Act Peer Support Specialist

Alexandria, Virginia
$41,253.89 - $68,755.86 Annually
Jul 30, 2022
Aug 13, 2022
Full Time
Job Announcement

This job opportunity is being re-announced. Applicants who previously applied for this job do not need to re-apply.

Provides support to adult individuals with serious and persistent mental illness and/or co-occurring disorders as a member of a multidisciplinary intensive community treatment team. The services are typically provided in non-traditional, community-based settings (e.g., unsheltered settings, homeless shelters, jails, hospitals, consumer homes, job sites). Through a combination of personal recovery experience and professional training, provides role modeling and skills building opportunities, such as budgeting, time management, independent living skills and interpersonal communication techniques. Facilitates WRAP and other recovery-oriented self-help groups, in addition to facilitating the establishment of peer support networks, natural supports, and social support systems. Offers personal insight and education on the process of recovery to individuals served by the team, teammates, and other providers as needed. Complies with CSB, licensing, and third-party payment policies and regulation, documents delivered services in clients' electronic health records, and participates in clinical and administrative team meetings. Team members, including the ACT Peer Support Specialist, routinely transport individuals served to appointments, which requires all applicants to have a valid driving license. Ethical responsibility and personal boundaries must be maintained while delivering services in this role. This position has the potential to be used in the expansion of ACT services to another region of Fairfax County which would require flexibility from the selected candidate around assigned work location. More information on this will be provided at time of interview.

The population of Fairfax County is very diverse where 39.8% of residents speak a language other than English at home (Spanish, Asian/Pacific Islander, Indo-European, and others) and we encourage candidates bilingual in English and a foreign language to apply to this opportunity.

Note: The selected candidate will be a Registered Peer Recovery Specialist with the Virginia Department of Health Professions at time of hire or obtain the credential within one (1) month of employment. Applicants are encouraged to visit the Department of Health Professions’ website to learn more about the pre-requisites needed to apply for the Registered Peer Recovery Specialist credential if not currently credentialed.

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Illustrative Duties

(The illustrative duties listed in this specification are representative of the class but are not an all-inclusive list. A complete list of position duties and unique physical requirements can be found in the position job description.)

  • Facilitates wellness and recovery groups (psycho-educational) and teaches recovery principles one on one;
  • Assists individuals to fully participate in the communities where they live and work by orienting individuals to community resources, educating how to access, and advocating for increased opportunities for involvement;
  • Facilitates communication and understanding between recipients and providers of services so that providers make better informed recommendations and recipients make better informed choices;
  • Explains services and procedures to individuals being served, and anyone they want to be involved for their support, so they know what to expect;
  • Assists recipients to articulate their needs and concerns to providers;
  • Provides a welcoming and supportive atmosphere for individuals receiving services;
  • Serves as advocate and liaison between individuals, families, staff, and physicians;
  • Assists clinical staff with supporting those being served and reviewing their progress in life skills and activities of daily living, and immediately consults with clinicians when consumers are in psychiatric crisis or appear to be at risk.

Required Knowledge Skills and Abilities

(The knowledge, skills and abilities listed in this specification are representative of the class but are not an all-inclusive list.)

  • Ability to use one's lived personal experience of mental illness and experience with accessing different levels of care;
  • Ability to use one's lived experience to further healthy, positive interactions with consumers at differing levels of engagement;
  • Knowledge of the principles, process and components of recovery;
  • Knowledge of ethics and boundaries as they relate to the peer specialist practice;
  • Knowledge of human services available from public, private and volunteer organizations;
  • Ability to establish rapport and maintain effective relationships and boundaries with individuals receiving services, staff, and the general public;
  • Ability to retrieve, compose and save progress notes into the electronic health record;
  • Ability to maintain confidentiality of clinical and medical records;
  • Ability to communicate effectively both orally and in writing.

Employment Standards

Graduation from high school or a GED issued by a state department of education;
Plus 4 months of experience in providing peer/recovery support services.

Peer support services (PSS) is a behavioral health model of care that provides community-based recovery services to individuals diagnosed with a mental illness of substance use disorder. PSS assist individuals in initiating and maintaining the process of recovery and resiliency to improve their health, wellness and self-care skills. PSS are provided by individuals who have lived experience with recovery from Mental Health or Substance Use Disorders and utilize this experience in provision of services. Peer Support Service is an individualized, recovery focused approach that promotes the development of wellness self-management, personal recovery, natural supports, coping skills, and self-advocacy skills and development of independent living skills for housing, employment and full community inclusion.

  • Valid motor vehicle driver's license with fewer than six demerit points (or equivalent in another state) maintained throughout employment with CSB;
  • CPR certifications within three months of appointment and annually thereafter;
  • MANDT Certifications within six month of appointment and annually thereafter;
  • Registered Peer Recovery Specialist (RPRS) with the Virginia Department of Health Professions (DHP) within one month of employment.

The appointee to this position will be required to complete a criminal background check, a Child Protective Services Registry check, a driving record check, and sanction screening to the satisfaction of the employer. A TB screening upon hire and annually thereafter.

This position is emergency/essential services personnel. (Required to report for duty during inclement weather and/or other emergencies).

All newly hired employees are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 (two weeks after the last required dose) as a condition of employment or obtain approval of a medical or religious exemption prior to their start date. Proof of an exemption or vaccination status will be required during the pre-employment onboarding process. New employees who obtain an exemption from the vaccine mandate for medical or sincerely held religious beliefs may be subject to a weekly testing requirement. Vaccinated employees and employees with a medical or religious exemption will complete the attestation online on their first day of employment or shortly thereafter.

  • Experience providing outreach and engagement services to seriously mentally ill and homeless individuals.
  • Experience and knowledge of the Assertive Community Treatment model.
  • Holds current Registered Peer Recovery Specialist credential with Virginia Department of Health Professions.

Ability to drive a car and conduct out of office visits in homes, hospitals, jails, shelters, or outdoors; communicate with clients & coworkers; and observe and report on client appearance and behavior. Ability to sit, walk, stand & bend; make clinical interventions in unconventional treatment settings; operate keyboard driven computer equipment, tablet device, and enter/retrieve data on electronic health record. All duties performed with or without reasonable accommodations.

Panel Interview and may include a practical exercise.

Fairfax County Government prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions, age, marital status, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetics, political affiliation, or military status in the recruitment, selection, and hiring of its workforce.

Reasonable accommodations are available to persons with disabilities during application and/or interview processes per the Americans with Disabilities Act. Contact 703-324-4900 for assistance. TTY 703-222-7314. EEO/AA/TTY.

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