Certified Peer Specialist

Pathways to Housing PA, Housing First services

Position Summary: The Certified Peer Specialist is a member of the non-fidelity Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) team who provides flexible, community based services that are designed to promote the stability, recovery and community integration of formerly homeless individuals who have a mental illness and may abuse substances.  The CPS works with individuals in their community environment assisting them in their recovery through self disclosure, instilling a sense of hope, encouragement, and vision in the future. The CPS assists clients to: better understand their mental illness; promote self-advocacy; develop interpersonal skills and social support/networks; reinforce budgeting skills to allow greater independence in management of funds; develop leisure and recreational activity planning skills; integrate with self-help support groups and other community avenues toward advancing their personal recovery objectives. The starting salary is $36,000 annually.


Essential Duties and Responsibilities:        

  • Carries out the daily routine of individualized engagement activities with consumers utilizing Recovery concepts that include sharing personal recovery experiences, developing a peer relationship that encourages hope in the future, and maximum participation in the community with focus on community integration (e.g., work, school, relationships, physical activities, self-directed hobbies and interests, etc.).
  • Assists the person in identifying and valuing his unique strengths, abilities and assets, and how to best utilize them to achieve their goals.
  • Works in concert with person and case manager around Recovery goal development and planning, including: a) assisting individual to define personal interests and goals in relation to Recovery and to getting the life they want in the community; b) provides education on  WRAP to assist Recovering individuals in developing their own plans for advancing their recovery.
  • Provides daily information and feedback regarding consumer’s behavior, attitude and physical condition, as a part of participation in the treatment planning process and in Team meetings,
  • Serves as a role model and promotes self-advocacy so that Recovering individuals will have a voice that is fully heard in ensuring that their needs, goals, and objectives are central in their dealings with provider agencies. 
  • Participates in the identification of community resources that support each individual’s goals and interests,
  • Liaisons with community groups/agencies that promote Recovery, along with other team staff, to ensure consumer access to and participation by: a) discussing possible matches and opportunities that coincide with the person’s interests, b) linking to self-help and mutual support groups, c) accompanying individuals to various community providers to familiarize them with potential resources, d) teaching them the skills needed to effectively and successfully utilize resources, and e) coaching to enable independent use of resources.  
  • Accompanies individuals to appointments (medical, dental, financial, entitlements, court, and probation, etc.) to provide support and assistance, if requested.
  • Attends in-service and other training in order to meet mandated training hours.
  • Reads/completes required paperwork documentation in timely manner.
  • Adheres to a flex schedule which allows for evening and weekend hours as may be required to respond to individual needs.
  • Performs other duties as assigned.


Essential Education, Experience and Skills:

  • Patience, creativity, flexibility, compassion, and sensitivity to persons with disabilities and other minority populations
  • Excellent interpersonal, communication and writing skills, as well as computer literacy
  • High school diploma or GED; BA degree in a social science field preferred
  • Must be a current or former recipient of mental health services for 2 years or more and have achieved at least one year in recovery
  • Must have successfully completed the Pennsylvania Certified Peer Specialist Training Program
  • Ability to work with diverse populations including clients and staff in critical and emergency situations.
  • Sensitive to cultural, economic, gender, and sexual orientation differences
  • Valid driver's license and clean driving record.


Supervisory Responsibilities:  None


Physical Demands and Work Environment

  • Community environment.
  • Constant interaction with agency clientele.
  • Considerable walking and standing.