What is a Certified Family Support Partner (CFSP)?

Family at a Beach

A CFSP assists other parents and caregivers who are raising children with mental health concerns. They are able to do this in a unique way that is different from traditional professionals because they have walked the walk. In other words, they have lived experience raising a child with mental illness and have navigated various child-serving systems, such as, education, children's mental health, and juvenile corrections. They have been there, done that and they understand.

Parents and caregivers feel more heard when sharing with someone who has walked in their shoes. Family members and providers are empowered. Goals are more often met and at a more expedient pace than if no CFSP was available.

To become a CFSP in Idaho, a qualified adult begins by attending and participating in CFSP Training, successfully completing an exam and satisfying the required number of supervised hours of paid or volunteer work. Our trainings may also satisfy the needs for other states' requirements. Check with your state.

Idaho Providers, your input is Requested!

Please complete the survey at the right and email it to by December 18, 2021. We value your thoughts and ideas as we look to improve our services. Thank you.


Training Dates

2022 Family Support Partner Trainings:

February 14, 16, 18, 22 and 24

May 16, 18, 20, 24 and 26

September 12, 14, 16, 20 and 22

November 7, 9, 11, 15 and 17

*Applications are accepted at any time for any of the trainings but must be submitted at least one month in advance of the training.*

CFSP training sessions last 40 hours and are required for Idaho certification. 


Each session is for five days and held via Zoom from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (MT) with a one-hour break for lunch.

Training sessions include lively instruction, participant interactivity, small-group discussions and more. A Participant Handbook will be mailed to you.


Providers, contact us if you would like a special training session for potential CFSPs or agency staff.

Other Trainings & Webinars Coming in 2022:


"What is a CFSP?" 

A free Q&A webinar

Join us as we explore the purpose of a Certified Family Support Partner 

and how they can assist in meeting your agency’s goals 

toward improved outcomes for families and children.


"Preparing Agencies for CFSP Professionals" 

Is your agency ready to bring CFSPs onto your staff? We will discuss what needs to be in place for a your CFSP service to be successful and effective.

"Note-Writing Skills for CFSPs"

Are you wondering how to write your notes as you meet with caregivers and document their goals and progress? This webinar will discuss what to observe and what questions to ask yourself as you meet with families and document their progress. Strategies for writing meaningful notes will be included.

Program Development:

Contact us for technical assistance in building your

Family Support Partner service.

Job Announcements

These agencies are looking for CFSP team members. If you have been trained, certified or are looking to be trained and want employment with these providers, please reach out to them:

Lauri Peterson-Carey, BS

Pathways of Idaho, LLC

Lead Community Based Supervisor, Reg 4

545 Benjamin ln Suite 185

Boise ID 83704



David Summers, CFSP
Family Support Program Manager

Tidwell Social Work Services & Consulting, Inc. 

7285 W. Franklin Road 

Boise, ID 83709
Phone - (208) 853-5095


CFSP Training Eligibility & How to Apply

Who is eligible?

A caregiver who has experience raising a child under the age of 18 with mental illness and is open to sharing his/her experience with other caregivers who are walking a similar path. 


  • Be at least 18 years old

  • Have raised or are raising a child who is living with a mental health condition

  • Have successfully navigated the various child-serving systems of care

How do I apply for training?


Download and complete the application. If unable to download application, email


Obtain two letters of reference; one from a professional source and one from a personal source. See the application for more details.


 Submit completed application and letters of reference.


You will be notified by email to schedule a screening interview.


If selected, you will be notified by email or text regarding registration and how to pay for the training. Cost is $475 / person.



As the lead trainer and owner:


  • Stephanie has over 20 years of experience working in a variety of child-serving systems that include children’s mental health, juvenile corrections and education, as well as substance use disorder prevention/intervention, policy-making in behavioral health and teaching within higher education.

  • She has lived experience raising a child with mental health concerns, as well as inspiring other caregivers to do the same with hope and encouragement.

  • She holds a master’s degree in Special Education: Exceptional Children and Social Restoration, and a PhD in Adult Education and Organizational Development.

  • Stephanie is a Certified Family Support Partner and a Certified Public Manager.


Self-care is important for all of us to maintain mental health. In this regard, Stephanie enjoys hiking, biking and walking, as well as a calming class of yoga or a rousing session of aerobics. Stephanie's self-care toolbox includes laughter and reading. Research has shown that mental health is obtained by meaningful relationships and having purpose. Stephanie finds an abundance of purpose by watching others grow and learning from them. 


“This was a wonderful program and I feel ready to help families!” - A. A.

“I have a better understanding of what a CFSP does and I learned more about myself.” - S. A.

“The content was thorough and well delivered. I learned a lot and am looking forward to using it in the field.” - D. M.

"I loved the class. I had a great time with others and enjoyed making new friends. I am excited to get started with my new "hat."- K.L.

"I feel you were the perfect teacher for me. You had enough colorful things and suggestions; so open and honest." -A.P.

"Thank you for the great webinar. This is just what I needed as a new peer worker." -D.H.

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Stephanie Hoffman, PhD, CFSP, CPM


Continuing Education Units (CEUs)

1. See the "Other Trainings and Webinars" section above from Family Support Partners and Training, LLC.

2. Empower Idaho ( holds free virtual Peer Conferences each year. Conference participants can receive needed continuing education for CFSP re-certification. 

3. ICDD and SDA are holding a Person-Centered Thinking Training in December: