CIT Peer Diversion Specialist - Independent Living, Inc.

POSITION DESCRIPTION: CIT Peer Diversion Specialist

REPORTS TO: Peer Diversion Supervisor

LEVEL: Non-Management


• Proactively engage people at risk of arrest and/or Police involvement with high-risk needs who have a mental health related disability i.e.: housing, continuity of follow-up care, Medication, and lack of a support system. Provide highly individualized, flexible, demand-responsive, intensive peer support and timely intervention during periods when individuals with psychiatric disabilities are experiencing increased vulnerability and are at greatest risk.

• Build relationships with Police Departments staff. Work with a multidisciplinary team of law enforcement officers and MRT to provide direct services and Peer Support.

• Work in partnership with the Mobil Response Team, Mental Health Association (311), and the three designated Police Units Located in Middletown, Town of Wallkill, and Mount Hope. This would also include the Orange County Provider Network to provide well-integrated, peer-based diversion services utilizing a flexible schedule to meet the unique needs of targeted consumers that are involved in the Criminal Justice System. These activities will enhance our county’s capacity to meet the supportive service needs of people in crisis and will enable individuals with significant psychiatric disabilities to ‘remain on track’ during critical periods when they are most vulnerable, and to avoid unnecessary arrests and possible hospitalization through proactive peer engagement.

• Follow up with referrals received from 311 (MHA), Police, and the Mobil Response, with the goal of preventing further breakdown and relapse, and admission to the Mental Health Unit (MHU) and ultimately diverting from arrest. The CIT Peer Diversion Specialist will develop a referral process to assist with the possible continuous need for services would include, but not limited to completing a DLA-20 to establish long term goals, A WRAP plan, connection to community resources, a safety plan, connection with Care Management and establishing a person-centered relationship. The goal for the CIT Peer Diversion Specialist with these individuals would be to support each referral’s individual wellness. Develop expert knowledge of Care Management and assist the individual with accessing the services.

• Responsibilities include:

1) reaching out to, and engaging individuals with significant psychiatric disabilities; 2) providing

diversion, counseling, planning, and other needed services to identified persons; 3) connecting service recipients with network provider agencies; 4) maintaining linkages with community partners and other county resources in relation to education, housing, health care, recreation, and socialization; Independent Living are equal opportunity/affirmative action employers. 5) Develop expert knowledge of referral sources for potential training and employment opportunities including public agencies and private employers; 6) restructuring resources as necessary to ensure continuing personal stability and individual satisfaction.

• Encourage each consumer to develop an advanced directive to help direct his or her care in the event he or she is unable to direct their own care. The primary focus will be to provide demand responsive-peer support and developing Wellness and Recovery Action Plan (WRAP) Plans (with realistic goals based on each individual’s purpose and passion for life), Advance Directives, and Health Care Proxies.

• Act as a role model/mentor to peers by engaging in individual advocacy by assisting consumers with high-risk mental health disabilities in protecting and promoting their rights, resolving complaints, accessing services and navigating community supports of their choice and ultimately to teach the Peers how to self-advocate and coordinate their own services.

• Facilitate the integration of mental health and physical health services, connecting individuals that are willing to clinical services, a Primary Care Physician, a Medical Home, and alternative resources.

• Provide one-on-one and group support in a variety of settings such as libraries, community centers, coffee shops, church activity rooms, Continuing Day Treatment Centers (CDT’s), In patient hospitals, Emergency Departments, outpatient services (clinics), local shelters, individual places of residence, etc.

• Provide mental health peer counseling as needed.

• Engage in systems advocacy by representing the concerns of consumers with mental health disabilities through the identification of patterns of problems and complaints and working with program or system administrators to resolve or eliminate these systemic problems.

• Network with mental health providers and community support services to maintain an integrated support system for persons with psychiatric disabilities as well as those who struggle with addiction.

• Facilitate and support the development of an integrated support network for individuals which includes but is not limited to case management, benefits advisement, supported housing, self-help, employment, and educational services, in addition to other community supports individuals may wish to access.

• Educate individuals, families, and community resources about challenges, options, and resources with regard to persons with disabilities.

• Complete statistical reports and manage Foothold documentation for the consumers assigned.

• Complete all reporting and record keeping as required.

• Attend and actively participate in all meetings and training sessions offered by Independent Living, Inc. and specific to the job responsibilities of the position.

• Other duties as assigned.


• Honesty, respect for diversity, high personal standards, language, and behaviors reflecting such values and the Independent Living philosophy.

• Demonstrated ability to recognize the need for and facilitate connections between consumers and IL and other disability related services.

• Knowledge of local, statewide and national disability related issues and community dynamics.

• Maintain a current and working knowledge of systems issues.

• Working knowledge of confidentiality requirements related to records pertaining to Mental Health and Chemical Dependency laws.

• Excellent written and verbal presentation skills.

• Must have good time management skills and be self-directing, especially if there is any downtime.

• Must possess a valid driver’s license and have reliable transportation.


• Bachelor’s Degree in Human Services plus two years of advocacy experience preferred.

• Must complete approved advocacy training programs within the first six months of employment.

• Must be a “peer” and have a working knowledge of the mental health system and recovery process (including but not limited to 12 step programs, Self Help and other alternative methods).

• Must have personal “lived” experience as a former or current user of mental health services and be comfortable with self disclosure as needed.

• Bilingual English/Spanish strongly preferred.

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