Family Peer Support Specialist, Crisis #995

The Crisis Family Peer Support Specialist is a member of the Crisis Peer Support Team. The Peer Family Support Specialist provides a variety of recovery-oriented services to primary care givers of youth who are experiencing a mental health or emotional crisis and who have self-identified as desiring peer supports. In addition, the position is cross trained in the role of Crisis Peer Support Specialist.

The Family Peer Support Specialist is part of crisis response to children and families experiencing a crisis. This includes mobile response in the community and supporting families who present at Hawthorn. The Family Peer Support Specialist works collaboratively with parents, caregivers, teammates and community partners, to promote immediate safety and stability, greater independence, community integration and recovery. Services provided by peers include a wide variety of supports, services and advocacy that contribute to a family's ability to engage in ongoing treatment. Family Peer Support Specialists have direct experience as a parent or primary caregiver of a child with complex health needs and specialized training in the unique process of “walking beside” families experiencing complex circumstances.

As a behavioral health organization, LifeWorks NW employees are required to have had their COVID 19 vaccination (or have an approved medical/religious exemption) per State of Oregon rules. Proof of COVID-19 vaccination is required upon hire. 

Location: This position is based out of our Hawthorn site. 

Days/Hours: Monday-Friday 10:30 am - 7:00 pm

Pay/Benefits: $22.46 starting hourly pay.  Additional $7.50/hr. differential for swing shift and weekends. 

This position is 40 hours a week. Full benefits.

Essential Responsibilities:  

  • Works in collaboration with all the crisis program staff and community partners to assist families with safety planning and connecting to on-going mental health services.
  • Uses his/her own experiences in a strategic way and models the principles of recovery for those they work with, including self-care, gaining greater independence, emphasize wellness and self-determination. 
  • Work with families on specific and obtainable goals included in the person's short term crisis treatment plan. 
  • Informs people served of available service options while promoting the use of natural supports and resources within the community. 
  • Present a model of someone in recovery and share their own experiences as their training provided guidance. 
  • Provides support to caregivers or parents of youth who are having symptoms that could result in hospitalization.  Duties could include accompanying to school meetings, spending time with caregivers. Assists clients in accessing community resources such as support groups, food boxes, healthcare appointments and other services as appropriate.
  • Educate parents / primary caregivers and natural supports on mental illness in children and adolescents. 
  • Help families develop skills to get through crises. 
  • Assist the family in understanding clinical language and systems and practice positive communication with clinicians and other health care providers.
  • Maintain confidentiality of records relating to clients' treatment. 
  • Meets standards for documentation and accuracy of work as defined in the Performance Evaluation.
  • Meets standards as defined in the Performance Evaluation for client care, quality/customer service, attendance/punctuality and teamwork. 
  • Continually increase level of cultural sensitivity, awareness and humility.
  • Participate in a culture of feedback at the agency by eliciting feedback to promote professional growth and assess work effectiveness.
  • Participates in regular individual and team meetings with supervisor.  Provides written and verbal reports to supervisor regarding cases. Meets with Peer Coordinator at regular intervals. Attends informational and clinical meetings which may include all-agency meetings, team meetings, consultation meetings with psychiatrist, staffings, intra-agency trainings, etc.  Attend and contribute positively to team meetings, agency and interdisciplinary meetings.
  • Educate and advocate for the values and principles of Peer Delivered Services and the Recovery Model.
  • Completes documentation on a timely basis.
  • Checks e-mail/voice mail daily/throughout the day when working responding to contacts within 48 hours for routine matter (urgent matters may require a more immediate response) 
  • Completes online training courses as assigned. 


  • Have "lived" experience as a parent or primary caregiver of a child who has experienced mental, emotional and / or behavioral health problems. 
  • Meets the Family Support Specialist qualification criteria adopted under ORS 414.665 and may be either a peer support specialist or a peer wellness specialist who, based on similar life experiences, provides support services to and has experience parenting a child who: Is a current or former consumer of mental health or addiction treatment; or Is facing or has faced difficulties in accessing education, health, and wellness services due to mental health or behavioral health barriers. 
  • Holds a Peer Support Specialist certification from a State-approved training program. Current Family Support Specialist certification is preferred but can be completed after hire.
  • Demonstrate effective communication skills and ability to provide culturally competent treatment services to diverse client populations.
  • Familiar with developmental needs of adults and children.
  • Basic computer skills including keyboarding, use of mouse, ability to navigate website and use common web browser.
  • Transporting clients in an agency vehicle is required.   A valid driver's license and ability to meet driving requirements are necessary. 
  • Ability to perform essential functions of job without creating a direct threat to the safety of self or others.

Working Conditions:

  • Duties are performed both indoors and outdoors.
  • Office environment is in an urgent mental health walk-in center that houses multi-disciplinary teams in a shared office setting with cubicle seating.
  • Workday consists of planned and unplanned tasks.
  • Fieldwork is required on a regular basis.
  • Work includes the use of a company vehicle to travel to locations anywhere in Washington County for planned follow up or crisis response to include but not be limited to personal residences, campsites, hospitals, schools, jail, etc.
  • Exposure to natural weather conditions, which may be severe while performing outdoor duties.
  • May work in hazardous or unpleasant conditions.
  • May require working extended hours.
  • Working while using personal protective equipment (when indicated).
  • Work is in person. Not eligible for agency alternative work arrangement.
  • Potential for exposure to traumatic events that involve threat to the safety of self or others.
  • As part of crisis and safety net services, our programs are considered essential services and continue to operate when other programs and agencies might be closed, such as during inclement weather or other hazardous conditions, like poor air quality.
  • Individuals in this position need to report in person and provide services during inclement weather and other hazardous conditions (whenever reasonably possible).
  • Evenings required.
  • Program operates 365 days a year, 24 /7. Holidays are required.

This is a represented position.

LifeWorks NW is a private, non-profit organization providing prevention, mental health, substance use treatment, and related social services to youths, adults, and older adults in over fifteen locations throughout Multnomah, Washington, and Clackamas counties. LifeWorks NW promotes a healthy community by providing quality and culturally responsive mental health and addiction services across the lifespan.

Our core values-Recovery and Relationships, Resilience, and Results-inform the work we do. The four pillars of the strategic vision include Compassionate, Impactful Care, Holistic Health, Passionate Team, and Thriving Organization. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion are critical to successfully achieving the mission. We know that "life works" when people get the help they need and are dedicated to changing lives.

Equal Opportunity Employer

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