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Recovery Support Specialist

** This is a NEW position to support a NEW Community Support Team for adolescent clients in the Behavioral Health Line of Service. This position will be community based with a home office at 6918 Windsor Avenue, Berwyn, IL. **


Responsibilities include provision of direct services to clients in the CST program, along with other team members, through mental health rehabilitative services.  Assists individuals living with mental illness to identify and achieve specific life goals by utilizing unique insights gained through personal recovery experience. Utilizes experience to facilitate and support the recoveries of others and to help shape systems of care.

This position requires one to earn the CRSS credential. The Certified Recovery Support Specialist (“CRSS”) professional is trained to share and incorporate their own unique personal life experiences as a current or former consumer of mental health or combined mental illness and substance use disorders services, in providing peer-to-peer mental health, rehabilitation, and substance abuse services.


  • Utilizes own lived experience as a consumer of behavioral health services to establish rapport, share experiences and strengthen engagement with clients in the CST program.
  • Supports positive recovery behaviors with clients in the CST program with a focus on identifying client strengths and needs and linking individuals to additional resources and support systems.
  • Provides direct service to CST clients through mental health rehabilitation services and supports, including illness self-management, skill building, identification and use of adaptive and compensatory skills, identification and use of natural supports and use of community resources. 60% of services must be provided in the member’s natural setting.
  • Under the direct supervision of a QMHP or LPHA, gathers member information to assess the need for services, makes recommendations for treatment, identifies and investigates existing natural resources and supports, explains options available to CST clients and assists in the application process.
  • Works with CST team members to document all service delivery according to Rule 132 and agency policy.
  • Participates in evaluation of referrals and facilitates placement into CST program with other team members, including ensuring potential clients meet eligibility requirements and all required screenings/assessments are completed; provides input into termination of services and assists with the development of an appropriate discharge plan.
  • Through supportive counseling, psycho-education and case management, assist people in the program to achieve their treatment goals, maximize independence and access needed community resources.
  • Coordinate with other community agencies and organizations such as DCFS, schools, hospitals, other providers in the community.
  • Provide services, in conjunction with other team members, to facilitate an effective transition in living arrangement, consistent with the client’s welfare and development (e.g., a client being discharged from inpatient psychiatric care, loss of housing, etc.)
  • Provide intensive outreach in an attempt to engage clients in services and those who do not follow through with post discharge/deflection appointments.
  • Responds to emergencies 24 hours per day/7 days per week per established coverage plan.
  • Participates in specific program meetings, including the mandatory weekly staff meeting and required service line and agency trainings, meetings and consultations.
  • As a CRSS, an individual accepts and agrees that his or her experience as a mental health consumer will be known by their colleagues, consumers and others with whom s/he may share that s/he has achieved this certification (Illinois Mental Health Collaborative)
  • Other duties as assigned.


To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed above are representative of the knowledge, skill and or ability required.  Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential duties.


High School Diploma or equivalent (GED).  Position requires one to be a current or former consumer of mental health or combined mental illness and substance use disorders services.  At least one (1) year of experience working in behavioral health, social services, human services or other related field.


The CRSS – Certified Recovery Support Specialist Certification obtained through the Illinois Certification Board, Inc. / IAODAPCA or ability to obtain this certification within 12 months of initial date of employment.

The Certified Recovery Support Specialist (CRSS) is a credential for those who provide mental health or co-occurring mental illness and substance use recovery support to others. A person with the CRSS credential uses unique insights gained through personal recovery experience to facilitate and support the recoveries of others and to help shape systems of care.

Persons with their CRSS infuse their work environments with hope and empowerment, and improve opportunities for others to:

  • Develop hope for recovery
  • Increase problem solving skills
  • Develop natural support networks
  • Participate fully in life in the community

The CRSS requirements are outlined in “Illinois Model for Mental Health Certified Recovery Support Specialist”.  To obtain the CRSS within 12 months of employment, the following is required:  · High school diploma or GED · 2,000 hours (one year full-time) supervised work experience, which can include any combination of paid or volunteer work · 100 hours supervision in the CRSS performance domains · 100 hours training and education related to CRSS domains, professional ethics and responsibility, and other core functions · Successful completion of a written exam for CRSS


The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job.  Work environment may include client homes and a general office environment.  Local travel, including transporting clients, is required.


Must maintain a safe driving record and have current valid Illinois Driver’s License.  Personal vehicle needed.  CSS staff will transport clients and their belongings in his/her personal vehicle.  Mileage for authorized work-related purposes is reimbursable.

Email your cover letter and resume to: jobs@pchcares.org

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