This is an excellent entry level opportunity for people who want to help families in need!
We seek people who have had personal experience (not work related) as a parent or caregiver of a young child (age 0-5) who has/had mental health needs (such as anxiety, depression, autism, ADHD, bipolar disorder, etc.).
As a Family Peer Support Specialist, you will use your personal experience to help families in need of emotional support, resources and understanding of various systems, as they support their family through this difficult time.
Who We Are
Founded in 1999, Maryland Coalition of Families (MCF) is a statewide nonprofit with a central office in Columbia, Md., and staff located in communities throughout the state. Using personal experience as parents, caregivers, youth and other loved ones, we connect, support and empower Maryland’s families. Our staff provide one-to-one support to parents and caregivers of young people with mental health issues and to any loved one who cares for someone with a substance use or gambling issue. We also advocate to improve systems that impact individuals with behavioral health challenges.
Maryland Coalition of Families (MCF) has an employment opportunity for a Family Peer Support Specialist (FPSS) to serve families in the following Maryland counties: Baltimore City, Baltimore County, and Harford. The candidate must have personal (not work) experience as a primary caregiver of child aged 0-5, with either behavioral health or developmental needs. After training and orientation, the Family Peer Support Specialist will provide family-to-family outreach, support, education, advocacy, coaching, information, referrals and follow-up to families seeking assistance regarding concerns about their infant or toddler’s behavioral health, development or growth.
Essential Duties and Responsibilities
* Due to COVID-19, MCF is following all safety precautions and currently working remotely with no personal contact or travel.
- Build and maintain strong partnerships with agencies and providers of services related to early childhood systems.
- Connect, support and empower families having an infant and/or a toddler with behavioral health and/or developmental concerns.
- Facilitate a process for families to develop a plan to: clarify the problem(s); provide emotional support; identify needs and strengths; and identify resources including appropriate levels of services, entitlements, community resources and other natural supports.
- Assist families and youth to build their own community based support network, and ensure that their goals are integrated into one unified plan as necessary.
- Facilitate families accessing supports and services by: sharing information about resources and supports; making phone calls to connect families with resources; providing guidance in completing forms and applications; supporting families to fully understand their rights; reviewing documents such as IFSPs, IEPs or reports with families to ensure they fully understand documents; empowering families to effectively articulate their concerns and needs; accompanying families to meetings; and educating families on laws, policies and procedures.
- Ensure that families are equal partners in planning, implementing, monitoring and evaluating their own plans.
- Facilitate training workshops in assigned region for families as assigned in contract deliverables.
- Partner with other members of the Peer Support team to create and maintain a centralized, updated directory of behavioral health resources, including support meetings, screening and referrals for treatment, family education groups therapeutic and/or pro-social recreation, volunteer training opportunities and other services designed to meet the needs of their family.
- Collaborate with other MCF staff to develop support and educational programs that empower families.
- Administrative duties to include maintaining client files, submitting required documentation, active participation in supervision and in MCF internal and external training opportunities.
- Personal, lived experience as a primary caregiver raising a youth who has intensive behavioral health and/or developmental needs is required. Preference to those that can articulate identifying these needs prior to the age of five and accessing available services.
- High school diploma or equivalent.
- Must live in either Baltimore City, Baltimore County or Harford County.
- Prior experience assisting other families to obtain appropriate services and supports for their child and family members is desirable.
- Familiarity with state and local resources and knowledge of how to access them, specifically the early childhood serving systems.
- Willingness and strong ability to build and maintain partnerships with agencies and providers.
- Active listening skills for providing non-judgmental peer support and engagement to families.
- Strong written and oral communication skills.
- Strong computer skills and the ability to efficiently utilize internet search to identify resources and willingness to learn how to use a database (Salesforce).
- Current Maryland driver’s license and access to own vehicle; in-state travel required.
- Successful completion of a background check (required for all MCF employees).
To be considered for this position, apply on our website www.mdcoalition.org, by submitting your resume and a cover letter describing your interest in this position and relevant experience caring for a child aged 0-5, with either behavioral health or developmental needs. Applications without a cover letter will not be considered.
Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. Please note that mailed or faxed resumes will not be considered. No phone calls please.
Maryland Coalition of Families is committed to hiring a diverse and talented workforce. We are an Equal Opportunity Employer – all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, marital status, national origin, disability, veteran status or any other classification protected by applicable discrimination laws.
Key words: Human Services, Social Services, Direct Support Professional, social work, mental health, early childhood, entry level