Certified Peer Support Specialist

SUMMARY:The Peer Support Specialist is responsible for the management of an assigned mental health caseload of clientele for recovery oriented peer support services. The specialist will establish a trusting, respectful relationship with peers through the sharing of life experiences with mental illness or the mental health system. This will be done in coordination with the Peer Support Supervisor by performing the following duties. The Peer Support Specialist also works under the supervision of the Director- Milieu Therapies or / Team Leader of a non-profit community based program. This position will develop and maintain supportive relationships with persons served. These relationships are essential to establishing the individual's strengths and goals; identifying barriers, recovery strategies and alternatives to making choices about medication and treatment; and providing links to community resources. The primary responsibility of a peer specialist is to help individuals identify and achieve their recovery goals and meet their specific goals. The peer specialist facilitates recovery groups and participates in panel presentations to assist in education of recovery principles. Presentations of staff and persons served provide the perspective of individuals living in recovery. They will maintain departmental/agencies documentation and records.


  • Be a self identified individual who has received or is receiving state priority group services
  • Have a high school diploma or GED
  • Have maintained, within the past three years, at least 12 months of successful full or part-time paid or voluntary work experience or one year of post secondary education
  • Completed and passed a Peer Specialist certification training program including written examination, which is offered in accordance with guidelines defined by OMHSAS, DPW.
  • Complete and pass ChildLine, PA State Background, and FBI Background checks and clearances.
  • Complete and pass drug screening.
  • Vital Duties:Duties the employee performs that have a major impact on the delivery of services to our clientele

    • Complete appropriate designated intake paperwork and authorization forms in a timely manner so as to assist with prompt authorization, admission and billing.
    • Documentation of important information and data in a timely (within 72 hours of the service provided) and professional manner Progress notes should adhere to the program regulations, ensuring that any client billable contact is related to the Individualized Service Plan and provides a detailed description of the intervention provided, outcome of the appointment and plan for the next meeting.
    • Keep accurate case notes of every contact with participants as well as other members of the treatment team and outside entities. Will work with computer programs approved by Beacon Light Behavioral Health Systems in order to submit and maintain consumer records. Will also be sure not to fraudulently enter recordings for clients and be sure not to duplicate notes/services.
    • Will have face-to-face contact, or documented attempt, with consumers at least once every two weeks. Staff should make continued attempts (2-3 times) throughout the week in order to reach a consumer in order to schedule an appointment and document these attempts thoroughly in the event that the consumer is not attending scheduled appointments. Any issues with meeting with the consumers should be communicated directly to your supervisor so that the appropriate people can be contacted in order to ensure client safety. Furthermore, the specialist is required to maintain a billable productivity percentage of 70% of the overall time that is spent working.
    • Assesses consumers, with the consumer's input, for the purpose of developing a Recovery Focused Individualized Service Plan. Emphasizes the consumer's strengths, goals, and interests.
    • Develops Individualized Service Plans with their consumers within regulated time periods and has them signed (30 days after intake and then within every 6 months).
    • Develops and periodically reviews the consumer's Recovery Focused Individualized Service Plan with significant input from the consumer and collaterals. Monitors implementation of the service plan on an ongoing basis, providing coordination and management of the service plan as needed/as appropriate.
    • Provides services with the consumer that are directly related to the consumer's Individualized Service Plan.
    • Provides supportive services to consumers and their families and other caretakers, including problem resolution and accessing specialized services, generic services, and benefits. Assures that the consumer receives the appropriate quality, type, and level of services needed.
    • Maintains regular contact (with the consumer's consent) with family, friends, and other community members in order to develop and/or enhance the consumer's natural support network. Assists the consumer in locating and establishing ongoing relationships with individuals and services which are considered non-mental health resources.
    • Assist peers in creating a Wellness Recovery Action Plan and Mental Health Advanced Directives (if so desired).
    • Model effective coping techniques and self-help strategies.
    • Teach peers how to identify and combat negative self talk and how to identify and overcome fears or other obstacles to recovery through the use of recovery oriented interventions and the clinical supervision provided by the supervisor.
    • Support vocational or volunteer choices and help peers to overcome obstacles related to accessing services
    • Use "Recovery Principles" to help peers meet the recovery goals reflected in the ISP; offering education, guidance, encouragement and support from a peer perspective.
    • Participate in supervisory and staff meetings as required.
    • Maintain their certification through continuing education.
    • Be willing to travel when required in the performance of duties (staff meetings, supervision, consumer related activities, trainings, etc). This would include covering other consumers when other specialists are not available.
    • Enhances consumer self-determination by functioning as his/her advocate, and by teaching the consumer, through role modeling, how to be a more effective advocate for himself/herself in the community.
    • Maintains a caseload of no more than 15 clients.
    • Works a flexible schedule as necessary to meet consumer needs which includes evenings, weekends, and holidays, as needed/as appropriate.
    • Must have access to or own a vehicle which will enable worker to carry out the duties assigned, including transporting consumers
    • All Peer Specialists must receive at least 12 hours per year of specifically focused training/continuing education on peer support and/or recovery practices with external training hours totaling 18.
    • Maintains a high level of familiarity with DPW, OMHSAS and Peer Support regulations, objectives, etc., by attending relevant training, workshops, regional meetings, etc.
    • Participates in individual face to face supervision consisting of at least one hour per week with the Peer Support Supervisor. At this time, the specialist will have all paperwork for the proceeding week prepared, including any outstanding intake documents, signed ISPs, and progress notes for their consumers.
    • Completion and updating of safety plans. Specialists should ensure that these are entered into the computer system as well.
    • Completion of all strength based comprehensive assessments. Specialists should ensure that these are entered into the computer system as well.
    • Completion of all discharge summaries and any information pertaining to the discharge of a consumer.
    • Assists with community education regarding mental health.
    • Notifies supervisor when specialist is unable to attend a scheduled appointment with a consumer, attempts to make arrangements with other specialists to cover this appointment, and completes appropriate personnel documentation when requesting leave

    PROBATION EXPECTATIONS:Must demonstrate during probation competencies in the following areas:

  • Completion of and passing a Peer Specialist certification training program including written examination, which is offered in accordance with guidelines defined by OMHSAS, DPW.
  • Working with MH/MR Clients
  • Intake Assessments
  • Completing Admissions
  • Service Planning

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