Certified Peer Support Specialist

What is a Certified Peer Support Specialist (CPSS)?

A Certified Peer Support Specialist (CPSS) is an individual who uses their lived experience in recovery from mental illness and/or substance use disorder, in addition to skills learned in a formal training, to deliver services promoting recovery and resiliency.

What is a Family Peer Support Specialist (FPSS)?

Family Peer Support Specialist (FPSS) offers hope, guidance, advocacy, and camaraderie for parents and caregivers of children and youth receiving services from mental health, substance use, and related services systems. Family Peer Support Specialist deliver peer support through face-to-face support groups, phone calls, or individual meetings. They bring expertise based on their own experience parenting a child or youth with social, emotional, behavioral, or substance use challenges, as well as specialized training, to support other parents and caregivers. Working within a peer support framework that recognizes the power of mutuality and experiential understanding, Family Peer Support Specialist deliver education, information and peer support (Obrochta et al., 2011)

Parents trying to identify and access appropriate services for their child may find child-serving systems (e.g. mental health, education, juvenile justice, child welfare, substance use treatment) complicated and overwhelming. Family Peer Support Specialist support can help these parents navigate systems more effectively, learn from the experiences of other families, feel less alone, and gain hope, ideas, and information. This support can help parents meet their children’s needs more efficiently, and with greater confidence and hope. (Kutash et al, 2011, Hoagwood et al, 2009)

Continuing education