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Job opening: Peer Specialist

Salary: $44 117 - 77 955 per year
Published at: Feb 15 2024
Employment Type: Full-time
This position provides Veterans the world-class benefits and services they have earned and does so by adhering to the highest standards of compassion, commitment, excellence, professionalism, integrity, accountability, and stewardship. This position may provide peer support services to both female and male Veterans depending on the needs of the Veteran population at their facility.

Duties

The Peer Specialist functions as an interdisciplinary team member, assisting physicians and other professional/non-professional personnel in a rehabilitation treatment program. Peer specialists perform a variety of therapeutic and supportive tasks that include assisting Veterans in articulating their goals for recovery and personal wellness, learning, and practicing new skills, helping them monitor their progress, assisting them in their treatment, modeling effective coping techniques and self-help strategies based on the peer specialist's own recovery experience, and supporting them in advocating for themselves to obtain effective services. Duties include, but not limited to the following: Participates in the service, training, consultation, and other professional activities of VA health care services and functions as a fully vested member of the multidisciplinary team. Uses personal recovery experiences to model coping techniques and recovery tolls to coach Veterans to relevant skills need for self-management of their health condition(s) and pursuit of their personal wellness. Observes behaviors that might indicate difficulty adapting or responding to treatment (e.g., missed assessment appointments, failure to attend or maintain abstinence, risk to self or others, disruptive behavior), completes appropriate documentation, and reports concerns to the treatment team in a timely manner. Uses ongoing individual and group meetings to teach Veterans how to identify and combat negative self-talk and overcome fears by providing a forum that allows Veteran to share their experiences. As necessary, handles crisis interventions for Veterans and addresses other emergent situations without the benefit of specific instructions. Informs Veterans about VA and community supports and resources, including how to effectively utilize them in the recovery and wellness process. Maintains a working knowledge of current trends and developments in holistic approaches in wellness and recovery by reading books, journals, and other relevant materials. Performs other related duties as assigned. Work Schedule: Variable, includes evenings, weekends and holidays. Available shifts will be discussed during an interview, if conducted. Position Description/PD#: Peer Specialist/PD99695S Financial Disclosure Report: Not required Promotion Potential: This position involves a multi-grade career ladder. The selectee may be promoted to the full performance level without further competition when all regulatory, qualification, and performance requirements are met. Selection at a lower grade level does not guarantee promotion to the full performance level.

