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Peer Recovery Specialist, Certified SERIES

Parent Advocate

Recruitment #24-000214-0001


As a State agency, Maryland Office of the Public Defender (MOPD) is an affirmative action and equal opportunity employer. MOPD is committed to the full inclusion of all qualified individuals without regard to race, color, religion, sex, physical or mental disability, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, veteran status or genetic information.

The Office of the Public Defender is seeking a Parent Advocate to serve as an essential team member on a grant-funded project to assist families in addressing poverty-related issues that often lead to family separation, improve family engagement, and reduce the number of Child In Need of Assistance (CINA) petitions filed in Juvenile Court. This grant-funded position is expected to run through August 31, 2023, with the possibility of extension depending on funding. 

All applicants must be able to effectively communicate with clients with different cultural and educational backgrounds and possess the ability to complete tasks in a fast-paced work environment.  MOPD is further committed to providing equal opportunity and reasonable accommodation for individuals with disabilities in employment, its services, programs and activities by modifying or adjusting the job application process or the job or work environment to make reasonable accommodations to the known applicant or employee to enable the applicant or employee be considered for the position they desire; to perform the essential functions of the position in question; or to enjoy equal benefits and privileges of employment as are enjoyed by other similarly situated employees without disabilities, unless the accommodation imposes an undue hardship.

Applicants must be able to operate a computer and other office equipment. Applicants must have access to a motor vehicle or be able to navigate public transportation. If a reasonable accommodation is needed, please contact Tawanda Jackson, Human Resources Supervisor, 410-767-8503 

The Office of the Public Defender (OPD) is a statewide independent agency charged with providing superior legal representation to indigent defendants. The agency’s vision is Justice, Fairness and Dignity for All. Employees are committed to the core values of maintaining a culture of excellence, providing client-centered representation and tenacious advocacy, and unity in achieving the agency’s mission.


ASTD09  $17.74 - $21.95 per hour
ASTD10  $18.85 - $23.35 per hour


217 E. Redwood Street, Baltimore, Maryland 21202.

Main Purpose of Job

The Parent Advocate will be a key member of the team working to assist parents with concerns that place their family at risk of separation and provide advocacy and support to parents. The multidisciplinary team (composed of an attorney, a social worker and a parent advocate) will provide civil legal assistance, clinical assessments, individualized referrals, and ongoing support and case management. The Parent Advocate, who is a parent with lived experience with the system, will provide mentorship, support, case management, and referrals to resources.  This position and project is funded by a grant from the Maryland Judiciary, Foster Care Court Improvement Program and the Casey Family Programs and is expected to run through August, 2023. This position will be located in Baltimore City, Maryland.


•Establish a relationship with the parent and provide support from the perspective of a parent with personal experience;
•Collaborate with defense team members including attorneys, social workers, and other staff;.
•Communicate with defense team members via text messages, emails, and phone calls daily;
•Advocate for parents and guardians, out of court, to advance their goals and help prevent continued DSS involvement and/or the filing of a court case;
•Support parents in applying for public benefits, medical assistance, and other related services;
•Develop and provide resources to support parents with ongoing DSS cases
•Establish and maintain community partnerships; 
•Attend meetings at which advocacy is necessary, such as Family Team Decision Meetings (FTDM)s and service plan meetings;
•Assist with data collection and reporting, including entering data in electronic case files.


Peer Recovery Specialist I:

Education:   Graduation from an accredited high school or possession of a high school equivalency certificate.

Experience:  None.

Peer Recovery Specialist II:

Education:   Graduation from an accredited high school or possession of a high school equivalency certificate.

Experience:  One year of experience providing parent peer advocacy services.


1. Candidates may substitute additional experience as defined above or experience in child or adult care giving, on a year-for year basis, for the required education.

2. Candidates may substitute nine credit hours from an accredited college or university in a human service program or human development program such as child development, sociology, social work, psychology, counseling, nursing, criminology, juvenile justice, human growth and development, human services, or mental health for one year of the required experience.

3. Candidates may substitute U.S. Armed Forces military service experience as a non-commissioned officer in Social Services classifications or Social Services specialty codes in the Social Science, Psychology, and Welfare field of work on a year-for-year basis for the required experience.


•CCAR Certification, Certified Peer Recovery Specialist and/or Certified Community Health Worker
•A minimum of 2 years of uninterrupted time in recovery and/or 1 year since the closing of a CINA/TPR case.
•As this is a peer-to-peer position, individuals must possess a clear understanding of navigating the child welfare/family policing system; and have experience in interacting with the local Department of Social Services’ child protective services and child welfare systems. 
•Background understanding of or lived experiences with substance use disorder, mental health issues, domestic violence, and/or poverty-related social hurdles. 
•Familiarity with community resources.
•Ability to maintain effective parent peer relationships with project participants and other members of the grant team.
•Basic computer and telecommunications skills.
•Ability to work as part of an advocacy team with attorneys, social workers, and core/support staff.


