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Mental Health Certified Family Peer Specialist

Date: 01-06-2017

  • Overview
  • Eligible Providers
  • Eligible Recipients
  • Covered Services
  • Place of Service
  • Documentation of Covered Services
  • Noncovered Services
  • Clinical Supervision
  • Authorization Requirements
  • Billing
  • Legal Reference
  • Overview

    Certified family peer specialists (CFPS) work with the family of a child or youth who has an emotional disturbance or a severe emotional disturbance and is receiving mental health treatment to promote the resiliency and recovery of the child or youth. They provide nonclinical family peer support building on the strengths of the family and help them to achieve desired outcomes.

    CFPS services provide the family with skills, knowledge and support to strengthen the family and increase parents’ ability to support the treatment goals of the recipient and, thereby, to enhance the ability to function better within the home, school and community and to progress with recovery and improve resiliency.

    These services are:

  • • Person-centered
  • • Focused on recovery and resiliency
  • • Self-directed where possible
  • CFPS services must be identified in a treatment plan and characterized by a partnering approach between the certified family peer specialist, the child or youth who receives the service, and his or her family.

    Eligible Providers

    Certified family peer specialists are employed by existing mental health community providers or centers who are enrolled in Minnesota Health Care Programs (MHCP).

    The certified family peer specialist must meet all of the following qualifications:

  • • Be at least 21 years of age
  • • Have a high school diploma or its equivalent
  • • Have raised or are currently raising a child with a mental illness
  • • Be currently navigating or have experience navigating the children's mental health system
  • • Demonstrate leadership and advocacy skills
  • • Have strong dedication to family-driven and family-focused services
  • • Successfully complete the DHS-approved Certified Family Peer Specialist Training and certification exam
  • Certification

    A family peer specialist must be certified by the Certification Commission for Family Support of the National Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health as a Certified Parent Support Provider (CPSP) and must be recorded as having successfully completed a Minnesota-specific training, approved by the Department of Human Services. CPSP designated individuals must renew or recertify every two years through continuing education requirements and ongoing supervision (also called consultation or mentoring) from another parent support provider.

    Eligible Recipients

    To be eligible for CFPS services, an MHCP recipient must meet the following requirements:

  • • Be between 0-21 years old
  • • Have a diagnosis of mental illness determined by a diagnostic assessment as defined in Minnesota Rules 9505.0372, Subpart 1, A and B, or C, or E
  • • Children under 18 years old diagnosed with an emotional disturbance (ED) or meet severe emotional disturbance (SED) criteria
  • • Young adults 18 through 20 years old diagnosed with mental illness (MI) or meet serious and persistent mental illness (SPMI) criteria
  • • Have a need for mental health services as documented by information in a diagnostic assessment
  • • Have an individual treatment plan (ITP) that clearly documents medical necessity for this type of mental health service, including intensity of treatment
  • Covered Services

    The following activities are covered by CFPS services:

  • • Provide education and skill building to parents and caregivers that teach them to:
  • • Recognize their child’s behavior as a result of the mental illness
  • • Develop coping skills for parenting a child with a mental illness
  • • Develop problem solving skills in order for the child to make progress towards the individual treatment plan
  • • Connect with community resources
  • • Teach strategies and services that help parents to do the following:
  • • Identify family strengths and promote resiliency
  • • Develop natural supports
  • • Provide support and helps parents to:
  • • Link to other parents for mutual support
  • • Learn how best to advocate for culturally appropriate services
  • Place of Service

    CFPS services may be provided in inpatient hospitalization, partial hospitalization, residential treatment, treatment foster care, day treatment, children's therapeutic services and supports, or crisis services programs.

    CFPS services may take place in, but are not limited to, a home, school, community or clinic.

    Documentation of Covered Service

    Medical Necessity
    Documentation of medical necessity of CFPS services occurs within the diagnostic assessment and individual treatment plan. The diagnostic assessment describes how the child meets criteria for emotional disturbance or severe emotional disturbance. Within the child’s individualized treatment plan, specific interventions describing how the CFPS services will be utilized to treat the child’s mental illness are documented.

    Progress Notes
    Each episode of CFPS services is documented in progress notes. Notes include the following information:

  • • Type of service (over the phone or in person)
  • • Date of service
  • • Start and stop time of service
  • • Intervention
  • • Contact with whom and relation to client
  • • Connection to the treatment plan goal and objective
  • • Plan and action for next steps
  • • Name and title of person who gave the service
  • • Date documentation was made in the client’s record
  • Clinical Supervision

    Clinical supervision must meet the following requirements. Certified family peer specialists must:

  • • Be supervised by a mental health professional during the first 2000 hours of employment which includes direct onsite observation while providing peer services as follows:
  • • Newly hired workers at least six hours per 40 hours for the first 160 hours
  • • Workers in continued employment at least six hours every six months
  • • Mental health professional must review and cosign progress notes
  • Noncovered Services

    The following services are not covered as CFPS services:

  • • Transportation
  • • Services that are performed by volunteers
  • • Household tasks, chores or related activities such as laundering clothes, moving, housekeeping and grocery shopping
  • • Time spent “on call” and not delivering services to recipients
  • • Job-specific skills services such as on-the-job training
  • • Case management
  • • Outreach to potential recipients
  • • Services to family members
  • • Room and board
  • • Service by providers that are not approved to provide CFPS services
  • • CFPS services that are included in the daily rate may not be billed separately
  • Authorization Requirements

    Refer to authorization for general authorization policy and procedures. For CFPS services, authorization is required to exceed more than 300 hours per client per calendar year for a combined total of H0038 HA, and H0038 HA HQ.


    See the following table for CFPS benefit information:

    Certified Family Peer Specialist (CFPS) Benefits



    Brief Descriptions


    Service Limitations



    Certified family peer specialist services

    15 min

    Authorization is required for more than 300 hours per client per calendar year for a combined total of H0038 HA, and H0038 HA HQ

    HA HQ

    Certified family peer specialist services in a group setting.

    Legal References

    MN Statutes 256B.0616 Mental Health Certified Family Peer Specialist

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