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Peer Specialist

Veterans Health Administration

Full-Time | On Location / In Office

$42,022 - $74,250/yr.

Summary
This position functions as an interdisciplinary team member assisting physicians and other professionals/non-professionals in a rehabilitation treatment program.

This Peer Specialist position may only be filled with a Veteran that meets statutory requirements that are detailed in the qualifications section.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: Veteran is defined as a person who served in the active military, naval, air, or space service and who was discharged or released under conditions other than dishonorable.

Duties
The Peer Specialist functions as an interdisciplinary team member, assisting physicians and other professional/non-professional personnel in a rehabilitation treatment program. Peer specialists perform a variety of therapeutic and supportive tasks that include assisting Veterans in articulating their goals for recovery and personal wellness, 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 services.

Duties include, but not limited to the following:

Participates in the service, training, consultation, and other professional activities of VA health care services and functions as a fully vested member of the multidisciplinary team.
Uses personal recovery experiences to model coping techniques and recovery tolls to coach Veterans to relevant skills need for self-management of their health condition(s) and pursuit of their personal wellness.
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 team in a timely manner.
Uses 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.
As necessary, handles crisis interventions for Veterans and addresses other emergent situations without the benefit of specific instructions.
Informs Veterans about VA and community supports and resources, including how to effectively utilize them in the recovery and wellness process.
Maintains a working knowledge of current trends and developments in holistic approaches in wellness and recovery by reading books, journals, and other relevant materials.
Performs 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: 8:00am – 4:30pm
Compressed/Flexible: not authorized
Telework: Maybe authorized at supervisor discretion.
Virtual: This is not a virtual position.
Position Description/PD#: Peer Specialist/PD00068A, PD00068A, and PD00487A
Relocation/Recruitment Incentives: not authorized
Permanent Change of Station (PCS): not authorized
Financial Disclosure Report: Not required

Requirements
Conditions of Employment
BASIC REQUIREMENT FOR PEER SPECIALISTS:

You must be a U.S. Citizen to apply for this job
All applicants tentatively selected for VA employment in a testing designated position are subject to urinalysis to screen for illegal drug use prior to appointment. Applicants who refuse to be tested will be denied employment with VA.
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 Veterans Health Administration Health Care Personnel (HCP) – See “Additional Information” below for details.

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.

To qualify for this position, applicants must meet all requirements by the closing date of this announcement, 09/19/2023.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: Veteran is defined as a person who served in the active military, naval, air, or space service, and who was discharged or released under conditions other than dishonorable.

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.

Qualifications
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-06 position you must have served 52 weeks at the GS-5. For a GS-07 position you must have served 52 weeks at the GS-06. For the GS-08 position you must have served 52 weeks at the GS-07 and for the GS-09 position you must have served 52 weeks at the GS-08.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. 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.

You may qualify based on your experience and/or education as described below:GS-6: In addition to the basic requirements, candidates must have at least one (1) 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: In addition to the basic requirements, candidates must have at least one (1) 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: In addition to the basic requirements, candidates must have at least one (1) 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: In addition to the basic requirements, candidates must have at least one (1) 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 situations.
-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.

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/.

Open & closing dates
09/08/2023 to 09/20/2023
Salary
$42,022 – $74,250 per year
Pay scale & grade
GS 6 – 9
Location
2 vacancies in the following location:

Syracuse, NY
Remote job
No
Telework eligible
Yes—as determined by the agency policy.
Travel Required
25% or less – You may be expected to travel for this position.
Relocation expenses reimbursed
No
Appointment type
Permanent –
Work schedule
Full-time –
Service
Competitive
Promotion potential
9
Job family (Series)
0102 Social Science Aid and Technician
Supervisory status
No
Security clearance
Other
Drug test
No
Position sensitivity and risk
Non-sensitive (NS)/Low Risk
Trust determination process
Credentialing

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