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Community of Practice Guidelines

Communities of Practice (PDF 699 KB) Download

Guidelines for the Supervisors of CPS & CPPS Community of Practice


Many of the following guidelines were inspired by or adapted from pieces of the
Alternatives to Suicide Charter, language from Wildflower Alliance’s Defining Principles, the Reading Anti-racism Book Club,
connected to OutReach LGBT Community Center, and the Witnessing Whiteness workshop.

  • Center learning, practice, and forming connections. We have come together as part of a collective of

    people in supervisory or support roles to peer specialists/parent peer specialists in Wisconsin to learn

    from each other and deepen our practice of peer supervision.

  • While we are learning and unlearning things, not everything we say is going to be formulated perfectly.We can use this space to grow, and we need to acknowledge the difference between intent vs. impact.

    What was said may not have been what was heard. Our impact matters more than our intent.

  •  Ask clarifying, open-ended questions if you aren’t sure what someone is talking about or the meaningbehind their words. Avoid assumptions.
  • Unlearning and having our worldviews challenged is often a component of learning alongside others.Each of us have biases; they do not necessarily reflect the character of our being. However, it is our

    responsibility to actively challenge them.


  • Speak from your own experiences. No one person can speak for an entire group of people


  • Give space and take space. If you notice you are talking a lot and are asked to give space for others to contribute, it is nothing against your contribution towards the group. Please be respectful if we ask you to hold your question/story/comment.


  • If you aren’t engaging in the group as much as others, challenge yourself to engage in conversation more. Take risks! That’s okay!Certain freedoms are enjoyed within this Community of Practice, such as the freedom to challenge social norms, the freedom to interpret one’s own experiences in any way, and the freedom to bring our wholeselves and lives into this process of learning, practice, and growth.


  • Though this Community of Practice is not a support group and the focus of our gatherings is to learn and grow in peer supervision, self-disclosure of struggles may take place in order to gain support from others in this community in similar roles. Therefore, we hold the following as values:
    • Willingness to sit with people in deep distress and explore thoughts and feelings without jumpingto clinical or other interventions
    • No assumption of illness and not forcing a certain framework for understanding lived experienceupon a person
    • Recognizing, honoring, and validating that many pathways to recovery/resilience/meaningfulliving exist – what works for one may not work for another.
  • Complete transparency around limits to privacy is maintained at all times. Additionally, we respect the

    privacy of others we work with with and support by not telling others’ stories on their behalf. We can

    discuss situations and scenarios, but please leave individuals’ names or any identifying information out.

  • Strive to use inclusive and respectful language. The goal is to use open language that honors ourdifferences, and avoids reinforcing the negative ways that systems have labeled us. This means staying

    open to learning from one another how words can empower or hold us back. It also means respecting the

    names, pronouns, and other words people ask us to use for them.

WI CPS Best Practice Guide

Certified Peer Specialist (PDF 499 KB) Download

Philadelphia DBHIDS Peer Support Toolkit

Employer Resources (External Link) Visit Site

Certified Peer Specialists (CPS) in the Workplace – Employer Guidance

Certified Peer Specialist (PDF 876 KB) Download

Certified Parent Peer Specialists (CPPS) in the Workplace – Employer Guidance

Certified Parent Peer Specialist (PDF 921 KB) Download

National American Indian and Alaska Native ATTC

National Resources (External Link) Visit Site

Wisconsin Public Psychiatry Network Teleconference

Wisconsin Resources (External Link) Visit Site

Society’s Assets, Inc.

Wisconsin Coalition of Independent Living Centers (External Link) Visit Site

Options for Independent Living

Wisconsin Coalition of Independent Living Centers (External Link) Visit Site

North Country Independent Living

Wisconsin Coalition of Independent Living Centers (External Link) Visit Site

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