Peer Support Specialist - Emergency Services & Crisis Care

Fairfax, Virginia
$41,253.89 - $68,755.86 Annually
May 20, 2023
Jun 10, 2023
Full Time
Job Announcement

Works in an entry level opportunity within the Emergency Services Team!. Provides trauma-informed peer support, recovery support services, and other assistance to adults, adolescents, and children with co-occurring serious mental illness and substance use disorders in crisis, in a behavioral health emergency services setting. Responsibilities can include answering phones, accompanying individuals in crisis, and assisting the staff with meeting the needs of individuals and the operation of the program. Under the supervision of a Licensed Clinical Emergency Services Supervisor or designee, the Peer Recovery Specialist (PRS) utilizes their personal experience and professional training to provide information on the recovery process and to promote opportunities for participants to move into recovery. Works collaboratively with staff and emergency services personnel to provide support and meet the needs of individuals and their supports at the Merrifield Crisis Response Center (MCRC). Demonstrates an ability to observe individual's behavior/appearance for signs of acute distress or dangerous behavior. Provides support to calm, normalize and stabilize (crisis management) individuals and their support partners. Demonstrates an ability to establish rapport with individuals though personal recovery disclosure and maintain relationships based on respect, mutuality, and appropriate boundaries. Educates individuals and their supporters on evidence-based recovery-support services, key recovery concepts and resources. Collaborates with other treatment team members to include clinicians, law enforcement professionals, and psychiatrists. Services are provided via individual and group modalities. Must document provision of peer services in electronic health record. Attends and participates in weekly staff meetings.

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: To learn more about careers that make a difference, watch our video "CSB Celebrates 50th Anniversary of Providing Care."

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 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;
  • Coaches individuals in developing wellness and recovery plans, following through with those plans, and overcoming obstacles.
  • 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 individuals 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, clinical professionals, physicians, and others involved in the individual’s recovery;
  • Assists other staff with supporting those being served and reviewing their progress and consults as necessary when individuals 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/or substance use experience with accessing different levels of care;
  • Ability to use one's lived experience to further healthy, positive interactions with service recipients at differing levels of engagement and stages of change
  • Knowledge of the principles, process and components of wellness and 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, medical, and other sensitive 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.

  • Registered Peer Recovery Specialist (RPRS) with the Virginia Department of Health Professions (DHP) within six months of employment.
  • MANDT (Required within 3 months)
  • CPR/First Aid (Required within 12 months)
  • Wellness of Recovery Action Plan (WRAP) Certification or equivalent (Required within 12 months of hire)
  • Whole Health Action Management Plan (WHAM) (Required within 12 months of hire)
  • Valid driver's license.
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. Hepatitis B Vaccination required.

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

  • Registration as a Virginia State Certified Peer Recovery Specialist
  • Three or more years' experience working as a Peer Specialist within an acute care setting.
  • One or more years of experience working with adults who suffer from serious mental illness and co-occurring disorders in an intensive treatment group home, hospital emergency department or psychiatric unit, community-based behavioral emergency services, and/or crisis stabilization setting.

Ability to stand, stoop, bend, stretch, walk, climb, sit, kneel, crouch, reach, crawl, lift and handle materials with manual dexterity. Ability to lift up to 10 lbs; input, access, and retrieve information from a computer; be physically active for three hours at a time; and to walk, negotiate, or traverse property sites that may be undergoing construction or having terrain that is not level. Must be able to observe client behavior/appearance, and converse with clients & coworkers. Ability to provide assistance with personal hygiene and personal care; p articipate in outings and recreational activities; and r eview and write collaborative clinical notes and ongoing record keeping. 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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