Requirements

Qualifications

To qualify for this position, applicants must meet all requirements by the closing date of this announcement, 02/22/2024. BASIC REQUIRMENTS: Statutory Requirements: Section 405 of Public Law 110-387, as codified in 38 U.S.C. 7402(b)(13), established that to be eligible to receive appointment to a Peer Specialist position, a person must: Be a veteran who has recovered or is recovering from a mental health condition; AND, Be certified by: A not-for-profit entity engaged in peer specialist training as having met such criteria as the Secretary shall establish for a peer specialist position; Or, A State as having satisfied relevant State requirements for a peer specialist position. And, Length of Experience in Recovery: must have at least 1 year of recovery from a mental health condition (mental illness and/or substance use disorder). Successful recovery is exemplified by one who manages symptoms of illness and pursues a healthy lifestyle; lives independently; is employed or volunteers significant time approximating at least a part-time employment schedule; has meaningful relationships with family members and friends; and is socially involved in the community through clubs, hobby groups, church, civic organizations or Veteran organizations in which the individual provides a service to others. NOTE: You MUST provide copies of your DD-214 and Peer Specialist Certification, with your application package. Time-In-Grade Requirement: Applicants who are current Federal employees and have held a GS grade any time in the past 52 weeks must also meet time-in-grade requirements at the next lower level by the closing of this announcement. Example: For a GS-06 position you must have served 52 weeks at the GS-05. The grade may have been in any occupation, but must have been held in the Federal service. An SF-50 that shows your time-in-grade eligibility must be submitted with your application materials. If the most recent SF-50 has an effective date within the past year, it may not clearly demonstrate you possess one-year time-in-grade, as required by the announcement. In this instance, you must provide an additional SF-50 that clearly demonstrates one-year time-in-grade. Note: Time-In-Grade requirements also apply to former Federal employees applying for reinstatement as well as current employees applying for Veterans Employment Opportunities Act of 1998 (VEOA) appointment. ENGLISH LANGUAGE PROFICIENCY: In accordance with 38 U.S.C. 7402(d), No person shall serve in direct patient care positions unless they are proficient in basic written and spoken English. You must be proficient in basic written and spoken English in order to meet the requirements of this position. Specialized Grade Level Requirements. In addition to the basic requirements, applicants must have the grade level requirements listed below: GS-06 Grade Level: To qualify for this position at the GS-06 level, applicants must have one of the following: Experience: One year of specialized experience equivalent to the GS-5 level in the Federal Service closely related to the work of this position that has given me the knowledge, skills, and abilities required to successfully perform the duties of a Peer Specialist. Examples of Specialized experience include: Assist individual(s) in exploring their interests and options for making improvements in life functioning areas such as housing, employment, relationships , and community engagement. Assists individuals in identifying their skills, strengths, supports, and resources needed to aid them in achieving their recovery goals. Observes behaviors of others that might indicate difficulty adapting or responding to treatment (e.g., missed assessment appointments, failure to attend or maintain abstinence, risk to self or others, disruptive behavior). Or, Education: Successfully completed six (6) months of graduate education in a degree program directly related to the work of this position. Transcripts (unofficial) are required at time of application. GS-07 Grade Level: To qualify for this position at the GS-07 level, applicant must have one of the following: Experience: At least one year of specialized experience equivalent to the GS-6 level in the Federal Service closely related to the work of this position that has given me the knowledge, skills, and abilities required to successfully perform the duties of a Peer Specialist. Specialized experience includes: Assist individual in developing empowerment skills, identifying strengths, and combating stigma through self-advocacy. Teach and role model the value of every individual's recovery experience. Assists individuals in articulating personal recovery goals through the use of individual or group meetings. Utilizes recovery tools to coach others on relevant skills needed for self-management of their health condition(s) and pursuit of their personal wellness. Or, Education: One full year of graduate education (Diploma and/or transcripts must be uploaded for appropriate consideration) GS-08 Level: To qualify for this position at the GS-07 level, applicants must have one of the following: Experience: At least one year of specialized experience equivalent to the GS-7 level in the Federal Service closely related to the work of this position that has given me the knowledge, skills, and abilities required to successfully perform the duties of a Peer Specialist. Specialized experience includes: Handles crisis interventions and addresses other emergent situations through immediate consultation. Reports concerns to the treatment team in a timely manner. Shares stories about personal recovery experiences in relation to current struggles that individuals are reporting. Or, Education: Successfully completed one and one half (1-1/2) years of graduate education in a degree program directly related to the work of this position. (Diploma and/or transcripts must be uploaded for appropriate consideration) GS-09 Grade Level: To qualify for this position at the GS-09 level, applicant musts have one of the following: Experience: At least one (1) year of specialized experience equivalent to the GS-8 level in the Federal Service closely related to the work of this position that has given me the knowledge, skills, and abilities required to successfully perform the duties of a Peer Specialist. Specialized experience includes: Experience working with individuals with very complex mental illnesses and challenging situations that require effective communication and decision-making skills. Model effective coping techniques, holistic wellness, and self-help strategies. Shares stories about personal recovery experiences in relation to current struggles that individuals are reporting. Handles crisis interventions and addresses other emergent situations through immediate consultation. Or, Education: Successfully completed two (2) years of progressively higher-level graduate education leading to a master's degree or a master's or equivalent graduate degree. Graduate level education and/or degree program must be directly related to the work of this position.

Education

Experience refers to paid and unpaid experience, including volunteer work done through National Service programs (e.g., Peace Corps, AmeriCorps) and other organizations (e.g., professional; philanthropic; religions; spiritual; community; student; social). Volunteer work helps build critical competencies, knowledge, and skills and can provide valuable training and experience that translates directly to paid employment. You will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including volunteer experience.

Note: A full year of work is considered to be 35-40 hours of work per week. Part-time experience will be credited on the basis of time actually spent in appropriate activities. Applicants wishing to receive credit for such experience must indicate clearly the nature of their duties and responsibilities in each position and the number of hours a week spent in such employment.

Physical Requirements: The applicant must be able to perform primarily light and sedentary duties with occasionally moderate physical demands, exercise patience, and control emotions, with reasonable accommodation if necessary, without endangering the health and safety of the applicant or others. The work is primarily sedentary. Typically, the employee sits to do the work. There may be some walking, standing, bending, carrying of light items (such as books, papers), and accessing transportation. The work may require occasional use of Department of Veteran's Affairs approved behavioral management techniques with Veterans who present a danger to self or others. Veterans demonstrate varying levels of wellness, recovery, and symptoms. This position must be equipped to be flexible and accept that work areas are often noisy, irregular, unpredictable, and stressful. Work is performed in a wide range of settings, including the Medical Center, group or family homes, community-based outpatient settings, community organizations, or in transport vehicles (public or government).

Reference: VA Regulations, specifically VA Handbook 5005, Part II, Appendix F-3 Peer Support Apprentice/Peer Specialist Qualification Standard. This can be found in the local Human Resources Office.

A transcript must be submitted with your application if you are basing all or part of your qualifications on education.

Note: Only education or degrees recognized by the U.S. Department of Education from accredited colleges, universities, schools, or institutions may be used to qualify for Federal employment. You can verify your education here: http://ope.ed.gov/accreditation/. If you are using foreign education to meet qualification requirements, you must send a Certificate of Foreign Equivalency with your transcript in order to receive credit for that education. For further information, visit: https://sites.ed.gov/international/recognition-of-foreign-qualifications/.

Contacts

  • Address Huntington VA Medical Center 1540 Spring Valley Drive Huntington, WV 25704 US
  • Name: Jeremy Williams
  • Phone: 858-642-3038
  • Email: [email protected]

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