Prevention Worker

Activities, Skills and Knowledge

Prevention Specialists should understand the federal Strategic Prevention Framework (SPF) and principles of public health prevention, such as universal, selective and indicated types of prevention programs. They must enjoy working in the community.

Massachusetts Technical Assistance Partnership for Prevention (MassTAPP) provides specific information about competencies under the Prevention Framework.

The Community Tool Box's "The Strategic Prevention Framework" provides up-to-date details and resources.

Educational Requirements

Requirements vary by job.

Licensure/Certification Requirements

Prevention Specialist Certification is available in Massachusetts through the Massachusetts Board of Substance Abuse Counselor Certification (MBSACC).

For further information contact Jackie Cummins at (508) 842-8707, or go to MassTAPP's Certified Prevention Specialist Requirements page. Institutions interested in providing courses should follow up with Jose Morales, Director of Prevention at the MA DPH Bureau of Substance Addiction Services.

University of Massachusetts offers a student-directed, online Prevention Specialist training - a 40 hour distance learning course which helps prepare for the Prevention Specialist (PS) credential offered by various credentialing boards across the US. Covers the five competencies that comprise the Prevention Specialist credential: planning & evaluation, education & skill development, community organization, public policy, and professional growth & responsibility. Register for "Digital Chalk" at the link provided in order to choose the Prevention Specialist course.

See also the Tobacco Treatment Specialist training at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. If the specialist is working under the direction of a physician, this work is reimbursable.

The Center for Substance Abuse Prevention periodically offers a Prevention Fellowship (this page takes awhile to load, so be patient).

Opportunities for Advancement

Prevention Specialists may grow to:

  • Administer and/or lead prevention programs
  • Administer and/or lead agencies