Hand to Hold NICU Family Support Specialist

Hand to Hold is a national non-profit organization providing personalized support before, during and after a NICU stay to help ensure all NICU families thrive.    


As a 2022 Best Place for Working Parents® business, our dynamic, growing organization seeks a Family Support Specialist to join our team to support NICU families in one-on-one or in group settings, all with a goal to reduce the negative impact of a NICU stay and ensure the best outcome for the entire family.  


Here at Hand to Hold, you’re not just another employee, you’re an essential part of a driven, vision-inspired and mission-led team. 


If you are a great communicator, self motivated, a self-described people person, want to do work with meaning and purpose and like to move quickly we want you to apply for this position!


Reporting to our Hospital Ambassador Program Manager, and under the general direction of the Program Director, the Family Support Specialist serves as Hand to Hold’s primary representative at Dell Children’s Medical Center 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 Family Support Specialist will fulfill our contractual agreement with Dell Children’s Medical Center in Austin 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 training. 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.

The Family Support Specialist’s primary responsibilities include visiting families 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. 

Essential Functions:

Hospital Ambassador Program

  • Provides bedside support and encouragement to families during their antepartum and/or 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.

  • Helps families identify and access medical and therapeutic services in their community. 

  • 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.

Virtual Support Groups

  • Facilitates virtual support groups using Hand to Hold’s custom support group curriculum through Zoom or other similar platforms.

  • Plans and prepares for each virtual support group.

  • 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 Ambassador 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 from Hand to Hold’s office, or other locations, 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 weekly and monthly reports – timesheets, expense reports – in a timely fashion.

  • Performs other duties as may be assigned by the Hospital Ambassador Program Manager and/or Program Director. 


  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent professional work experience required.

  • Personal experience with a child or loved one in the NICU is required.  

  • Certification in peer support by the State of Texas, or willingness to complete peer support training (virtual or in person) within the first 90 days, as well as completion of state certification process.

  • 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.

  • Work or internship experience in health care, early childhood intervention, or maternal health care programs. 

  • Experience working with children and families, including those with disabilities. 

  • Willingness to learn and apply best practices in health literacy and medical education. 

  • Willingness to learn and abide by best practices in peer support. 

  • 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.

  • Personal experience with Hand to Hold’s mission, and being bilingual in English and Spanish.

  • Additional Information:

  • Open to applicants in the Austin, Texas metropolitan area.

  • Part-time, Non-exempt hourly position.

  • Estimated at 15 - 20 hours per week.

  • Compensation:  $20-$21/hour depending on skills and experience.

  • 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.

Physical Demands:

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, approximately 2-4 hours per day.

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.


To apply, send a resume and cover letter to jobs@handtohold.org.