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Division of Mental Health Services

Office of Children and Youth (OCY)


The Family Support Specialist Certification Program (FSSCP) is for families supporting children with emotional, mental or behavioral (MEB) disturbances. This model relies on individuals who draw upon their own experiences in caring for a child with an MEB. The FSSCP is based on the Peer Support Specialist Certification Program of Tennessee’s Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (TDMHSAS). The FSSCP will allow for a level of service and support above and beyond that of the clinical staff, through care giver to care giver support offered by the family support specialist.

Tennessee Certified Family Support Specialist are self-identified as a person that has provided direct caregiver support to a child with an MEB and has successfully navigated the child-serving system to access treatment and necessary resources. This individual undergoes training recognized by the Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse serves  on how to assist others in fostering resiliency in children with behavioral health needs.

Tennessee Certified Family Support Specialists

  • Deliver unique services in the children’s mental health system
  • Provide direct care giver to care giver support
  • Serves as an advocate mentor and facilitator

Principles of Family Support

  • Empowerment
  • Child Centered
  • Community Based
  • Culturally Competent

Tennessee Family Support Specialist Certification Guidelines and Forms

Office of Children and Youth Links