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Family Peer Support Specialists (FPSS) have the opportunity to positively impact families through support and education. Family Peer Support Specialists draw on their own experience as a parent or primary caregiver of a child with an emotional, behavioral or mental health need. They work to empower families by teaching skills that assist them in finding their own voice. A FPSS has current knowledge of the mental health system and most importantly, recognizes the life experience of raising a child with a mental health diagnosis.
Family Peer Support Specialists (FPSS) provide a variety of services to families. These include sharing expertise by providing information, teaching coping skills, providing emotional support and helping parents become advocates. Family Peer Support Specialists often help families navigate the child serving systems and help them understand available options for their child. FPSSs may accompany parents to meetings to ensure the parents’ voices are heard. They are able to assist families by modeling good communication skills and sharing their own experiences in a positive manner.
Family Peer Support Specialists may be employed at social service agencies, clinics, residential programs and other community based organizations. Family Peer Support Specialists may also serve on a variety of advisory boards and committees at local, state, and national levels.