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NAMI Hiring Family Navigator

Providing behavioral healthcare at the earliest possible stage produces the best results with long-term cost savings (reduced incidents of interaction with the criminal justice system, lower risk of suicide, emergency room care, and homelessness.) Family support is a key component to success. 

It has been recognized that the most important criterion for a parent peer support provider is “lived experience” or the real-life skill of raising or having raised a child with behavioral health needs, and navigating complex child-serving systems.

Family Peer Navigator

NAMI Sarasota County is seeking a full-time Family Peer Navigator to help families access services that best meet their needs and identify system barriers and family needs that will provide an overall improvement to the system of care in Sarasota County. Specifically:  

  • Help families to navigate the system during a time of crisis, potentially reducing the need for additional high-cost, deep-end services;  
  • Speed up recovery for the youth through early identification and trauma-informed interventions; and 
  • Identify system barriers and family needs to help improve the system.  

The Navigator would act as a liaison between the adolescent/young adult, parent(s)/family and the behavioral health system. This position is not designed to provide direct services, but rather support the family while they are in the mental health system with their child. The Navigator would participate in meetings with the school district, law enforcement, and medical providers alongside the family as requested.

Minimum Qualifications 

  • High School degree or equivalent; 
  • Experience navigating at least one child serving system directly related to their childs behavioral health challenges, such as mental health, child welfare, juvenile justice, or education; 
  • Ability to recognize that lived experience (positive and negative) has fostered their personal growth; 
  • Capacity to think beyond their personal familys needs to understand the perspective and needs of other families, as well as the needs of the agency or system;  
  • Ability to develop/maintain effective partnerships with community constituents, local governmental agencies, non-profit groups, and special interest groups (parents, staff, stakeholders); and 
  • Family Peer Support Specialist Certification. Family credential, or ability to obtain certification within first year of employment. 

Essential Job Functions: 

  • Offer families support, understanding, and assistance with communicating questions, concerns and needs thereby encouraging family self-advocacy and the development of short and long-term planning; 
  • Work as a liaison between individual/family and the school district, law enforcement, and medical providers, etc. 
  • Establish a regular on-site presence at Bayside Center for Behavioral Health and other local crisis units for referrals and to establish caseload; 
  • Promote and participate in a support group for parents/caregivers to assist families in building supportive relationships, providing mutual support and shared positive impact from people who understand their situation.  
  • Provide outreach intervention and referral services through the distribution of materials, information, education, and linkage to community services in individual and/or group settings; 
  • Communicate with community stakeholders and partners about the program and act as a liaison between stakeholders and the Hear4Youth Initiative; 
  • Willingness to work flexible hours including nights and weekends when parents are available to meet and participate in activities; 
  • Other duties as assigned. 

 Additional Skills Needed: 

  • Ability to answer telephone and respond to requests in a friendly manner; 
  • Ability to express or exchange ideas by means of written and spoken word; 
  • Ability to maintain confidentiality; 
  • Ability to maintain appropriate boundaries with persons served; 
  • Promote the coordination of programs and services through facilitation of communication, teamwork, and sharing of resources and ideas;  
  • Ability to gather data, maintain records, and prepare reports required for program success; 
  • Must have a valid Florida Drivers License; and 
  • Must receive and maintain CPR certification, complete Mental Health First Aid training (adult and youth), and be trained in trauma-informed practices. 

Interested applicants should send their cover letter and resume by April 15, 2020 to NAMI Sarasota County via email at or mail to 2911 Fruitville Road, Sarasota, FL 34237. If questions please call 941-376-9361. 


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