Supporting Communities through Third Party, Privately-funded Trainings

Privately-funded trainings are becoming more common than State of Wisconsin-funded Certified Peer Specialist and Certified Parent Peer Specialist training opportunities. Are you looking to purchase and host a CPS or CPPS training for your community or organization? We’ve designed this page to answer some common questions! Also, we have resumed scheduling privately-funded trainings and we are booking into 2023. Make your requests soon, we are filling our calendar rather quickly.

Who can privately fund a CPS/CPPS training in Wisconsin?

Individual counties, tribes, standalone organizations and employers, technical colleges, Comprehensive Community Services (CCS) consortiums, and other entities can use their funding to purchase a training. Some examples of entities that have funded CPS/CPPS trainings, include:

  • Milwaukee County
  • Wisconsin Community Services
  • Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa
  • Milkweed Connections, LLC
  • Independent Living Centers
  • Mental Health America of Wisconsin
  • Wisconsin Voices for Recovery
  • Southwestern Wisconsin Community Action Program
  • Wisconsin Department of Justice
  • Marshfield Clinic

And more…

What are the benefits to privately-funding a CPS/CPPS training?

Flexibility in Serving Specific Communities

Privately-funded CPS/CPPS trainings can typically be organized and scheduled more quickly than state-funded trainings. There is also generally more flexibility to focus on serving specific regions, counties, communities, or demographics in terms of who is eligible to apply for a given training. Likewise, funders of such trainings get to determine the trainers selected to facilitate the training.

Strengthening Peer Support Services in Workplaces

For organizational or employer-sponsored trainings, there exists a higher chance that a funder’s staff or identified community will be able to participate in training. Additionally, through application eligibility specifications, a greater focus on applying the skills in specific employment settings can come from privately-funded trainings. For example, the Treatment Alternatives and Diversion CPS training cohort from a recent training is entirely made up of people who’ve gone through and will be working in drug court. This allows the training to have more of a focus on that employment setting than others.

Expanding the Peer Workforce and Systems Change

The ever-increasing number of privately-funded trainings also support the continued growth and expansion of the peer workforce and highly unique and crucial peer support services in Wisconsin. These services are a key component of the expansion of recovery-oriented services and implementing systemic changes informed by lived experience.

What special requests can be honored in a privately-funded training?

To some degree the geographic and demographic criteria for determining eligibility to apply or applicant selection prioritization for a training can be adjusted. An example of this would be a training that serves a specific tribe can prioritize tribal members in the applicant selection process or a training can dictate that applicants must work or volunteer with the funding organization.

Funders can also sponsor community-specific CPS or CPPS trainings focusing on selected communities and lived experiences outside of mental health/substance use. Trainers for community-specific trainings must identify as members of the selected community or hold the lived experience. Other than this specification, funders get to determine which trainers will facilitate these trainings.

There can also be more flexibility in scheduling training dates and times, so long as the training remains true to its 48-hour duration.

What aspects to the training process cannot be changed?

  • Application and interview questions
  • Standardized 10-week timeline prior to a CPS/CPPS training (4 weeks of applications, 3 weeks for application review, 3 weeks to prepare and sort out tech lending and other logistics).
  • Minimum number of applications  that can be accepted (14)
  • Maximum number of applications accepted (50)
  • Set number of selected participants (14-18 at the trainers’ discretion)
  • Offering tech lending for online trainings (handled either through the funder or the Initiative’s tech lending program)
  • Trainer payment amount
  • Total hours in the contracts with trainers and Independent Living Center (ILC)
  • Standardized contract language

Who handles setting up the training?

Once an organization or entity has identified interest in privately funding a CPS or CPPS training, an organizational leader or representative may reach out to Marguerit Galindo, the Peer Specialist Workforce Development Coordinator at the Wisconsin Peer Specialist Employment Initiative at Access to Independence, to request a meeting for a consultation, this meeting is a prep for the training, in terms of  discussing logistics and once the details are agreed upon, the organization or entity is quoted the cost of the privately-funded training and a contract is created to bind the agreement. Access to Independence supports and coordinates all the CPS/CPPS privately-funded and state funded trainings and Marguerit works directly with the funder to support this planning and prep process for the third-party, privately-funded trainings; in doing so, Access does receive a portion of the cost of the trainings as a fee for service.

Want to set up your privately-funded CPS or CPPS training? Contact us!

The next step for those interested in purchasing a training or who have questions about doing so, including associated costs, is having a conversation with Gaochi Vang, Peer Specialist Program Manager. We are actively planning privately-funded trainings into 2023 expanding our non-training employer technical assistance and workforce development projects.

You can reach Gaochi Vang to express your interest in funding a CPS or CPPS training at, or text/call (608) 716-7335. Additionally, if the organization or entity is in need of technical assistance, please have a conversation with Marguerit about the possibility of acquiring employer technical assistance to provide best practices and many other opportunities through our Technical Assistance Program. Interested in learning more? Visit our Employer Assistance page and share your interests with Marguerit as she is the TA point-of-contact at the WIPSEI.


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