Peer Support Specialist - Time-Limited

County Of Sonoma   Santa Rosa, CA   Full-time     Mental Health
Posted on March 17, 2023
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Starting salary up to $27.60/hour ($57,604/year), a cash allowance of $600/month, and a competitive total compensation package!*  

The County of Sonoma Department of Health Services seeks qualified candidates to fill one full-time, time-limited Peer Support Specialist position in the Behavioral Health Division. The position is currently funded through February 2, 2026.

What We Offer

Working at the County of Sonoma offers expansive opportunities for growth and development, the ability to be a part of a challenging and rewarding work environment, and the satisfaction of knowing you're working to better our communities. You can also look forward to flexible work arrangements and excellent benefits* including:

  • Eligibility for a salary increase after 1,040 hours (6 months when working full-time) for good work performance; eligibility for a salary increase for good performance every year thereafter, until reaching the top of the salary range
  • Competitive vacation and sick leave accruals, 12 paid holidays, and an additional 8 floating holiday hours per year
  • County paid 100% premium contribution for the majority of employee-only and employee + family health plan options
  • An annual Staff Development/Wellness Benefit allowance of up to $500 and ongoing education/training opportunities
  • County contribution to a Health Reimbursement Arrangement to help fund post-retirement employee health insurance/benefits
  • Retirement fully integrated with Social Security
  • May be eligible for up to 8 weeks (320 hours) of Paid Parental Leave after 12 months of County employment

About the Position

As a member of a multi-disciplinary team, the Peer Support Specialist will provide a variety of supportive services to clients in the Crisis Stabilization Unit (CSU). This position engages with clients receiving services within the CSU, creates opportunities for therapeutic interactions via peer support services, and serves as a mentor by assisting clients in finding community resources. The selected individual will receive guidance from the Client Care Manager, Behavioral Health Clinical Specialist, Behavioral Health Clinicians, Psychiatrist, and nursing staff to ensure safe, effective, and coordinated care at the CSU.

Duties for this position include:

  • Advocating on behalf of behavioral health clients and promoting self-advocacy
  • Engaging in structured activities such as group and individual strength-based coaching
  • Educating clients and their families about their conditions and the process of recovery
  • Promoting skill building for clients in the areas of socialization, recovery, self-sufficiency, self-advocacy, development of natural supports, and maintenance of skills learned in other support services
  • Providing a supportive environment in which beneficiaries and their families learn coping mechanisms and problem-solving skills
  • Supporting clients to participate in ongoing services to further their recovery 
  • Assisting with resource navigation and supporting linkages to community resources
  • Collaborating with clients, their families, and others who provide care or support to help them meet their goals
  • Observing and intervening with clients in the CSU
  • Transporting clients to appointments
  • Picking up medications from pharmacies
  • Accompanying clients on walks outside the facility

The ideal candidate will possess lived experience relatable to the services and to the population/clients that we serve. Additionally, they will possess:

  • Personal lived experience in navigating mental health crises
  • Experience providing peer support services in a mental health setting 
  • Knowledge of peer support services, trauma-informed care, recovery-oriented care, and harm reduction strategies 
  • A thorough understanding of the ethics and boundaries involved with the provision of peer support services
  • Strong problem-solving abilities and sound judgment
  • Good interpersonal and communication skills
  • The ability to quickly build trust and rapport with clients 
  • The ability to maintain a calm, professional demeanor during stressful situations
  • Peer Support training and/or certification 
  • Bilingual (English/Spanish) speaking skills are desirable, but not a requirement

*Salary is negotiable within the established range. Benefits described herein do not represent a contract and may be changed without notice. Additional information can be found in the Service Employees International Union Local 1021 Memorandum Of Understanding (SEIU MOU) and our Employee Benefits Directory.

This employment list may also be used to fill full-time, part-time or extra-help (temporary) positions as they occur during the active status of the list. Qualified County employees who wish to be considered for future positions should consider applying to this recruitment.



Minimum Qualifications

Education and Experience: Any combination of training and experience that would provide the opportunity to acquire the knowledge and abilities listed. A typical way to obtain the required knowledge and abilities would be:

An Associate of Arts degree with major course work in community mental health, psychology, sociology, or other related field. Experience as a Client Support Assistant, or the equivalent, may be substituted for the required education on a year-for-year basis.


One year experience working as the equivalent of a Client Support Assistant, or one year of paid experience working with adults diagnosed with a serious and persistent mental illness, or children with a serious emotional disturbance that would provide basic understanding of the needs of mental health services programs.

Driver’s License
: Possession of a valid driver's license at the appropriate level including necessary special endorsements, as required by the State of California to perform the essential job functions of the position.

Special Qualifications: Some positions may require the ability to fluently speak and write a language other than English.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

Working Knowledge of: Community resources and services available to program clients; techniques of rehabilitation; client legal rights; interviewing techniques, charting and case management documentation; and the use of electronic information equipment and specific systems as used within the department.

Ability to: Develop and maintain the trust and cooperation of clients, their families and other significant care providers; interpret and apply County mental health program policies and procedures; analyze a client situation accurately and adopt an effective course of action; work with clients to resolve conflicts with other staff, care providers or family members; work effectively as a member of a multi-disciplinary team; understand the legal mandates governing the storage of client records and information and the rights of the client to confidentiality; understand and apply the principles and techniques of case management and rehabilitative interventions with clients; coordinate the delivery of mental health services; apply basic interviewing techniques; facilitate group sessions; coordinate the delivery of mental health services; communicate effectively with persons from a variety of social, cultural, and economic backgrounds; evaluate situations and adopt effective courses of action to prevent a crisis; speak and write in at a level necessary to fulfill the job requirements; read, understand, and apply regulations and procedures governing mental health programs.

Selection Procedure & Some Helpful Tips When Applying


  • Your application information and your responses to the supplemental questions are evaluated and taken into consideration throughout the entire selection process.
  • You should list all employers and positions held within the last ten years in the work history section of your application and should be as thorough as possible when responding to the supplemental questions.
  • You may include history beyond ten years if related to the position for which you are applying. If you held multiple positions with one employer, list out each position separately.
  • Failure to follow these instructions may impact your competitiveness in this process or may result in disqualification.