Oregon to require criminal background checks from peer workers

New rules drafted by the state of Oregon will change the process for credentialing of non-traditional health care workers, including certified addiction peer recovery mentors, peer support specialists, peer wellness specialists, community health workers, and personal health navigators – each title has different training and joins with a different segment of the public health system to provide cultural integration. These new rules could leave some non-traditional health care workers unemployed due to criminal background checks. Join hundreds in public testimony on July 22nd, 2013 to let the state know your opinion about all these proposed changes.

1. The “weigh test” is subjective and unfair, as evidenced by the fact that sometimes people pass and then later fail.

2. The best peer mentors for those who have been incarcerated, are those who are actually in recovery (for real) and have previously been incarcerated themselves.

3. Peers should be certified by their peers, not government agents. States that have enacted government credentialing of peers have excessive crazy exclusions, like Minnesota requiring SS#’s to see if you owe outstanding taxes, or Maine requiring your criminal history and driving history. Most states with government run peer credentialing report that if you leave out anything when writing up your criminal history you can and or will be denied certification.

4. Georgia, the first state to have peer services, has peer-run credentialing vs. government run credentialing. And it works and it doesn’t cost the taxpayers a cent! PEERS SHOULD CERTIFY PEERS

DOWNLOAD AND POST – Public Testimony Event, July 22, 2013 – PDF

You can testify to protect the employment of non-traditional health care workers.

What: Testify Public Hearing on NEW ADMINISTRATIVE RULES for non-traditional health care workers
READ: OAR DIVISION 180 Non-Traditional Health Workers 410-180-0300
When: July 22, 2013, 10:00 AM
Where: 800 NE Oregon St., Room 1-E, Portland
Who: You, your friends and colleagues.

Watch this video about addiction workers and their struggles passing the background checks!