Family Peer Advocate


NEW POSITION~ Full-time position with an excellent benefits package is available with our caring, supportive and dedicated staff team. Make a difference in the lives of families!

Basic work schedule is 37.5 hours per week; Monday thru Friday; The hours are 8:30am-4:30pm for 4 days of the week and one evening of 12Noon-8:00pm required per week on a Tuesday or Thursday evening. If desired ~ 2 evenings per week (Tuesday and Thursday) are available. The office site is in Utica, NY. The work with families may be on site, in the community or via telehealth.

JOB DESCRIPTION: The Family Peer Advocate (FPA) provides support services to new and existing children and their families who are receiving services from The Neighborhood Center, Inc. Behavioral Health Clinics in Oneida and Herkimer counties who have complex behavioral health needs. Peer Services are designed to enhance clinical treatment in order to increase family engagement and improve outcomes. Services target youth who have had multiple presentations to the Emergency Room/Comprehensive Psychiatric Emergency Program (ER/CPEP), and/or youth who are demonstrating more challenging behaviors such as aggression, truancy, etc. to meet urgent needs. Services are delivered through face-to-face and/or telehealth support groups, phone calls, and individual meetings in the community and/or at clinic locations depending on the needs and preferences of the family. The Family Peer Advocate will practice family-driven and youth-guided approaches to empower and support families


• Functions as part of the interdisciplinary team, participating at staff meetings and case reviews.

• Maintains timely, complete and accurate record documentation.

• Provides post Emergency Department/Hospital Discharge crisis stabilization and care coordination to new and existing families.

• Serves as a bridge between the point of referral and the intake appointment.

• Completes outreach activities to engage disconnected youth and families.

• Assists families with the navigation of complex education and service systems.

• Accompanies families to school based and other meetings to provide advocacy.
• Provides intensive family support during periods of crisis.

• Addresses practical barriers to treatment engagement.

• Assists with psychoeducation regarding treatment and fosters relationships with providers to improve treatment engagement.

• Provide psychoeducation and skill building to promote independence, crisis management, and de-escalation skills.

• Provide modeling and mentoring in the use of skills.

• Maintains self in a professional manner at all times, adhering to New York State Office of Mental Health guidelines, Neighborhood Center policy and procedures and in keeping with the Agency’s mission statement, as well as FPA professional standards.

• Performs other duties as requested by Agency Administration.


• Has life-experience as the parent (biological, foster, adoptive) or primary caregiver of a child/youth with a social, emotional, behavioral, mental health, or developmental disability and first-hand insight to benefit clients.

• Demonstrated ability to foster effective parent-professional partnerships with diverse populations.

• Demonstrated ability to maintain satisfactory expectations for timeliness and accuracy in the performance of the job functions.

• Demonstrative ability to function as an interdisciplinary team member.

Completion of the Parent Empowerment Program (PEP) Level 1 training is required for the Family Peer Advocate (FPA) Provisional Credential. Employee is responsible for attending and receiving FPA training and completing the application process within one (1) month of the date of hire and must renew credentialing every two years required.

• Family Peer Advocate Credential must be obtained within 18 months of receiving the Provisional Family Peer Advocate credential or within acceptable limits as determined by this agency.

• Possesses a current and valid New York State Driver’s License and transportation.

• High School Diploma/Equivalency Diploma and a minimum of two (2) years of related experience in Human Services, Education or Mental Health/Addictions field required with the New York State Office of Mental Health (NYSOMH) Family Peer Credential preferred at the time of hire. EOE

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