Certified Family Partner Program
Via Hope trains and certifies Family Partners in the state of Texas. Via Hope’s certification is the only one accepted by the Texas Health and Human Services Commission. Public mental health agencies in Texas are required to have family partners on staff and for them to be certified within one year of hire.
A Certified Family Partner (CFP) is a parent or guardian who has lived experience raising a child with mental or emotional challenges and who has learned to successfully navigate the systems of care. Via Hope’s family partner certification is the only one recognized by the State of Texas.
The Certified Family Partner is trained to use this experience to help other parents experiencing these issues.
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 health diagnoses. They work to raise awareness and reduce discrimination around mental health in schools, faith communities, state agencies and communities.
How to Be Trained
To obtain certification as a Certified Family Partner (CFP) one must complete an intensive 3 day training followed by an afternoon exam that assesses competency skills needed by successful family partners. Via Hope also offers a one-day course for CFP supervisors that is highly recommended. This course is generally offered on a Friday after the CFP certification course is completed. Both courses are usually offered in April and October. At this time, only English language courses are available; however, Via Hope is exploring options to offer Spanish language training and materials. Further information on the training view the CFP training application/.
The curriculum was originally developed by Texas stakeholders and Via Hope staff, based on resources from several other states. The material is undergoing revision to include updates and ensure that the training is trauma informed.
Once certified, family partners must earn at least 20 CEUs every two years to maintain their certification. The program is administered according to the policies in the Certified Family Partner Policy and Procedures Manual
Family partners who have taken certification training in another state or who have passed the national certification exam administered by the Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health may apply for a certification through Via Hope. If it is determined that the other training and certification is comparable to that provided by Via Hope, the individual will be certified for the lesser of 1) their certification period from the other state, or 2) twenty-four months. The individual must meet the same requirements as other Certified Family Partners to be eligible to be recertified.
To learn more about the Family Partner Training and Certification program, contact Family Partner Coordinator Christianna Hale at Christianna.Hale@viahope.org.
For a list of upcoming CFP “basic” trainings, please visit our List of Upcoming CFP Trainingson our events page.