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CFPS Code of Ethics

Family Peer Specialists empower caregivers and families to define and work toward goals that will improve wellness for their children, themselves, and their families.  Our Certified Family Peer Specialists (CFPS) pledge to uphold the values and principles below in order to live out their ethical commitment as peers with lived experience.


The following is the Code of Ethics for Nationally Certified Family Peer Specialists:

  1. Share my experience as a family member/caregiver when it may help others

  2. Acknowledge that each family member’s experiences may be different than mine

  3. Take responsibility for clarifying my role as a Certified Family Peer Specialist and as a family member/caregiver of a child who has experienced and/or is experiencing emotional, mental health, and/or substance use challenges

  4. Build partnerships with others who are involved in the support of our children

  5. Commit to honesty in all my interactions as a Certified Family Peer Specialist and expect the same from others

  6. Commit to a non-judgmental and respectful attitude in my interactions with and discussions regarding families

  7. Commit to a non-adversarial approach to advocacy in my role as a Certified Family Peer Specialist

In order to fulfill this pledge, Certified Family Peer Specialists agree to abide by the following principles, rules, and procedures:

Principle 1 – Integrity

In order to maintain high standards of competence and integrity, I will:

  1. Apply the principles of resiliency, wellness and/or recovery, family-driven approach, youth-guided approach, consumer-driven approach, and peer-to-peer mutual-learning principles in everyday interactions with family members

  2. Champion family members’ ethical decision-making and personal responsibility consistent with their culture, values, and beliefs

  3. Champion family members’ voices and articulate their values in evaluation and planning related to their child(ren)’s behavioral health

  4. Teach skills, mentor, coach, and support family members to articulate goals that reflect their needs and strengths

  5. Demonstrate respect for culturally based values of family members engaged in peer support

  6. Communicate information in ways that are developmentally and culturally appropriate

  7. Empower family members to be fully informed and prepared to make decisions and to understand the implications of those decisions

  8. Maintain high standards of professional competence and integrity

  9. Will not discriminate against or refuse services to anyone based on race, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, religion/spirituality, culture, national origin, age, sexual orientation, marital status, language preference, socioeconomic status, or disability

  10. Only assist family members whose concerns are within my competency as determined by my training, experience, and on-going supervision/consultation

  11. Will not establish or maintain a relationship for the sole purpose of financial remuneration

  12. Terminate a relationship when it becomes reasonably clear that a peer relationship is no longer desired by the family member

Principle 2 – Safety

In order to maintain the safety of all family members involved with CFPS services, I will:

  1. Comply with all laws and regulations applicable to the jurisdiction in which peer support services are provided

  2. Maintain confidentiality in personal and professional communications and ensure that family members have authorized use or release of any and all information about themselves or family members for whom they have legal authority, including but not limited to verbal statements, writings, or the re-release of documents

  3. Respect the privacy of the agencies and refrain from distributing internal or draft documents or sharing private or internal conversations

  4. Comply with all laws and regulations applicable to the jurisdiction in which peer support services are provided

  5. When complying with laws and regulations involving mandatory reporting of harm, abuse, or neglect; make every effort to involve the family members in the reporting process; and ensure that no further harm is done to family members as the result of the reporting

  6. Discuss and explain to family members the rights, roles, expectations, benefits, and limitations of the peer support process

  7. Always ensure clarity about my role and the role of family members

  8. Maintain positive relationships with family members, and refrain from a premature or unannounced termination of the relationship until a reasonable alternative arrangement is made for continuation of services

  9. Abstain from engaging in intimate emotional or physical relationships with family members engaged in a peer support relationship

  10. Neither offer nor accept gifts related to the professional service of peer support, including, but not limited to personal barter services, payment for referrals, or other remunerations. This also includes participating in personal financial transactions with family members engaged in a peer support relationship

Principle 3 - Professional Responsibility

Through educational activities, supervision, and personal commitment, I will:

  1. Stay informed on current research, policy, and developments in the field of family /peer support and children’s behavioral health which relates to my practice area and children’s general development, health, and well-being

  2. Engage in helping relationships that include skill-building not exceeding my scope of practice, experience, training, education, or competence

  3. Seek appropriate professional supervision/consultation or assistance for personal problems or conflicts that may impair or affect my work/volunteer performance, judgment, or the peer relationship

  4. File a complaint with the National Federation when there is reason to believe that another Certified Family Peer Specialist is or has been engaged in conduct that violates the law or this code (Note: Filing a complaint to the National Federation is an additional requirement, not a substitute for or alternative to any duty of filing report(s) required by statute or regulation.)

  5. Refrain from distorting, misusing, or misrepresenting my experience, knowledge, skills, or research findings

  6. In the role of a supervisor/consultant, be responsible for maintaining the quality of my own skills as a supervisor/consultant

  7. I will give credit to persons for published or unpublished original ideas, take reasonable precautions to ensure that their employer or affiliate organization promotes and advertises materials accurately and factually

Principle 4 - Certification Responsibilities

As a Certified Family Peer Specialist, I will:

  1. Remain current on certification fees

  2. Comply with the Code of Ethics and re-certification requirements set by the National Federation

  3. Only use the CFPS (Certified Family Peer Specialist) credential or represent myself as having that credential when in full compliance with the credentialing requirements

  4. Always utilize the Certified Family Peer Specialist (CFPS) designation appropriately and use the current CFPS logo on any printed materials

  5. Cooperate with any ethics investigation by any professional organization or government agency, and truthfully represent and disclose facts to such organizations or agencies when requested or when necessary to preserve the integrity of the peer support profession

  6. Notify the National Federation of any legal action with potential impact on the practice of peer support, including but not limited to: the filing in any court of an information; complaint; indictment; conviction; revocation of suspended imposition of sentence; revocation of probation/parole; filing of any charge, or action before a state, tribal, or federal regulatory agency or judicial body concerning the practice of peer support or related professions; or a matter before another certification body. Such notification shall be made within sixty (60) days of the filing of such charge or action, and they shall provide documentation of the resolution of such action within sixty (60) days of that resolution.

Have additional questions?

Please contact us at:


Tel: (240) 403-1901

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