Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration Peer Support Apprentice in Brockton, Massachusetts
Summary TIME LIMITED POSITION: This time-limited position will provide the peer support apprentice the time to learn and develop the necessary skills to perform as a peer specialist and to earn a peer specialist certification. After successful completion of a State or VA-approved contract vendor's peer specialist certification training process, and the necessary year of specialized experience, and time-in-grade requirements. Responsibilities NOTE: This is an open and continuous job opportunity announcement. Certificates are issued on an unannounced periodic basis based on requests from management. Applications will be evaluated and referred for selection as vacancies occur within the organization. This announcement may close at any time once all positions are filled. NOTE: The entry level Peer Support Apprentice position itself does not provide any known promotion potential, but does allow uncertified, but otherwise qualified veterans to receive training for becoming certified and thus fully qualified for future non-time limited Peer Specialist opportunities. Peer support apprentices serve in a developmental capacity and do not receive the full range of assignments performed by Peer Specialist positions. The position assists Veterans in determining the steps needed to achieve their self-directed recovery and wellness goals. The position also contributes to the development of an effective recovery plan reflective of the Veteran's voice that is based upon their understanding of the Veteran's goals and interests. The position utilizes recovery tools to coach Veterans on relevant skills needed for self-management of their health condition(s) and pursuit of their personal wellness. The position monitors progress and assists with the execution of the recovery and wellness plan, makes timely reports of progress, and presents new areas of concern to the treatment team. The position 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 Veterans to share their experiences. When appropriate, the position shares stories about personal recovery experiences in relation to current struggles that the Veterans report. These discreet self-disclosures made by the position facilitate Veterans' recovery by conveying hope that change and recovery are possible. Utilizing their personal recovery experience, the position duties included but are not limited to the following: Teach and role model the value of every individual's recovery experience. Use 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. Model effective coping techniques, holistic wellness, and self-help strategies. Assist in obtaining services that suit the individual's personal recovery and wellness needs. Assist Veterans in exploring their interests and options for making improvements in life functioning areas such as housing, employment, relationships, and community engagement Inform Veterans about VA and community supports and resources, including how to effectively utilize them in the recovery and wellness process. Community resources may include but are not limited to consumer-run organizations, self-help and mutual support services, YMCAs, libraries, restaurants, Veteran Service Organizations (VSOs), and the other natural supports. Assist Veterans in developing empowerment skills, identifying strengths, and combating stigma through self-advocacy. This is accomplished through regular individual or group meetings and using role playing/modeling techniques. Serve as liaison to community-based organizations to develop and/or foster Veterans' community integration, natural supports, and self-reliant strategies. May perform outreach activities to establish community partnerships that will provide health care services for the Veterans in the community and inform Veterans of the availability of those health care services and other benefits. Assist Veterans in building social skills in the community that enhance community reintegration using techniques such as role playing and social skills training. When necessary, the position handles crisis interventions for Veterans and addresses other emergent situations through immediate consultation with the supervisor or most available clinical provider. These crisis interventions are carefully documented and communicated to the interdisciplinary team in a timely manner. 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 duties as assigned. Work Schedule: Monday-Friday 8:00am-4:30pm Telework: 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. Virtual: This is not a virtual position. Position Description/PD#: Peer Support Apprentice/PD00067A Requirements Conditions of Employment You must be a U.S. Citizen to apply for this job You must be a Veteran (See Statutory Requirements below) Selective Service Registration is required for males born after 12/31/1959 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. Valid Unrestricted driver's license Qualifications To qualify for this position, applicants must meet all requirements by the closing date of this announcement, 05/31/2024. BASIC REQUIREMENTS FOR PEER SUPPORT APPRENTICES, GS-102-5: As a Peer Support Apprentice hired to become a certified Peer Specialist, a Veteran must have spent a minimum of 1 year in recovery from a mental health condition. In all cases, Peer Support Apprentices must actively pursue becoming certified as required to serve as a Peer Specialist by 38 U.S.C. 7402(b)(13)(B). At the time of appointment, the supervisor will provide