Westmoreland County 24-Hour Crisis Hotline   1-800-836-6010 T.T.Y Accessible

WCSI Position Title: Certified Peer Specialist
Position Classification: Social Services Aide 3
MCR Code: P4003
Department: Behavioral Health
Supervisor: Certified Peer Specialist Supervisor
Position Status: Full-Time/Regular/Non-Exempt
Prepared Date: 06/26/2017

Click here to apply online https://wcsi.org/careers/appone


This is a full time non-exempt position in a peer support capacity to assist clients in articulating personal goals for recovery and in determining the objectives the client needs to take in order to reach his or her recovery goals.  Noted in the Education and/or Experience section on page 3 are specific requirements for this position.  The Certified Peer provides peer support services; serves as a client advocate; provides client information and support for clients in community, emergency, outpatient or inpatient settings.  The Certified Peer performs a wide range of tasks to assist client in regaining control over their own lives and over their own recovery process.  The Certified Peer will role model competency in recovery and ongoing coping skills. 

 As with all WCSI positions, it is the expectation that employees adhere to WCSI, County, State and Federal guidelines, regulation, policies and laws which govern the business and service of WCSI.

We are an equal employment opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status or any other characteristic protected by law.  

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

Include the following, (other duties may be assigned as deemed necessary by management):


Crisis Support:

Assisting the client with the development of a PAR (Prevention and Recovery Plan) or a Psychiatric Advance Directive (PAD).  Learning to recognize the early signs of relapse and how to implement their identified coping strategies or request help in order to head off a crisis.  Assisting clients to learn how to use less restrictive alternatives that prevent hospitalization, incarceration and the use of emergency services when appropriate. 

 Development of Community Roles and Natural Supports:

Assisting the client in gaining information about going back to school or job training. Learning
about going back to full/part time paid work.  Facilitating the process of obtaining reasonable accommodations for psychiatric disability (mental health day, flex time, etc.). Support the vocational choices clients make and assist them in overcoming job related anxiety.  Assist clients in building social skills in the community that will enhance job acquisition and tenure.  Assisting neighborhood/community where they live, learn and work.


Assisting the client on learning how to access and maintain stable housing or learning how to improve or change an inadequate housing situation.


Cultivating the client?s ability to make informed, independent choices.  Helping the client develop a network of contacts for information and support who have been through similar experiences.  Utilize and teach problem solving techniques with individuals.  Utilizing their specific training lead as well as teach client how to facilitate Recovery Dialogues.  Assist client in setting up and sustaining self help (mutual support).


Self Improvement:

Planning and facilitating practical activities leading to increased self worth and improved self concepts.  Teach client how to identify and combat negative self talk.  Teach clients how to identify and overcome fears. 


Social Network:

Assisting the client with learning to develop and maintain positive personal/social support networks (friends, family, associates), learning how to improve or eliminate unhealthy personal relationships, learning how to start a new relationship (such as going to a movie with a new friend, meeting someone new at a social gathering), and learning how to improve communications with family members and others.

Documentation and Participation:

Document client contacts and progress, maintaining a permanent record of activity, according to the agency?s established methods and procedures.  The Certified Peer will document the following on the Individual Service Plan; assisting client in determining ?problems?, identifying recovery goals, setting objectives, determining interventions based on client?s recovery/life goals, observe the progress client makes towards meeting objectives and understanding an utilizing specific interventions necessary to assist client in meeting their recovery goals.  Attend treatment team meetings to promote client?s use of self-directed recovery tools.  Certified Peer will participate in meetings and trainings, as assigned by the supervisor and will maintain Certification status.


Other Duties:

Other duties may be assigned as deemed necessary by management.

Supervisor Responsibility

This position has no direct supervisory responsibility.  This position reports directly to the AM/Intake Supervisor and may also take direction from the Child/Intake Department Manager, Director of Behavioral Health and/or Executive Director.




To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily.  The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required.  Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.



A CPS is a self-identified individual who has received or is receiving state priority group services as defined in MH Bulletin OMHSAS-94-07, Serious Mental Illness: Adult Priority Group, and who


  • High School Diploma or GED; and

  • within the last 3 years have maintained at least 12 months of successful full or part time paid or voluntary work experience or obtained at least 24 credit hours of post-secondary education; and

  • successful completion of the Peer Specialist Certification Training.

  • You must be able to identify yourself as a person who has received or is receiving services for a serious mental illness.  The Certified Peer is someone who has lived experience in the behavioral health community, having been previously diagnosed themselves.  The Certified Peer has utilized resources in the community and/or on an inpatient basis and can asssit others because they have had similar experiences.  The Certified Peer is articulate in recovery priniciples and are themselves in recovery.  The Certified Peer can demonstrate success in their own recovery over an extended period of time. The Certified Peer has to be willing to self-disclose their own individual recovery story to assist the clients they serve in their recovery. 



This position requires strong interpersonal skills, effective oral and written communication skills.  It also requires the ability to prepare clear, concise reports.  Working knowledge of computer software that includes databases, spreadsheets and word processing for the purpose of tracking information and preparing reports, letters and forms.



Valid PA driver's license, Proof of valid Auto Insurance, ACT 33 (Child Abuse), ACT 34 (Criminal Record) and FBI Clearance.  There will be monthly screenings of PA Medicheck List, LEIE and EPLS.

While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to operate a motor vehicle, sit, stand, walk, bend and lift objects of up to 10 pounds. The employee regularly uses a computer, phone, fax, copier and other essential office equipment to carry out daily work assignments.
The services of this job are community based. While performing the duties of this job, the employee is exposed to a combination of office and outside/travel conditions and regularly exposed to a moderate level of noise.

Reasonable Accommodation:

It is WCSI?s business philosophy and practice to provide reasonable accommodations, according to applicable state and federal laws, to all qualified individuals with disabilities.


This position description is not an employment agreement or contract, but rather a description of the expectations of job duties and responsibilities as assigned to this position. Management has the exclusive right to alter the scope of work within the framework of this position description and the position classification, at any time without prior notice.

Click here to apply online https://wcsi.org/careers/appone



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Westmoreland County 24 Hour Crisis Hotline
1-800-836-6010 T.T.Y Accessible