce Development. This effort is led by Maureen Nichols at UT, and Tim Saubers, Laurie Johnson Wade serves as the Steering Committee Liaison for this focus area.


Products and Resources from our Workforce Development Team

Communities of Practice Sessions: Monthly communities of practice, a type of affinity call, as spaces for peer recovery support specialists and those who supervise them to network, learn, share, practice, and grow together. The goal of these calls is to bring together a variety of diverse perspectives from across the country to share in mutual learning that is centered on topics relevant to the peer workforce.

Comparative Analysis of State Requirements for Peer Support Specialist Training and Certification in the US: In recent decades, there has been increased recognition of the value of peer recovery support services in the behavioral health field. As recognition and evidence for best practices continue to emerge, each state is continually updating its training and certification requirements to improve the quality and practices of peer support in their communities. The purpose of this report is to provide an overview of state peer recovery trainings and certifications as well as provide recommendations to better support those individuals seeking information about the peer support specialist certification application process.

Meet the Team


Tim Saubers


Maureen Nichols