Certified Peer Counselor

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Position Description

Certified Peer Counselor are individuals with a recent personal history as a youth or as a parent of a child/youth who has been a recipient of behavioral health, child welfare, complex medical coordination or juvenile justice services who use that personal experience in building support with families.

Peer Counselors collaborate, provide support, and help facilitate services for youth and their families receiving Family Behavioral Health Services. Working as a member of a team, the Peer Counselor helps a youth or parent voice their own perspective and assure that other team members are able to understand their perspective and use that perspective in treatment planning.

This position helps youth, parents, and families achieve confidence in their abilities to team on a recovery journey and maintain hope for their success after formal behavioral health services have been completed. Successful applicants must have first person experience in accessing system services and be prepared to disclose their personal experiences with youth, parents, and others.

Major Duties and Responsibilities

  • Crisis Response Support to youth and families served by a clinical team, with flexible on-call service availability 24/5 with a weekend rotation. This position under the supervision of a clinical supervisor, requires the skills and abilities to assess safety and risk ‘in the moment’ in crisis situations while providing direct therapeutic crisis assistance in a home or community to support to youth and families.
  • Provide direct support to the treatment team assessing and engaging the child/youth and family in safety planning and prevention activities.  Working with the treatment team for high-risk, clinically complex circumstances, team will determine the most appropriate safety crisis and treatment responses and utilize a Peer to support youth and family engagement in service planning to address those safety, crisis and treatment needs.
  • Participate in child and family teams and in the assessment process with referred youth and parents. Relate personal experience to assist in building trust with the family and increasing hopeful engagement in services.
  • Assess and review the youth and parent’s ability to communicate their position, preferences, strengths and needs.  Find ways to relate personal experience to the to the experience of the youth or parent
  • Review personal history receiving services and disclose common elements to youth and parent being served.  Reassure and communicate the recovery process to youth and parents, that “they are not in this alone.”
  • Reach agreement with youth and parents about their functional strengths, passions and activities that will contribute to their healing and support.  Assist in communicating that clinical information to the treatment team and through session documentation to Medicaid funders.
  • As an active participant in the clinical treatment team, review and analyze the safety/crisis and treatment plan, make suggestions for improvement/ modifications that would improve youth and parent participation.
  • Attend clinical team meetings and support youth/parent voice, communicating agreements in cooperation with the youth and parent.
  • Provide a range of peer driven clinical supports and helpful interventions as identified on the individualized treatment plan.  Deliver and support treatment activities as agreed to with the youth and parent, documenting services in compliance with Medicaid standards in an electronic health record.
  • Create plans for clinical peer session activities and interventions with youth and parents that enhance recovery focus and increased safety in the home and community.
  • Assist the youth and parents in analyzing progress toward vision and goals and encourage their feedback to their team.  Provide supportive connection for youth and parent goals rather that becoming a change agent focused on correction of youth or family behavior.
  • Communicate strategies and recovery ideas directly to youth and parents by using own life as a learning and teaching tool (when helpful to family and plan).
  • Support youth and family safety by communicating treatment progress and/or concerns to the team, seeking supervisory assistance and report incidents whenever appropriate.
  • Provide support to youth and parents during transition from behavioral health services, negotiating and supporting post-discharge services to medical, behavioral and community services that best meet the youth and parents needs.
  • Participate in continuous improvement efforts by sharing perspectives in agency activities such as Quality Improvement reviews, staffings or other means.
  • Other duties as assigned.


  • Responsible for upholding a culture of privacy and security in highly confidential work environment (HIPAA covered entity service area).
  • Complies with all CCSWW policies and procedures that involve access to and safeguarding of client Protected Health Information (all forms).

Minimum Qualifications

  • Non-professional personal experience as a youth recipient of social or community services within the past 10 years or a parent with a child who has been a recipient of social or community services within the past 10 years.
  • High school diploma/GED.
  • Age 21 or older per DSHS requirements.
  • Complete peer counselor certification through DBHR within 6 months of being hired.
  • Must have reliable transportation, valid driver’s license, and automobile insurance.
  • Must have an acceptable driving record per CCS’ driving policy (required to provide current driving abstract).
  • Applicant must successfully pass required background checks prior to an offer of employment.
  • Availability to work flexible hours (evenings, nights, weekends).
  • Proof of negative TB test within past 12 months.
  • Washington State Counselor Registration (HIV/AIDS training required).
  • Ability to work independently in addition to working as a member of a
  • Demonstrates the necessary attitudes, knowledge and skills to deliver culturally competent services and work effectively in multi-cultural situations.
  • Support and uphold the mission, beliefs and values of Catholic Community Services and Catholic Housing Services.

Preferred Qualifications

  • A.A. or B.A. in social sciences, social services or mental health field background.
  • One year relevant experience with social services and mental health agencies working with people who need assistance.