Peer Specialist

Employer
USAJobs
Location
Cambridge, Maryland
Posted
Nov 24, 2021
Closes
Nov 30, 2021
Function
Administrative
Hours
Full Time
Duties

The duties of the Peer Specialist include, but are not limited to:
  • The incumbent functions as an interdisciplinary team member, assisting the Interdisciplinary staff personnel in a community based intensive treatment program (MHICM).
  • Peer Specialists perform a variety of therapeutic and supportive tasks that include assisting their peers 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 specialist's own recovery experience, and supporting them in advocating for themselves to obtain effective services.
  • The incumbent functions as a role model, exhibiting competency in personal recovery and use of coping skills; serves as a consumer advocate, provides consumer information and peer support for veterans in outpatient and inpatient settings.
  • The incumbent serves as a recovery agent by providing and advocating for any effective recovery-based services that will aid the veteran in daily living. The incumbent orients 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
  • The incumbent observes 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 or recovery team in a timely manner.

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: Monday - Friday 8:00AM-4:30PM
Telework: Available
Virtual: This is not a virtual position.
Position Description/PD#: Peer Specialist/PD12170-A and PD12169-A
Relocation/Recruitment Incentives: Not Authorized
Permanent Change of Station (PCS): Not Authorized
Financial Disclosure Report: Not required

Requirements

Conditions of Employment

  • You must be a U.S. Citizen to apply for this job
  • 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 Department of Veterans Affairs Personnel


Qualifications

To qualify for this position, applicants must meet all requirements by the closing date of this announcement, 11/29/2021.

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 the GS-8 you must have served 52 weeks at the GS-7. For the GS-9 you must have served 52 weeks at the GS-8. 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.

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.

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-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-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:
Veteran and Consumer Focused
Therapy and Counseling
Interpersonal Effectiveness
Clinical Data Collection

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.

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

NOTE: 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.

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: 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.

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 .

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