Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration Peer Support Specialist in Brockton, Massachusetts
Summary This Peer Specialist position may only be filled with a Veteran that meets statutory requirements that are detailed in the qualifications section. Responsibilities NOTE: This is an open and continuous job opportunity announcement. Certificates are issued on an unannounced periodic basis based on requests from management. Applications will be evaluated and referred for selection as vacancies occur within the organization. This announcement may close at any time once all positions are filled. The VA Boston Healthcare System is hiring 1 Peer Specialist that functions as a fully vested interdisciplinary team member in the Psychosocial Rehabilitation and Recovery Center at the Brockton campus. The position utilizes recovery tools to coach Veterans on relevant skills needed for self-management of their health condition(s) and pursuit of their personal wellness The position assists Veterans in determining the steps needed to achieve their self-directed recovery and wellness goals. The position also contributes to the development of an effective recovery plan reflective of the Veteran's voice that is based upon their understanding of the Veteran's goals and interests. The position utilizes recovery tools to coach Veterans on relevant skills needed for self-management of their health condition(s) and pursuit of their personal wellness. The position monitors progress and assists with the execution of the recovery and wellness plan, makes timely reports of progress, and presents new areas of concern to the treatment team. The position 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 Veterans to share their experiences. When appropriate, the position shares stories about personal recovery experiences in relation to current struggles that the Veterans report. These discreet self-disclosures made by the position facilitate Veterans' recovery by conveying hope that change and recovery are possible. Utilizing their personal recovery experience, the position duties included but are not limited to the following: Teach and role model the value of every individual's recovery experience. Use 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. Model effective coping techniques, holistic wellness, and self-help strategies. Assist in obtaining services that suit the individual's personal recovery and wellness needs. Assist Veterans in exploring their interests and options for making improvements in life functioning areas such as housing, employment, relationships, and community engagement Inform Veterans about VA and community supports and resources, including how to effectively utilize them in the recovery and wellness process. Community resources may include but are not limited to consumer-run organizations, self-help and mutual support services, YMCAs, libraries, restaurants, Veteran Service Organizations (VSOs), and the other natural supports. Assist Veterans in developing empowerment skills, identifying strengths, and combating stigma through self-advocacy. This is accomplished through regular individual or group meetings and using role playing/modeling techniques. Serve as liaison to community-based organizations to develop and/or foster Veterans' community integration, natural supports, and self-reliant strategies. May perform outreach activities to establish community partnerships that will provide health care services for the Veterans in the community and inform Veterans of the availability of those health care services and other benefits. Assist Veterans in building social skills in the community that enhance community reintegration using techniques such as role playing and social skills training. When necessary, the position handles crisis interventions for Veterans and addresses other emergent situations through immediate consultation with the supervisor or most available clinical provider. These crisis interventions are carefully documented and communicated to the interdisciplinary team in a timely manner. Work Schedule: Monday-Friday 8:00am-4:30pm Telework: This position may be authorized for telework. Telework eligibility will be discussed during the interview process. Virtual: This is not a virtual position. Position Description/PD#: Peer Support Specialist/PD00067A, PD00068A, PD00069A, and PD00070A 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 Conditions of Employment You must be a U.S. Citizen to apply for this job You must have a full, current, and unrestricted peer specialist certification to meet this qualification requirement for employment in VHA as a peer specialist. You must be a Veteran (See Statutory Requirements below) Selective Service Registration is required for males born after 12/31/1959 You may be required to serve a probationary period Subject to background/security investigation Selected applicants will be required to complete an online onboarding process Participation in the seasonal influenza vaccination program is a requirement for all Department of Veterans Affairs Health Care Personnel (HCP) Participation in the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccination program is a requirement for all Veterans Health Administration Health Care Personnel (HCP) - See "Additional Information" below for details. Valid unrestricted Driver's License Qualifications To qualify for this position, applicants must meet all requirements by the closing date of this announcement, 05/31/2024. 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. For a GS-07 position you must have served 52 weeks at the GS-06 level. For a GS-08 position you must have served 52 weeks at the GS-07 level. For a GS-09 position you must have served 52 weeks at the GS-08 level. 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. You may qualify based on your experience and/or education as described below: 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. 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. 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 counseling to support peers in mental health and/or addiction recovery, a recovery advocate directly involved with consumers of mental health services, a psychiatric therapy aide, 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 counseling to support peers in mental health and/or addiction recovery, a recovery advocate directly involved with consumers of mental health services, a psychiatric therapy aide, 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 counseling to support peers in mental health and/or addiction recovery, a recovery advocate directly involved with consumers of mental health services, a psychiatric therapy aide, 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 counseling to support peers in mental health and/or addiction recovery, a recovery advocate directly involved with consumers of mental health services, a psychiatric therapy aide, 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 ½) 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. You will be rated on the following Competencies for this position: Team Building Counseling Teaches Others Veteran and customer focus Public Service motivation Recovery principles and Use of Recovery Tools Cultural Competence Peer Support Practices 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. Education 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. 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: http://www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ous/international/usnei/us/edlite-visitus-forrecog.html. Additional Information State-certified peer specialists who wish to relocate will need to check their current state and the new state to verify certification requirements. This should be completed before applying to peer specialist positions in a different state. Verification must be made that the peer specialist possesses a valid certification before being appointment to the position. Receiving Service Credit or Earning Annual (Vacation) Leave: Federal Employees earn annual leave at a rate (4, 6 or 8 hours per pay period) which is based on the number of years they have served as a Federal employee. VA may offer newly-appointed Federal employee's credit for their job-related non-federal experience or active duty uniformed military service. This credited service can be used in determining the rate at which they earn annual leave. Such credit must be requested and approved prior to the appointment date and is not guaranteed. Special Employment Consideration: VA encourages persons with disabilities to apply, including those eligible for hiring under 5 CFR 213.3102(u), Schedule A, Appointment of persons with disabilities [i.e., intellectual disabilities, severe physical disabilities, or psychiatric disabilities], and/or Disabled veterans with a compensable service-connected disability of 30% or more. Contact the Agency Contact for information on how to apply under this appointment authority via the Selective Placement Coordinator. The Interagency Career Transition Assistance Plan (ICTAP) and Career Transition Assistance Plan (CTAP) provide eligible displaced VA competitive service employees with selection priority over other candidates for competitive service vacancies. To be qualified you must submit appropriate documentation (a copy of the agency notice, your most recent performance rating, and your most recent SF-50 noting current position, grade level, and duty location) and be found well-qualified for this vacancy. To be well-qualified: applicants must possess experience that exceeds the minimum qualifications of the position including all selective factors, and who are proficient in most of the required competencies of the job. Information about ICTAP and CTAP eligibility is on OPM's Career Transition Resources website at http://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/workforce-restructuring/employee-guide-to-career-transition/ " target="_blank">"http://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/workforce-restructuring/employee-guide-to-career-transition/ This job opportunity announcement may be used to fill additional vacancies. Pursuant to VHA Directive 1193.01, VHA health care personnel (HCP) are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 subject to such accommodations as required by law (i.e., medical, religious or pregnancy). VHA HCPs do not include remote workers who only infrequently enter VHA locations. If selected, you will be required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and submit documentation of proof of vaccination before your start date. The agency will provide additional information regarding what information or documentation will be needed and how you can request a legally required accommodation from this requirement using the reasonable accommodation process. If you are unable to apply online or need an alternate method to submit documents, please reach out to the Agency Contact listed in this Job Opportunity Announcement.