POSITION SUMMARY: The Family Peer Support Specialist is responsible for the delivery of direct services for the Family Support Program – Niagara Frontier Family Network. The Family Peer Support Specialist will provide an array of formal and informal services and supports provided to families caring for/raising a child who is experiencing social, emotional, developmental, medical, substance use, and/or behavioral challenges in their home, school, placement, and/or community. The service is needed to allow the child the best opportunity to remain in the community. Activities included must be intended to achieve the identified goals or objectives as set forth in the child/youth’s treatment plan. “Family” is defined as the primary care-giving unit and is inclusive of the wide diversity of primary caregiving units. Family is a birth, foster, adoptive, or self-created unit of people residing together, with significant attachment to the individual, consisting of adult(s) and/or child(ren), with adult(s) performing duties of parenthood/caregiving for the child(ren) even if the individual is living outside of the home.
Individual Family Support:
• Provide outreach and individual advocacy to parents/guardians of youth with serious emotional/behavioral problems.
• Utilize the Family Assessment of Needs and Strengths to conduct a preliminary assessment of needs, strengths, and goals
• Provide Engagement, Bridging, and Transition Support: Based on the strengths and needs of the youth and family, connect them with appropriate services and supports. Accompany the family when visiting programs. Assist the family to gather, organize and prepare documents needed for specific services. Address any concrete or subjective barriers that may prevent full participation in services. Serve as a bridge between families and service providers, supporting a productive and respectful partnership by assisting the families to express their strengths, needs and goals. Support and assist families during stages of transition which may be unfamiliar (e.g. placements, in crisis, and between service systems etc.).
• Self-Advocacy, Self-Efficacy, and Empowerment: Empower families to make informed decisions regarding the nature of supports for themselves and their child
• Provide leadership opportunities for families who are receiving Family Peer Support Services
• Provide Parent Skill Development
• Prepare families to transition out of family support services as they make progress towards identified goals
Group Family Support:
• Coordinate and facilitate family support groups around Niagara County. Discussion topics may include; psycho-education, accessing community resources, natural support development, self-advocacy, support and skill building to include parenting, enhancing self-esteem and role competency.
• Identify and train parent group leaders/facilitators.
• Ensure that composition of group members share common characteristics, such as related experiences, developmental age, chronological age, challenges or treatment goals.
• Support parent leaders/facilitators with transitioning the group to support one another ongoing, without the formal support of New Directions (when appropriate)
• Assist parents and caregivers to network with other members to share transportation to groups and other events who are unable to transport themselves due to lack of accessibility to transportation resources
• Include guest speakers on relevant training topics as identified through aggregate FANS data and by group request
• Coordinate group skill building activities based on aggregate FANS data and identified needs of the group
Collaborate with Community Partners:
• Collaborate with formal systems, service providers and informal networks involved with the youth and family
• Attend scheduled Single Point of Access meetings as needed
• Utilize New Directions electronic case recording system for assessment, service planning, progress notes, purchase of services, and outcome monitoring purposes
• Maintain accurate and timely case records, including progress notes and tracking mechanisms, electronically and in each client’s file
• Keep all client and family information, verbal and written, confidential
• Adhere to all Medicaid requirements for billing and documentation
• Maintain documentation for all group meetings (group participant roster, dates, locations, topics), units of service and related expenditures, and submits required information to Supervisor
• Conduct client satisfaction surveys at regular intervals and discharges
• Complete Level One and Level Two of the Family Peer Advocate Core Training/ Parent Empowerment Program (PEP) training or approved comparable training
• Family Assessment of Strengths and Needs (FANS)
• Complete 20 hours of continuing education and renew FPA credential every two years.
• Attend all mandatory in-service trainings as per NDYFS policy and DOH requirements
• Participate in regular supervision (per New Directions policy and procedure)
• Maintain a flexible schedule based around client availability, including evenings
• Adhere to agency and department policies and procedures
• Utilize normative culture
• Agree to practice according to the Family Peer Advocate Code of Ethics.
• Perform all other duties as assigned by immediate supervisor
SKILL, QUALIFICATIONS, KNOWLEDGE, ABILITY & PHYSICAL REQUIREMENTS:
Minimum Education and/or Professional Qualifications/Skills
• Preference will be given to candidates who already have a Family Peer Advocate (FPA) Credential
~ OR ~ are a Certified Recovery Peer Advocate (CRPA) with a Family Specialty (see below)
• If the candidate does not currently possess a credential, they must be eligible for a credential through experience and education as outlined below
• Demonstrate ‘lived experience’ as a parent or primary caregiver who has navigated multiple child serving systems on behalf of their child(ren) with social, emotional, developmental, health and/or behavioral healthcare needs
• Can provide two letters of reference attesting to proficiency in and suitability for the role of a Family Peer Advocate
• A high school diploma, high school equivalency preferred or a State Education Commencement Credential (e.g. SACC or CDOS). This educational requirement can be waived by the State if the person has demonstrated competencies and has relevant life experience sufficient for the peer certification.
Special – Personal Skills, Qualities, Aptitudes and Physical Requirements
New Directions Youth & Family Services, Inc is an equal opportunity employer. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable persons with
disabilities to perform essential functions.
1. Ability to work effectively with clients, families, staff and community contacts from a variety of cultural and ethnic backgrounds.
2. Ability to deal effectively with children/youth with behavioral, emotional and/or mental health challenges and their families.
3. Ability to accept supervision and perform as part of a team.
4. Ability to be flexible and adapt to change.
5. Must have a valid driver’s license, adequate auto insurance and meet the criteria for driving set forth in the New Directions Driver’s License policy and Auto Insurance policy.
6. Ability to pass annual physical for Category 1 job classification in accordance with New Directions Employee Healthpolicy.
7. Must comply with Agency safety standards and be responsible for own actions and conduct concerning safety and healthy working conditions.
POSITIONS SUPERVISED: N/A