PEER SPECIALIST

Employer
USAJobs
Location
Perry Point, Maryland
Posted
Oct 22, 2021
Closes
Oct 29, 2021
Function
Administrative
Hours
Full Time
Duties

Summary

Functions as an interdisciplinary team member, assisting physicians and other professional/non-professional personnel in a rehabilitation treatment program. Performs a variety of therapeutic and supportive tasks that include assisting Veterans in articulating their goals for recovery, learning and practicing new skills, monitoring progress, assisting in treatment, modeling effective coping techniques and self-help strategies based on own recovery experience.

Learn more about this agency

Responsibilities

Duties and responsibilities include, but are not limited to: The GS-06, 07 or GS-08 Peer Specialist will serve in a developmental capacity to provide the individual with the knowledge, skills, and abilities needed to perform the full range of routine assignments found at the full-performance level. The key functions of the GS-09 Full Performance level duties include, but are not limited to:
  • Function as a role model, exhibiting competency in personal recovery and use of coping skills;
  • Serve as a counselor advocate, providing consumer information and peer support for Veterans in outpatient and inpatient settings.
  • Assist in treatment planning based on the principles of recovery and resiliency.
  • Preform a wide range of tasks to assist peers of all ages, from young adult to old age, in regaining independence within the community and mastery over their own recovery process.
  • Participate in the service, training, consultative and other professional activities of rehabilitation treatment program.
  • Advocate for effective recovery-based services that will aid the Veteran in daily living.
  • Orient Veterans new to the programs in which they work about the services, hours, locations, staff and other pertinent information necessary for the Veteran to understand the program and how to utilize it.
  • Assist Veterans to articulate personal goals for recovery through the use of one-to-one and group sessions.
  • Utilize recovery tools such as the Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP) to assist Veterans in creating their own individual wellness and recovery plans.
  • Contribute to the development of an effective discharge plan.
  • Observe behaviors that might indicate difficulty adapting or responding to treatment; complete appropriate documentation, and report concerns to the treatment or recovery team.
  • Assist Veterans in developing empowerment skills and combating stigma through self advocacy.
  • Serve as liaison with community-based consumer-run and/or consumer-supportive organizations.
  • Provide support of Veterans' vocational choices.
  • Assist Veterans in building social skills in the community that will enhance job acquisition and tenure using such techniques as role playing.
  • Handle crisis interventions for any program patient or address other emergency situations.
  • Provide training to other staff within the program as requested by the supervisor.
  • Maintain a working knowledge of current trends and developments in the mental health field.
  • Perform other related duties as assigned.

Promotion Potential: 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.

Work Schedule: 8am - 4:30pm
Compressed/Flexible: Not Available
Telework: Yes, But this is not a 100% virtual position
Virtual: This is not a virtual position.
Position Description/PD#: PEER SPECIALIST/PD12174A, PD12171A, PD12170A, and PD12169A
Relocation/Recruitment Incentives: Not Authorized
Financial Disclosure Report: Not required

Travel Required

Occasional travel - You may be expected to travel for this position.

Supervisory status
No

Promotion Potential
9

Requirements

Conditions of Employment

  • You must be a U.S. Citizen to apply for this job
  • Designated and/or random drug testing may be required
  • 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 and Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Vaccination programs are requirements for all Department of Veterans Affairs Health Care Personnel (HCP).
  • It is a requirement that all HCP receive the COVID-19 vaccination and annual seasonal influenza vaccination or obtain an exemption for medical or religious reasons.
  • Wearing a face mask is required when an exemption has been granted. Health Care Personnel in violation of these directives may face disciplinary action up to and including removal from federal service.


Qualifications

To qualify for this position, applicants must meet all requirements by the closing date of this announcement,

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-09 position in a one graded series you must have served 52 weeks at the GS-08 grade level.
For a GS-08 position in a one graded series you must have served 52 weeks at the GS-07 grade level.
For a GS-07 position in a one graded series you must have served 52 weeks at the GS-06 grade level.
For a GS-06 position in a one graded series you must have served 52 weeks at the GS-05 grade 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. If the most recent SF-50 has an effective date within the past year, it may not clearly demonstrate you possess one-year time-in-grade, as required by the announcement. In this instance, you must provide an additional SF-50 that clearly demonstrates one-year time-in-grade.

BASIC REQUIREMENTS FOR PEER SPECIALISTS:

Statutory Requirement- 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.

    NOTE: You MUST provide copies of your DD-214 and Peer Specialist Certification, with your application package.

    Note : You may qualify based on your experience and/or education as described below:

    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.

