Application & Training

FPSS Application Requirements

You must have a high school diploma or GED.

The training will provide you with in-depth knowledge and skills. However, in general the FPSS role involves the ability to:
  • Model effective coping and self-help techniques
  • Work with individuals from diverse socio economic and cultural backgrounds
  • Attend workplace meetings and complete agency requirements
  • Assist people with finding community and natural supports and teaching them how to utilize these services
  • Advocate for someone’s needs and accompany them to meetings as needed
  • Work as a member of an interdisciplinary team focusing on each persons need for recovery
  • Communicate effectively both verbally and in writing
  • Adhere to confidentiality and understand protected health information
  • Maintain records and provide accurate documentation
  • Use computers ( i.e. Basic computer skills-email, web searches, word processing)

You must be 21 years of age to take the training.

  • To apply send an email request to: IowaPeerSupportTraining@healthcare.uiowa.edu
  • You will receive an email response within 48 hours with a link to the online application.
  • Applications will be screened as they are received. Training spaces are limited, so apply early.
  • You will be asked to provide contact information for 2 references.
  • Once your application is received, you may be contacted with information regarding a phone interview.
  • After the screening interview, you will be notified about whether or not you will be accepted for training.

FPSS Training FAQs

The trainings will be scheduled at various locations across Iowa. The Family Peer Support Specialist training is 42 hours long. It is conducted in two phases. The first part is online training followed by a four day in-person training.

Throughout training there will be lectures, discussions, role-plays, homework, and skills practice. The goal of training is to prepare you for employment in the workforce. We will strive to make training a supportive, interactive and thought provoking environment. The focus will be on knowledge acquisition and skills development. Successful completion of training will depend on your participation in training, completion of homework and a final exam. A test will be available within a week or two after the training ends.

The difference between a certificate of training completion and certification is often confusing. Certification generally includes completing training, an exam, work supervision and continuing education. When you have successfully completed the training, you will receive a Letter of Acknowledgement. Completing training is a requirement for certification. Please refer to the Certification section to learn more.

Topics covered in training relate to the core competencies required to perform the role of a Family Peer Support Specialist and cover areas such as:

In February of 2015, the Iowa Department of Human Services contracted with the University of Iowa’s (UI) Division of Child & Community Health (DCCH) to train the Peer Support and Family Peer Support workforce in Iowa. DCCH engaged collaborative partners to assist with the project including; UI National Resource Center for Family Centered Practice, ASK Resource Center, Child Health Specialty Clinics and NAMI Iowa. During this six year project these agencies will collaborate with key stakeholders to develop curricula, conduct training, educate supervisors, provide continuing education and make recommendations about certification.