Certified Family Support Specialist Program


The Family Support Specialist Certification Program provides state of Tennessee certification for individuals who provide direct caregiver-to-caregiver support services to families of children and youth with mental, emotional, behavioral, or co-occurring disorders. Because of their life experiences to inspire hope and provide support to others who are facing similar challenges. This program allows Certified Family Support Specialists to provide a level of service and support beyond that of clinical staff.

A Certified Family Support Specialist (CFSS) is a person who has self-identified as the caregiver of a child or youth with a mental, emotional, behavioral or co-occurring disorder and who has successfully navigated the child-serving systems to access treatment and resources necessary to build resiliency and foster success in the home, school, and community. This individual has successfully completed training recognized by TDMHSAS on how to assist other caregivers in fostering resiliency in their child, based on the principles of resiliency and recovery.

For More Information

If you have concerns or need services for yourself, a child, or family member, contact our Helpline:
Phone: 800-560-5767
Email: OCA.TDMHSAS@tn.gov
Hours: Monday – Friday: 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (except for state holidays)

If you feel at any time that you are experiencing a mental health crisis, please call the Tennessee Statewide Crisis Line toll-free 24 hours, 7 days a week at 1-855-274-7471.

To learn more about the Certified Family Support Specialist Program, please contact:

Brenda Donaldson, MA
Family & Youth Engagement Coordinator
(615) 330-5098