Hand to Hold® is a national non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that provides compassionate in-person hospital and virtual support to NICU and bereaved parents before, during and after a NICU stay. All programs are designed with the emotional, physical and social needs of NICU families in mind to help them feel more secure during a highly stressful time. This early intervention mental health support is available at no cost to NICU families across the United States.
As a 2022 & 2023 Best Place for Working Parents® business, our dynamic, growing organization seeks a Family Support Specialist (FSS) to join our team in Houston, TX. Reporting to the Hospital Partner Program Manager, and under the daily direction of the Family Support Specialist - Team Lead, the FSS serves as a Hand to Hold representative in the partner hospital for NICU staff and NICU families. This person must demonstrate an empathetic personality combined with a dynamic professional attitude to convey Hand to Hold’s mission and values on behalf of the entire organization. The team of Family Support Specialists will fulfill our contractual agreement with a local hospital in Houston and provide peer psycho-social support and education for NICU families, in partnership with hospital staff as appropriate.
The role requires leaning on one’s own personal experience and specific peer support and mental health trainings. Training to become a certified Mental Health Peer Specialist and with others on the Hand to Hold programs team will be offered to prepare for this peer support role. Additionally, the Family Support Specialist will start the hospital’s required credentialing process, including HIPAA training, and begin orientation in a hospital setting. Some travel may also be required to Hand to Hold's headquarters and other partner hospitals.
The Family Support Specialist’s primary responsibilities include visiting families in the hospital (primarily at the bedside one-on-one), facilitating weekly support groups, distributing resources, and hosting holiday events. There are also essential data entry and reporting requirements to supervisors and hospital staff about the interactions with families.
Hospital Partner Program
- Provides bedside support and encouragement to families during their antepartum and/or baby’s NICU stay.
- Identifies and provides timely and effective peer psycho-social support and interventions for families either directly or through referrals.
- Disburses Hand to Hold resources and NICU Milestone beads to parents and families.
- Plans, prepares for and facilitates in-person support groups using Hand to Hold’s custom support group curriculum.
- Prepares for and facilitates in-person holiday events and NICU awareness celebrations.
- Provides bereavement resources and support for families who have experienced a loss in the NICU.
- Serves as liaison between Hand to Hold and hospital NICU staff.
- Tracks and reports program data within program timelines to collect demographic information and to measure the impact, satisfaction, and overall effectiveness of each program component.
- Provide support and encouragement to families during their NICU journey through Hand to Hold’s App.
- Moderate specific discussion threads designed with the emotional, physical and social needs of the entire NICU family and/or engage in one-on-one chats with participants.
- Take direction from, or collaborate with, the marketing team to have seamless, unified branding across the organization’s communication and social channels.
- Tracks and reports program data within program timelines to collect demographic information and measure impact, satisfaction, and overall effectiveness of the groups.
- Meeting with families occasionally during evening or weekend hours.
- Attends meetings with Hospital Partner Program Manager and/or Program Director and other Family Support Specialists, either virtually or in person.
- Transports materials (including parent bags and resources, event materials, etc) required in the NICU as needed.
- Contributes to Hand to Hold’s educational content, training, manuals, curricula, and other writing projects as needed.
- Participates, facilitates, and/or assists at Hand to Hold or hospital events as required.
- Helps to recruit volunteers and peer mentors.
- Submits daily, weekly and monthly reports – timesheets, expense reports – in a timely fashion.
- Performs other duties as may be assigned by the Hospital Partner Program Manager and/or Program Director.
- Open to applicants in the Houston, Texas metropolitan area.
- Part-time, Non-exempt hourly position.
- Estimated at 15 - 20 hours per week.
- Compensation: $20/hour; $21/hour if bilingual
- Hand to Hold is not currently able to offer part-time employee health insurance
- Included Benefits:
- Employee Assistance Program
- 12 days of Sick Time accrued annually
- Paid Time Off annually plus two office Holidays (Thanksgiving and Christmas Day) after the employee introductory period.
Substantial movements (motion) of the wrist, hands, and/or fingers in a repetitive manner.
Must be able to tolerate standing or walking for 95% of the hospital shift and occasionally lifting/carrying 10-25 pounds.
Use telephone and email to communicate.
Must be able to see clearly with or without corrected vision.
Manual dexterity sufficient to reach/handle items.
Bending, stooping, and reaching several times throughout a shift.
- Personal experience with a child in the NICU is required; must be a NICU parent.
- Bachelor’s degree or equivalent professional work experience required, preferably including maternal mental health, maternal health care programs or family/client focused.
- Mental Health Peer Specialist certification, or willingness to complete mental health peer specialist training within the first 180 days, as well as State of Texas certification process, once training and minimum required work experience completed.
- Willingness to learn and abide by best practices in peer support.
- Proof of vaccinations and other supporting documentation for hospital credentialing processes.
- Awareness of mental health challenges NICU parents face and willingness to complete appropriate training in this area, as well as ongoing education on racial and ethnic disparities, trauma-informed care, and other relevant instruction, both online and in person.
- Ability to provide culturally competent support and education in English to diverse groups of people, including Hispanic/Latinx, subcontinent Asian, Asian and Black families.
- Bilingual in English and Spanish is preferred; other languages considered.
- Ability to work both independently and on teams.
- Ability to think proactively, address problems creatively, and take initiative appropriately.
- Ability to maintain confidentiality and professionalism as an ambassador for the organization.
- Demonstrated excellence in organizational, written, and verbal communication skills.
- Demonstrated competence with a variety of office tools including virtual communication and meetings, time scheduling, video conferencing, organizational and project management, and CRM technology.
Open to applicants in the Austin, Texas, metropolitan area.
Part-time, Non-exempt hourly position.
Estimated at 10 - 30 hours per week.
Compensation: $20/hour; $21/hour if bilingual in English and Spanish.
Hand to Hold® is not currently able to offer part-time employee health insurance or benefits.
Paid time off offered plus two office Holidays (Thanksgiving and Christmas Day) after the employee introductory period.