Job Information

Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration Peer Specialist in Bay Pines, Florida

Summary Peer Specialist 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 service. Responsibilities As a Peer Specialist, you serve as a recovery agent by providing and advocating for effective wellness and holistic recovery-based services that aid Veterans in daily living. The position orients new Veterans to the programs' services, hours, locations, staff, and other pertinent information necessary for the Veterans to understand how to effectively utilize the program services. Additionally, major duties and responsibilities include, but not limited to: Participating in the service, training, consultation, and other professional activities of VA health care service and functions as a fully vested member of the multidisciplinary team. Completing assignments based on comprehensive peer support knowledge and recognition by others of demonstrated superior skill and proven sound judgment. Working with Veterans with very complex mental illnesses and challenging situations that require effective communication and decision-making skills. Assisting Veterans to articulate personal recovery goals through the use of individual or group meetings. Assisting Veterans in identifying their skills, strengths, supports, and resources needed to aid them in achieving their recovery goals. Collaborating with Veterans to develop and implement a personal wellness and recovery plan. Assisting Veterans in determining the steps needed to achieve their self-directed recovery goals and wellness. Utilizing recovery tools to coach Veterans on relevant skills needed for self-management for their health condition(s) and pursuit of their personal wellness. Monitoring 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. Contributing to the development of an effective discharge plan. Observing 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. Using 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. Sharing stories about personal recovery experiences in relation to current struggles that the Veterans report. These discreet self-disclosures made by the incumbent facilitates Veterans' recovery by conveying hope that change and recovery are possible. Handling crisis interventions for Veterans and addresses other emergent situations without the benefit of specific instructions. These interventions are carefully documented and communicated to the multidisciplinary team in a timely manner. Using current level of knowledge and skill to provide training to less experienced peer staff and/or WOCs in the provision of peer support services and/or other psychosocial rehabilitation and wellness services. Maintaining a working knowledge of current trends and developments in holistic approaches in wellness and recovery by reading books, journals, and other relevant materials. Other related duties, as assigned. Work Schedule: Monday to Friday, 8:00 am to 4:30 pm Telework: Available Virtual: This is not a virtual position. Position Title/Functional Statement #:Peer Specialist/PD000000 and PD00068A Relocation/Recruitment Incentives: Not Authorized Permanent Change of Station (PCS): Not Authorized Financial Disclosure Report: Not required Requirements Conditions of Employment Qualifications Applicants pending the completion of educational or certification/licensure requirements may be referred and tentatively selected but may not be hired until all requirements are met. Basic Requirements: United States Citizenship: Non-citizens may only be appointed when it is not possible to recruit qualified citizens in accordance with VA Policy. 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) 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. 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. BASIC REQUIREMENTS FOR PEER SUPPORT APPRENTICES, GS-102-5: As a Peer Support Apprentice hired to become a certified Peer Specialist, a Veteran must have spent a minimum of 1 year in recovery from a mental health condition. In all cases, Peer Support Apprentices must actively pursue becoming certified as required to serve as a Peer Specialist by 38 U.S.C. 7402(b)(13)(B). At the time of appointment, the supervisor will provide the Peer Support Apprentice with the written requirements for becoming certified, the date by which he or she must become certified, and the consequences for not becoming certified by the deadline. Failure to become certified by the prescribed date will result in removal from this GS-102 occupation and may result in termination of employment. Grade Determinations: SPECIALIZED EXPERIENCE FOR PEER SPECIALISTS, GS-102-6/9: In addition to the basic requirements, candidates must have at least 1 year of specialized experience equivalent to the next lower grade level. Specialized experience is progressively responsible, 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. SUBSTITUTION OF EDUCATION FOR PEER SPECIALISTS, GS-102-6/9: Graduate education or a post-bachelor's degree internship meets the specialized experience required for GS-6/9 only in those instances where it is directly related to the work of the position. Six (6) months of graduate education or a 1-year post-bachelor's degree internship meets the requirements for GS-6. One full year of graduate education meets the requirements for GS-7. One and one/half years of graduate education meets the requirements for GS-8. Two full years of graduate education or a master's degree meets the requirements for GS-9. 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. NOTE: In recruiting and examining for these positions, participation in community, social service, and similar volunteer activities that meets the definition of specialized experience is creditable applicant experience. References: VA Handbook 5005, Appendix F3 Qualification Standard Peer Support Apprentice/Peer Specialist, GS-102-5/9 The full performance level of this vacancy is GS-09. The actual grade at which an applicant may be selected for this vacancy is in the range of GS-07 to GS-09. 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. (See also VA Directive and Handbook 5019.) Education IMPORTANT: 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: 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: Additional Information 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. This job opportunity announcement may be used to fill additional vacancies. It is the policy of the VA to not deny employment to those that have faced financial hardships or periods of unemployment. This position is in the Excepted Service and does not confer competitive status. VA encourages persons with disabilities to apply. The health-related positions in VA are covered by Title 38, and are not covered by the Schedule A excepted appointment authority. Veterans and Transitioning Service Members: Please visit the VA for Vets site for career-search tools for Veterans seeking employment at VA, career development services for our existing Veterans, and coaching and reintegration support for military service members. If you are unable to apply online or need to fax a document you do not have in electronic form, view the following link for information regarding an Alternate Application.