Skip to Main Content

Peer Recovery Specialist, Certified SERIES

Peer Recovery Specialist I-III, Certified

Recruitment #24-000218-0002


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 of 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.

All applicants must be able to communicate with employees and vendors and possess the ability to complete tasks in a fast-paced work environment. Applicants must be able to multitask, and travel to various courtrooms and office environments throughout the state. 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, cell phone 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 

OPD’s Parental Defense Division represents parents and guardians when the Department of Social Services (DSS) has removed, or plans to remove, their children and place them in state custody. OPD is seeking two (3) Parent Advocates (parents with lived experience with the family policing/child welfare system) to serve as members of the legal defense team alongside lawyers and social workers.  In addition to providing our clients with high-quality legal defense, the goals of the teams include keeping children out of foster care, shortening lengths of stay for children in foster care, promoting quality visiting arrangements, ensuring that families receive services that they feel they need to address the family’s social needs, and providing out-of-court advocacy on behalf of the parents. We are seeking people who are eager and motivated to help other parents get through their ordeal with the foster system. These are grant-funded positions contingent on the renewal of matching grant funds. 


Level I Grade 9 $17.74 - $21.18 per hour
Level II Grade 10 $18.85 - $22.52 per hour
Level III Grade 11 $20.03 - $23.96 per hour


Upper Marlboro
Parental Defense Division Office
14753 Main Street Upper Marlboro, MD 20227

Juvenile Justice Center
300 North Gay St
Baltimore, MD 21202

Main Purpose of Job

The Parent Advocates are key members of the legal team. They provide peer support and advocacy to individuals who are involved in Child In Need of Assistance and Termination of Parental Rights cases.

Primary Duties and Responsibilities include:

●       Establish a relationship with the parents and guardians and provide support from the perspective of a parent with lived experience; 
●       Collaborate with defense team members including attorneys and social workers;.
●       Communicate with defense team members via text messages, emails, and phone calls;
●       Advocate for parents and guardians, out of court, to advance their goals;
●       Support parents in applying  for public benefits, medical assistance, and other related services; 
●       Develop and provide resources to support parents and guardians  with ongoing DSS cases
●       Establish and maintain community partnerships; 
●       Attend out-of-court meetings at which advocacy is necessary, such as Family Team Decision 
         Meetings (FTDMs) and service plan meetings; 
●       Provide support to parents and guardians during court hearings; 
●       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 peer recovery support services. 

Peer Recovery Specialist III:
Education: Graduation from an accredited high school or possession of a high school equivalency certificate. 

Experience:  One year of experience providing peer recovery support services. 

Notes: Candidates may substitute U.S. Armed Forces military service experience as a non-commissioned officer in Peer Specialist classifications or Peer Specialist and specialty codes in the health-related field of work 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.


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 to maintain the 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.



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 relevant lived experience, education, and training 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. Applicants selected for an interview may be required to complete a writing sample onsite during the interview process.


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. 

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. We thank our Veterans for their service to our country and encourage them to apply. People with disabilities and bilingual candidates are encouraged to apply. 

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.

Powered by JobAps