the Peer Support Apprentice with the written requirements for becoming certified, the date by which he or she must become certified, and the consequences for not becoming certified by the deadline. Failure to become certified by the prescribed date will result in removal from this GS-102 occupation and may result in termination of employment. Definition of a Veteran: Per 5 U.S.C. 2108 and 2108a a Veteran is an individual who has been discharged or released from active duty in the armed forces under honorable conditions, or submits a certification that he or she is expected to be discharged or released from active duty in the armed forces under honorable conditions not later than 120 days after the date of the certification's submission, and meets one of the following criteria: Served on active duty in the armed forces during a war, in a campaign or expedition for which a campaign badge has been authorized, or during the period beginning April 28, 1952, and ending July 1, 1955; Served on active duty as defined by section 101(21) of title 38 at any time in the armed forces for a period of more than 180 consecutive days any part of which occurred after January 31, 1955, and before October 15, 1976, not including service under section 12103(d) of title 10 pursuant to an enlistment in the Army National Guard or the Air National Guard or as a Reserve for service in the Army Reserve, Navy Reserve, Air Force Reserve, Marine Corps Reserve, or Coast Guard Reserve; Served on active duty as defined by section 101(21) of title 38 in the armed forces during the period beginning August 2, 1990, and ending January 2, 1992; or, Served on active duty as defined by section 101(21) of title 38 at any time in the armed forces for a period of more than 180 consecutive days any part of which occurred during the period beginning on September 11, 2001, and ending on the date prescribed by Presidential proclamation or by law as the last date of Operation Iraqi Freedom. In addition to meeting the basic requirements, Specialized experience is progressively responsible, 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. You will be rated on the following Competencies for this position: Problem Solving Communication Teaches Others Veteran and customer Focus Peer Support Practices 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. 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. Physical Requirements: The applicant must be able to perform primarily light and sedentary duties with occasionally moderate physical demands, exercise patience, and control emotions, with reasonable accommodation if necessary, without endangering the health and safety of the applicant or others. The work is primarily sedentary. Typically, the employee sits to do the work. There may be some walking, standing, bending, carrying of light items (such as books, papers), and accessing transportation. The work may require occasional use of Department of Veteran's Affairs approved behavioral management techniques with Veterans who present a danger to self or others. Veterans demonstrate varying levels of wellness, recovery, and symptoms. This position must be equipped to be flexible and accept that work areas are often noisy, irregular, unpredictable, and stressful. Work is performed in a wide range of settings, including the Medical Center, group or family homes, community-based outpatient settings, community organizations, or in transport vehicles (public or government). Reference: VA Regulations, specifically VA Handbook 5005, Part II, Appendix F-3 Peer Support Apprentice/Peer Specialist Qualification Standard. This can be found in the local Human Resources Office. Education There is no educational substitution at this grade level. Additional Information VA Boston is committed to hiring a diverse workforce from various backgrounds and individuals who demonstrate a diversity, equity and inclusion-related mindset and behaviors. We are strongly seeking candidates who represent the full range of cultural and identity factors including race, ethnicity, color, sex, sexual orientation/identity, gender identity and expression, age, language, abilities/disabilities, socioeconomic status, religion, spiritual practices, geographic region, and other characteristics. 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. The Interagency Career Transition Assistance Plan (ICTAP) and Career Transition Assistance Plan (CTAP) provide eligible displaced 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/ " target="_blank">"http://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/workforce-restructuring/employee-guide-to-career-transition/ This job opportunity announcement may be used to fill additional vacancies. Pursuant to VHA Directive 1193.01, VHA health care personnel (HCP) are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 subject to such accommodations as required by law (i.e., medical, religious or pregnancy). VHA HCPs do not include remote workers who only infrequently enter VHA locations. If selected, you will be required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and submit documentation of proof of vaccination before your start date. The agency will provide additional information regarding what information or documentation will be needed and how you can request a legally required accommodation from this requirement using the reasonable accommodation process. If you are unable to apply online or need an alternate method to submit documents, please reach out to the Agency Contact listed in this Job Opportunity Announcement.