What is a Certified Family Partner (CFP)?

This article summarizes the role, responsibilities, and ethical guidelines for Certified Family Partners in Texas.

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

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. 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.

(Cited-Lopez, M.A. (August, 2013). Texas Family Partner Evaluation: Interim Report. Texas Institute for Excellence in Mental Health, School of Social Work, University of Texas at Austin).