Certified Family Partner (CFP)

Texas Peer Certification for Parents and Guardians of children who have navigated mental, emotional, or behavioral health challenges

What is a Certified Family Partner?

A Certified Family Partner is a parent or guardian who has lived experience raising a child with mental, emotional, or behavioral health challenges and has at least one year of successfully navigating a child-serving system. This person may be a: 

Birth parent
Adoptive parent, foster parent
Legally recognized family member standing in for an absent parent; or
A person chosen by the family or youth to have the role of parent

Certified Family Partners are trained to use this experience to help other parents/guardians for the purpose of educating, role modeling and providing hope related to the recovery process.

Family partners work to give voice to, and promote recovery and resiliency within, families of children with mental, emotional and behavioral health challenges. They work to raise awareness and reduce stigma around mental health in schools, faith-based communities, state agencies and communities. It is a form of family peer support and is recognized by SAMHSA as an evidence-based practice.

Eligibility Requirements

Individuals interested in becoming certified as a Certified Family Partner (CFP) must meet the following eligibilty criteria:

  • Be currently employed as a Family Partner.
  • Be age 18 or older.
  • Be a high school graduate or have completed a G.E.D.
  • Be the parent or Legal Authorized Representative of a child/youth with behavioral health needs and
  • Have at least one year of experience navigating a child-serving system.
  • Be willing to publicly identify as a parent or caregiver with lived experience parenting a child with behavioral health needs.
  • Applicants must complete the FP Certification Training application. The FP Certification Training Application is made available to you on your Centralized Training account once you have applied.
  • Applicants will receive a pre-training phone call from one of the trainers to confirm their eligibility.

What do CFPs do?

Currently, most Certified Family Partners work in community mental health centers, although there are a growing number in private and public hospitals, residential treatment centers, juvenile justice centers, and other settings. 

CFPs provide “Family Partner Services” to parents, legal representatives, or primary caregivers of a youth who is navigating behavioral health services. Examples of Family Partner Services includes: 

  • Conducting support groups
  • Participating in wraparound services
  • Giving one-on-one support
  • Conducting face to face contact guidance meetings;
  • Helping families navigate systems (i.e. juvenile justice, CPS, independent school districts, Social Security Administration, Human Service programs, food banks, and other community resources

What Is It Like Working As A Certified Family Partner?

This is what a few Family Partners had to share about what it’s like working as a Mental Health Peer Specialist, and give practical advice for someone new to the field.

Play Video

CFP Certification Steps

The certification process for Certified Family Partners includes an eligibility screening, 5 day CFP training, and an application process through the Texas Certification Board.

This orientation will provide you with an overview of the career field, help you gauge your readiness, and ensure that you meet the eligibility requirements needed to obtain your certification.

Once you complete the Texas Peer Specialist Orientation Course, you will be prompted to download your letter of completion. You will need to this letter in order to register for training!

Peer Training in Texas is provided by Certified Training Entities. You can register for MHPS, RSPS, CFP, and PSS training with these entities directly.

See upcoming Training Opportunities 

This core training is a 3 day (or 19.5 hour) in-person or online workshop that will give you a comprehensive overview of what peer support is, what peer specialists do, and familiarize you with the role and functions of a Peer Specialist.

View upcoming Core Training Opportunities

This 5 day training expands on the knowledge and skills for peer support, refining the focus to the specific approaches for CFP.

View upcoming CFP Supplemental Training Opportunities

After you complete Core and Supplemental training, you must begin your application process with the Texas Certification Board (TCB).

TCB uses a digitial application called Certemy that you will be uploading information into for the duration of your internship and supervision period.

Typically, the training entity you complete your training with will help you start your initial application. If you need help doing this, check out this video in our wiki.

Step-by-Step Guide to CFP Certification

Learn more about each of these steps with this step-by-step guide. We break down every step of the CFP certification process with helpful links and FAQs from the peers we have helped.

CFP Certification FAQs

For more FAQs about the training, internship, and application process, check out the PeerForce wiki.

Currently, CFP training is offered for free through Centralized Training Infrastructure.

The time it takes to obtain a full MHPS certification can be anywhere between 6 months to a year, depending on how quickly a person completes the training and 250 supervised work experience hours. 

Finding CFP Training 

CFP training dates can be searched for using the PeerForce CFP training calendar or by visiting the Centralized Training Infrastructures online calendar.

Another option is to reference the list of certified Training Entities on the Texas Certification Board website, and look at their respective training calendars for upcoming dates.

Registering for Training

The registration process for MHPS, RSPS, CFP, and PSS training is different for each training entity. Typically, you will need to submit your personal information and proof that you have completed the online state orientation module (if you are registering for Peer Specialist Core training).

If you have questions and want to learn more about becoming a CFP, you can reach out to PeerForce and talk with one of our support team members. We can answer questions you have about CFP training, certification, and career opportunities. 

The PeerForce wiki has additional FAQs and information articles about CFP certification. 

Need Help?

Visit our contact us page to connect with our Career Support Team.

Ready to Start?
Take the Texas Peer Specialist Orientation

The online orientation is the first step to getting certified as a Peer Specialist! The information in this module will provide all the information you need to learn more about the career, check your eligibility, and answer questions you have about the certification and training process. ​