Family Partner FAQ

Family Partners in NC FAQ’s

Family Support is the belief that the community comes together to support the family in a holistic wraparound system of care, family – driven approach. The goal is to strengthen, empower and engage families in their communities so that they can foster the optimal development of children, youth, and adult family members. Family support uses an integrated network of community-based resources and services that strengthens parenting practices and the healthy development of children.  Family support includes “paid” supports such as family partners and youth support providers as well as “unpaid” or “informal” support by neighbors, friends, grandparents and other families who face similar needs.

Family Partner Structure Diagram (Click On Link To View)

Parent Support Model (Click On Link To View)

The Basics



What is a Family Partner? A Family Partner is a person who can articulate lessons learned from his/her own lived experience *parenting a child/youth with social/emotional or behavioral challenges and has specialized training to assist and support families raising children/youth who experience social/emotional, developmental, behavioral, substance use, or mental illness concerns. A Family Partner collaborates with child and family serving systems and family and youth organizations to improve family outcomes and strives to eliminate stigma and discrimination.  *Parenting a child is defined as the primary caretaker of a child for an extended period of time who has decision making authority for that child.
What is the difference between a Family Partner and a Family member? A Family member is a person that lives in a household that has a parent, sibling, child/foster child that is eligible for multi-services to support their everyday success. A Family Partner is a job title. (see above). All Family Partners must be a family member, but not all family members are Family Partners.


Tell me more!



What do Family Partners do? A Family Partner may advocate, train and co-train topics that are Family Driven and System of Care friendly.
What is the difference between a Family Partner and a Family Partner Coordinator? The Family Partner Coordinator(FPC) is the lead Family Partner. The FPC may act as supervisor, mentor or coach to the Family Partner. Not all Family Partners are Family Partner Coordinators
What Are the Family Partner Competencies – Knowledge?


There are several competencies and generalized core concepts that Family Partners need to be aware of and function within.

  • System of Care concepts, principles and practices
  • Confidentiality – HIPPA
  • Non-judgmental approach
  • Family-driven approach
  • Strength-based approach
  • The ability to question the status quo
  • The ability to be objective
  • Developmental stages
  • Parenting skills and strategies
  • Self-care and stress management


What are the primary functions of a FP?
  1. Support
  2. Advocacy
  3. Navigation
  4. Train
  5. Give Family Driven Voice



Becoming a Family Partner in NC



How do you become skilled to be Family Partner? Family Partners need to go through a series of trainings

5- Requirements

·          Family Partner 101

·          Motivational Interviewing

·          CFT 1

·          Trauma informed Care

·          WRAP (Wellness Recovery Action Planning

2- Electives

·          CFT 2

·          IEP/504

·          PPP

·          S/A

·          RENEW

·          Futures Planning Advanced

·          Transition helping

·          Certified Peer Support

·          Mental Health First Aid

·          Housing, SS, Vocational Rehab registering 1-stop

·          High Fidelity Wraparound Foundations Training

·          Other


After Trainings then what?


It is recommended that the Family Partners are mentored and supervised by senior family partners, clinical service providers, or Certified Parent Support Provider (preferred) for at least one year prior to taking the National Certification test for Certified Parent Support Providers. Family Partners may practice family peer support in a paid or unpaid manner.
Where can I find a Job Description for a Family Partner, Family Partner Coordinator and a Family Partner Trainer? All Family Partner Job Descriptions can be found on website under the Family Partner Work Force Development section. Depending on where a Family Partner is employed the job descriptions can vary. The job descriptions on the website are guidelines.
Do you need to be a paid Family Partner to be called a Family Partner?


No, if you are an adult who partners with families and adheres to the SOC values and principles, and you are the caregiver/parent of someone who has received services and you have taken the 5 courses and 2 electives you can always maintain the title of Family Partner.

You are always welcome to volunteer your services.


Do you need to be a paid Family Partner to be called a Family Partner?


No, if you are an adult who partners with families and adheres to the SOC values and principles, and you are the caregiver/parent of someone who has received services and you have taken the 5 courses and 2 electives you can always maintain the title of Family Partner.

You are always welcome to volunteer your services.


What kind of supervision is recommended for Family Partners?


This is dependent on who is employing or contracting the Family Partner. As for NC Families United we do the following:

At NC Families United all Family Partners are supervised under strict protocols which included a review of the code of ethics, confidentiality and releases forms. NCFU follows HIPPA guidelines.

All Family Partners have weekly individual supervision from the Family Director, bi- weekly or monthly staff meeting supervision and on-going trainings.

All Family Partners follow NCFU coordinating care protocols that include Futures Plans for each family, note taking and clinical reviews annually.



Landscape in NC



How many Family Partners does our state have? The exact number is always changing, as of August 2016 the state of NC has 423 known Family Partners who receive information and invitations to the state quarterly family partner meetings. Of the 423- 143 have completed the 5 required trainings and 2 electives. Out of the 143 –35are Certified Parent Support Providers (PSP).

Currently how does a Family Partner get paid?

Paying for a Family Partner looks different in every area of the state.

Some Family Partners get paid through System of Care Grants, others are written into the MCO budgets as service providers with lived experience.

Some have braided funding from local schools, DSS, and MCO and Vocational rehabilitation.

A few Family Partners are written into the budget of MCO’s and schools.

MCOs also contract through non-UCR dollars to pay for Family Partners.

There is a movement to get a B3 waiver for sustainability, so FP can be a billable service.


How much to Family Partners make?


This varies for county to county and contract to contract. Generally it is recommended that a FP make $15.00 an hour and FP Coordinators make up to $20.00 an hour. A contracted Family Partner Trainer should make $400.00 per day. However there are many Family Partners in this state that make lower and higher hourly pay. This is up to the Family Partner and the employer.



National  Parent Support Provider Certification



What is a Certified Parent Support Provider? (PSP) A Certified PSP is a Family Partner who has completed all the trainings described above, worked under supervision for a year, applied to the Federation of Families and has taken and passed the rigorous certification test.

 The Certified Parent Support Provider™ certification defines the uniform standards and title of parents helping other parents who have children (0-26) experiencing emotional, behavioral health, substance use, intellectual disabilities, or mental health concerns. Certification promotes ethical practice and creates mobility of workers across states. It brings to the workforce parents with experience in successfully helping their own children and increases the acceptance of this effective “modern and good” or best practice.

How can I apply to be a Certified PSP Go to website and get the information. You will need to fill out the application form and make a $50.00 deposit.

If you are a Family Member and live in North Carolina you may apply for a PSP scholarship to pay for the remainder fee of the test minus the $50.00, while funds last.

Do you need to be a PSP to be a Family Partner Coordinator?


No, not at this time, however it is highly recommended since the National Parent Support Provided (PSP) test is rigorous and validating, those who pass this test are thought to have the highest level of skills.

You will most likely need to be certified at any level to bill MEDICAID, should a B3 waiver be approve.

NCFU highly RECOMMENDS every Family Partner become certified.


Now you know all that we know!



NC Families United only is responsible for the actions and decisions of Family Partners under the supervision and contract of NC Families United. All other Family Partners are independent and subject to the rules and authority that support them.

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