    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: Light lifting (under 15 lbs.); light carrying (under 15 lbs.); reaching above shoulder; use of fingers; walking (intermittent); standing (intermittent); hearing (aid permitted); clear speech. The work is sedentary. Typically, the employee may sit comfortably to do the work. However, there may be some walking, standing, bending and carrying of light items like papers or books. No special physical demands are required to perform the work.

    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/ .

    Education

    EDUCATION SUBSTITUTION:

    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.

    A transcript must be submitted with your application if you are basing all or part of your qualifications on education. Must clearly show institution, student name, and degree/education required for qualifications.

    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

    VA supports the use of telework as a way to help attract and retain talented individuals in public service, increase worker productivity, and better prepare the agency to operate during emergencies. This position may be authorized for telework. Telework eligibility will be discussed during the interview process.

    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 Federal/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/ .

    Placement Policy: The posting of this announcement does not obligate management to fill a vacancy or vacancies by promotion. The position may be filled by reassignment, change to lower grade, transfer, appointment, or reinstatement. Management may use any one or any combination of these methods to fill the position.

    It is the policy of the VA to not deny employment to those that have faced financial hardships or periods of unemployment.

    This job opportunity announcement may be used to fill additional vacancies.

    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.

    For more information on the "Who may apply" eligibility requirements, please refer to the OHRM Status Candidates and Other Candidate Definitions document.

    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 .

    How You Will Be Evaluated

    You will be evaluated for this job based on how well you meet the qualifications above.

    IN DESCRIBING YOUR EXPERIENCE, PLEASE BE CLEAR AND SPECIFIC. WE WILL NOT MAKE ASSUMPTIONS REGARDING YOUR EXPERIENCE.

    Narrative responses are not required at this time. If you are referred for consideration, you may be asked to submit additional job related information, which may include, but not limited to; responses to the knowledge, skills and abilities; completion of a work sample, and/or contact for an interview.Your resume and/or supporting documentation will be verified. Please follow all instructions carefully. Errors or omissions may affect your rating or consideration for employment.

    Background checks and security clearance

    Security clearance
    Not Required

    Drug test required
    No

    Position sensitivity and risk
    Non-sensitive (NS)/Low Risk

    Trust determination process
    Suitability/Fitness

    Required Documents

    To apply for this position, you must provide a complete Application Package which includes:
    • DD-214/ Statement of Service
    • Resume


    The following documents are accepted, and may be required if applicable to your eligibility and/or qualifications for this position. Please use this checklist to make sure you have included other documents required for your application, such as a copy of your transcript (if using education to qualify), SF-50's (current/former Federal employees), documentation to support Veterans Preference claims, or ICTAP/CTAP documentation (for displaced Federal employees). You will not be contacted for additional information.
    • Cover Letter
    • DD-214/ Statement of Service
    • Disability Letter (Schedule A)
    • Disability Letter (VA)
    • Resume
    • Separation Notice (RIF)
    • SF-50/ Notification of Personnel Action
    • Transcript


    SF-50, Notification of Personnel Action (if applicable for Time in Grade and/or Eligibility):
    • Most recent SF-50 if you are a current or former Federal employee
    • An SF-50 showing your time-in-grade eligibility must be submitted with your application materials. If the most recent SF-50 has an effective date within the past year, it may not clearly demonstrate you possess one-year time-in-grade, as required by the announcement. In this instance, you must provide an additional SF-50 that clearly demonstrates one-year time-in-grade
    • Award 50's do not provide sufficient information and will not be accepted for the purpose of verifying time-in-grade.
    • Examples of appropriate SF-50's include:
      • Within grade increases at the highest grade held; or
      • Promotions with an effective date more than one year old; or
      • SF-50's at the highest grade held with an effective date more than one year old.
    Veterans' Preference: When applying for Federal Jobs, eligible Veterans should claim preference for 5pt (TP), 10pt (CP/CPS/XP), or for Sole Survivor Preference (SSP) in the questionnaire. You must provide a legible copy of your DD214(s) which shows dates and character of service (honorable, general, etc.). If you are currently serving on active duty and expect to be released or discharged within 120 days you must submit documentation related to your active duty service which reflects the dates of service, character of service (honorable, general, etc.), and dates of impending separation. Additionally, disabled veterans and others eligible for 10-point preference (such as widows or mothers of eligible Veterans) must also submit an SF-15 "Application for 10 Point Veteran Preference" with required proof as stated on the form. Documentation is required to award preference. For more information on Veterans' Preference, please visit Feds Hire Vets - Veterans - Job Seekers - Veterans' Preference .

    If you are relying on your education to meet qualification requirements:

    Education must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education in order for it to be credited towards qualifications. Therefore, provide only the attendance and/or degrees from schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education .

    Failure to provide all of the required information as stated in this vacancy announcement may result in an ineligible rating or may affect the overall rating.

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