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Peer Specialist

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, 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. The position assists Veterans in treatment, based on the principles of recovery, wellness, and resiliency, by promoting self-determination, personal responsibility, and the empowerment inherent in self-directed recovery. 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; Serves as a recovery agent by providing and advocating for effective wellness and holistic recovery-based services that aid Veterans in daily living; Assists Veterans to articulate personal recovery goals through the use of individual or group meetings; 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 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: Full-Time, Monday-Friday 8am-4:30pm Compressed/Flexible: Not Available Telework: Not Available Virtual: This is not a virtual position. Relocation/Recruitment Incentives: Not Authorized Financial Disclosure Report: Not required To qualify for this position, applicants must meet all requirements by the closing date of this announcement, 10/10/2019. 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 by the closing date of this announcement. For a GS-6 position you must have served 52 weeks at the GS-5. 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. 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. BASIC REQUIREMENTS FOR PEER SPECIALISTS: a. 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: (1) be a veteran who has recovered or is recovering from a mental health condition; and (2) be certified by - (a) 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 (b) a State as having satisfied relevant State requirements for a peer specialist position. b. Length of Experience as a Consumer of Mental Health Recovery Services. Veterans eligible under 38 U.S.C. 7402(b)(13) must have spent a minimum of 1 year in personal recovery from a mental health condition. NOTE: You MUST provide copies of your DD-214 and Peer Specialist Certification, with your application package. 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. MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS: GS-6: One year of specialized experience at the next lower graded level, which involved post-personal mental health recovery experience as a mentor providing support to others in mental health and/or addiction recovery, a recovery advocate directly involved with consumers of mental health services, or equivalent work involving in-person communication to support others in mental health recovery. Your work has been closely monitored including having work checked in progress and reviewing completed work for accuracy, adequacy, and adherence to instructions or procedures. GS-7: One year of specialized experience at the next lower graded level, which involved post-personal mental health recovery experience as a mentor providing support to others in mental health and/or addiction recovery, a recovery advocate directly involved with consumers of mental health services, or equivalent work involving in-person communication to support others in mental health recovery. At this level, routine work has been completed with minimal supervisory oversight and review, however close supervision will have been provided for complex and unusual tasks. GS-8: One year of specialized experience at the next lower graded level, which involved post-personal mental health recovery experience as a mentor providing support to others in mental health and/or addiction recovery, a recovery advocate directly involved with consumers of mental health services, or equivalent work involving in-person communication to support others in mental health recovery. At this level you have the ability to work with general instructions for the performance of routine duties and detailed instructions and/or training in performance of the non-routine functions and special assignments. Non-routine/novel work will have been reviewed by spot checking and after completion to evaluate the adequacy of methods, procedures, results, ability to solve new and changing problems, etc. GS-9: One year of specialized experience at the next lower graded level, which involved post-personal mental health recovery experience as a mentor providing support to others in mental health and/or addiction recovery, a recovery advocate directly involved with consumers of mental health services, or equivalent work involving in-person communication to support others in mental health recovery. At this level work will have been performed with considerable independence and you are responsible for making recommendations to the interdisciplinary treatment team that can be relied on for soundness of judgment and maturity of insight on problem cases. -OR- EDUCATION SUBSTITUTION: (Transcripts are required with your application package) GS-6: Successful completion Six (6) months of graduate education or a 1-year post-bachelor's degree internship meets the requirements for GS-6. Only education that is directly related to the work of the position is creditable. GS-7: Successful completion One (1) full year of graduate education meets the requirements for GS-7. Only education that is directly related to the work of the position is creditable. GS-8: Successful completion One and one/half (1 ) years of graduate education meets the requirements for GS-8. Only education that is directly related to the work of the position is creditable. GS-9: Successful completion Two (2) full years of graduate education or a master's degree meets the requirements for GS-9. Only education that is directly related to the work of the position is creditable. NOTE - Must have a current, valid state driver's license. NOTE: One year of full-time graduate education is considered to be the number of credit hours that the school attended has determined to represent 1 year of full-time study. If that information cannot be obtained from the school, 18 semester hours should be considered as satisfying the 1 year of full-time study requirement. Part-time graduate education is creditable in accordance with its relationship to a year of full-time study at the school attended. 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 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. The applicant must be able to perform primarily light and sedentary duties with occasionally moderate physical demands, exercise patience, and control emotions, with reasonable accommodations if necessary, without endangering the health and safety of the applicant or others. For more information on these qualification standards, please visit the United States Office of Personnel Management's website at https://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/classification-qualifications/general-schedule-qualification-standards/.
  • Department: 0102 Social Science Aid and Technician
  • Salary Range: $37,843 to $66,868 per year



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