1. Candidates for positions in this classification must possess a current certification as a Peer Recovery Specialist within 12 months from date of hire from the Maryland Addictions Professional Certification Board (MAPCB) located at 10807 Falls Rd., #1376, Brooklandville, MD 21022.

2. Employees in this classification may be assigned duties which require the operation of a motor vehicle. Employees assigned such duties will be required to possess a motor vehicle operator's license valid in the State of Maryland. 

3) Some positions in this classification may be assigned duties that require the employees to acquire and maintain a license as a Certified Nursing Assistant or a Geriatric Nursing Assistant from the Maryland Board of Nursing at 4201 Patterson Avenue Baltimore, Maryland 21215. Information may be obtained at Obtaining this license within a specified time may be a condition of appointment or probation for these types of positions.


1. Employees in this classification who fail to obtain the required certification by the end of 24 months of continuous employment with the hiring department shall be subject to disciplinary action including demotion, suspension and dismissal.

2. Applicants for this classification must be in a state of recovery for 2 years from a substance use, mental health or co-occurring disorder before they can be qualified to be hired as a Peer Recovery Specialist, Certified.  

3. Employees in this classification must complete any additional training that is deemed necessary and appropriate maintain required certification.  

4. Employees in this classification are subject to substance abuse testing, in accordance with Code of Maryland Regulation 17.04.09, Testing for Illegal Use of Drugs.  

5. Employees in this classification who work with families with dependent children must successfully complete an approved entry-level training program before permanent appointment to positions.

6. Employees in this classification may be required to have access to and use personal automobile in order to transport clients. Verification of appropriate vehicle insurance, which shall include coverage for transporting clients, must be provided prior to the performance of transport duties. Standard mileage allowance will be paid for the use of a privately owned vehicle.


Please make sure that you provide sufficient information on your application to show that you meet the qualifications for this recruitment.  All information concerning your qualifications must be submitted by the closing date. We will not consider information submitted after this date. Successful candidates will be ranked as Best Qualified, Better Qualified, or Qualified and placed on the employment (eligible) list for at least one year.


The examination will consist of a rating of your education, training and experience related to the requirements of the position. You may be required to complete a qualifications supplement, or the rating may be based on your application. Therefore, it is important that you provide complete and accurate information on your application. Report all experience and education that is related to this position.


Contractual employees who work for an agency covered under the State Employee and Retiree Health and Welfare Benefits Program, have a current employment contract and work 30 or more hours a week (or on average 130 hours per month) may be eligible for subsidized health benefits coverage for themselves and their dependents. As a contractual employee, you will be responsible for paying 25% of the premiums for your medical and prescription coverage, including any eligible dependents you have enrolled. The State of Maryland will subsidize the remaining 75% of the cost for these benefits. You can also elect to enroll in dental coverage, accidental death and dismemberment insurance, and life insurance, but will be responsible to pay the full premium for these benefits.

Leave may be granted to a contractual employee who has worked 120 days in a 12-month period. This leave accrues at a rate of one hour for every 30 hours worked, not to exceed 40 hours per calendar year.


Online applications preferred.  Please fax all paper applications and questionnaires to (410) 333-2260.

Inquiries regarding applications and submitting paper applications can be directed to: Office of the Public Defender, Human Resources Division, 6 Saint Paul Street, Suite 1304, Baltimore, MD 21202; or by calling (410) 767-8500, toll free: 877-430-5187; TTY users call Maryland Relay Service 800-735-2258. 

Applicants can expect a background check to occur after a conditional offer of employment is made. As we see lived experience as an asset, we do not anticipate background checks playing a decisive role in the hiring process. Accordingly, we encourage all candidates to apply, regardless of criminal, credit, or driving history.

Please be sure to include your name, identification number (Easy ID#) and job announcement number on any documentation to ensure timely processing. A paper copy of the MD State application form and questionnaire can be downloaded from the link below.

As an equal opportunity employer, Maryland is committed to recruiting, retaining and promoting employees who are reflective of the State’s diversity. People with disabilities and bilingual candidates are encouraged to apply. We thank our Veterans for their service to our country.

Click on a link below to apply for this position:

Fill out the Supplemental Questionnaire and Application NOW using the Internet. Apply Online
View and print the Supplemental Questionnaire. This recruitment requires completion of a supplemental questionnaire. You may view and print the supplemental questionnaire here.
Apply via Paper Application. You may also download and complete the Paper Application here.

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