Grandparenting Application deadline has been extended to June 30, 2023. No changes were made to the standards for certification.

California recognizes that peers have long functioned as a part of the prevention, early intervention, treatment, and recovery process for individuals living with mental health conditions and/or substance use disorders. As individuals with either lived experience, or as the parents, caregivers, and family members of individuals living with mental health and/or substance use disorder conditions, peers personally understand the experience of the individuals they serve and can help clarify the most effective set of services for everyone’s recovery need.

The Grandparenting Process takes a person’s work experience and training into consideration for meeting the Medi-Cal Peer Support Specialist certification. Persons seeking certification under the grandparenting process must apply for certification by the deadline. 

Grandparenting Requirements

To be certified through the Grandparenting process, you must meet the following general requirements:

  • Be at least 18 years of age.
  • Possess a high school diploma or equivalent degree.
  • Be self-identified as having experience with the process of recovery from a mental illness or substance use disorder, either as a consumer of these services or as the parent, caregiver or family member of a consumer.
  • Be willing to share their experience.
  • Have a strong dedication to recovery.
  • Agree, in writing, to adhere to the Code of Ethics.
  • Pass the certification examination.

In addition to the general requirements above, you must also:

Be employed as a partner as of January 1, 2022 (paid or unpaid)

  • Have met the Peer Support Worker experience requirements (paid or unpaid):
    •  1550 hours as peer support in 1 year


    •  1550 hours in 3 years, with 500 hours completed in the last 12 months, working as a peer support
  • Have completed any peer support training in the past
  • Have completed 20 hours of Continuing Education (CE) Units in the past 2 years
    • Inclusive of 6 hours of law and ethics training as part of the 20-hour requirement
  • Provide three letters of recommendation
    •  One from a supervisor (on letter head)
    • One from a professional colleague
    • And one self-recommendation outlining your current role and responsibilities as a Peer Support Specialist

Grandparenting Application Process

Make sure you have the following documents in picture (.jpeg, .jpeg) and/or PDF format before you start your application. For a more detailed list of requirements and acceptable forms of documentation, please see our Grandparenting Guidelines document. 

Note: The application cannot be saved without all areas completed

  1. Government issued ID/License/Passport that shows you are over 18 years of age (the name on the application must match the identification provided)
  2. High school diploma/equivalency or other advanced degree
  3.  Proof of work experiences (documents must prove that you were employed Jan 1, 2022 and that you have met the 1550 required hours in one of the ways described above)
  4. Proof of completing a peer training 
  5. Proof of continued education in the last 2 years, including 6 hours of law and ethics
  6. Three letters of recommendation (3) 

Before you complete the application portion, you will need to review a 30-minute video explaining the role of a certified Medi-Cal Peer Support Specialist in behavior health. This step is required to move forward with completing an application for certification.

Please set aside 55-60 minutes to complete the application. To begin, click the yellow Register/Login button above. The application cannot be saved and must be completed in one session. The following steps will need to be completed:

  • Application Registration – 5 minutes
  • Introduction (mandatory) Video – 30 Minutes
  • Complete application and upload verification documents – 10-15 minutes
  • Complete scholarship application (if applicable) – 10 minutes
For detailed instructions, please review the Application Instructions for Grandparenting Process document in our Resource Library

Acceptable Forms of Documentation

Our grandparenting guidelines document provide detailed instructions on the minimum requirements and the acceptable forms of documentation. Please review this webpage before beginning the application process.