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Peer Specialist

Department of Veterans Affairs

This is a Full-time position in Harlingen, TX posted June 11, 2021.

* VideosVideos* DutiesHelpDutiesSummaryPosition functions as a team member, assisting physicians & other professional/non-professional personnel in a rehabilitation treatment program. Performs a variety of therapeutic/supportive tasks that include assisting Veterans in articulating their goals for recovery, learning & practicing new skills, helping monitor their progress, assisting in their treatment, etc.Vacancy will remain open until filled. First cut-off date is 04/01/2021. Additional applications will be referred as needed.Learn more about this agencyResponsibilitiesDuties include, but are not limited to:* Working with Veterans with very complex mental illnesses and challenging situations that require effective communication and decision-making skills.* Serving as a recovery agent by providing and advocating for effective wellness and holistic recovery-based services that aid Veterans in daily living.* Orienting new Veterans to the programs’ services, hours, location, staff and other pertinent information.* Assisting Veterans to articulate personal recovery goals through the use of individual or group meetings.* Assisting Veterans in identifying their skills, strengths, supports, and resources needed to aid them in achieving their recovery goals.* Collaborating with Veterans to develop and implement a personal wellness and recovery plan.* Assisting Veterans in determining the steps needed to achieve their self-directed recovery goals and wellness.* Utilizing recovery tools to coach Veterans on relevant skills needed for self-management of their health condition(s) and pursuit of their personal wellness.* Monitoring progress and assisting with the execution of the recovery and wellness plan, making timely reports of progress, and presenting new areas of concern to the treatment team.* Contributes to the development of an effective discharge plan.* Using 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.* Shares stories about personal recovery experiences in relation to current struggles that the Veterans report.* 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, & performance requirements are met. Selection at a lower grade level does not guarantee promotion to the full performance level.Work Schedule: Monday thru Friday 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.Telework: Not availableVirtual: This is not a virtual position.Position Description/PD#: Peer Specialist/PD00065-A, PD00066-A, PD00067-A, and PD00068-ARelocation/Recruitment Incentives: Not authorizedFinancial Disclosure Report: Not requiredThis is a Bargaining Unit position.Travel RequiredOccasional travel – Ten percent or less travel to attend outreach programs in the surrounding area.Supervisory statusNoPromotion Potential9* Job family (Series)0102 Social Science Aid and Technician* RequirementsHelpRequirementsConditions 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* Selected applicants will be required to take a pre-employment physical.QualificationsTo qualify for this position, applicants must meet all requirements by the closing date of this announcement, 03/10/2022.BASIC REQUIREMENTS FOR PEER SPECIALISTS, GS-0102-6/7/8/9: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.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-05 level.For a GS-07 position you must have served 52 weeks at the GS-06 level.For a GS-08 position you must have served 52 weeks at the GS-07 level.For a GS-09 position you must have served 52 weeks at the GS-08 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.Note: Time-In-Grade requirements also apply to former Federal employees applying for reinstatement.You may qualify based on your experience or education as described below:Specialized Experience: You must have one year of specialized experience equivalent to at least the next lower grade in the normal line of progression for the occupation in the organization. Examples of specialized experience would typically include, but are not limited to:GS-06:One year of specialized experience at the next lower grade level (GS-05), which is progressively responsible, identifying needs and providing individualized assistance and appropriate service to Veterans on less complicated cases without prior approval. The supervisor is kept informed of the progress of the work and is available for consultation. Completed work is evaluated for adequacy of methods, results, ability to solve new and changing problems, effectiveness in relations with others, and the ability to coordinate activities with other departments. Supervision is primarily received through the review of reports and discussions of progress on assigned cases.GS-07:One year of specialized experience at the next lower grade level (GS-06), which is progressively responsible, performing the full range of services involved in establishing eligibility for assistance; making initial and continuing eligibility determinations in all types of cases and authorizing grants to those who are eligible; developing pertinent information through interviews, correspondence, and home visits to support authorizationof assistance to eligible individuals or to terminate applications of persons who are ineligible; and is responsible on a continuing basis for conducting regularly scheduled reviews of cases to update information on changes in the recipient’s circumstances which affect his needs.GS-08:One year of specialized experience at the next lower grade level (GS-07), which is progressively responsible, taking the initiative in developing and implementing an appropriate plan of assistance and service and keeping the supervisor informed of any unusual problems that arise while working with a wide range of cases that involve a variety of individualized problems of a less serious nature. Supervision is usually limited to discussing progress of more serious cases in regularly scheduled conferences and a sampling review of case records and reports.GS-09:One year of specialized experience at the next lower grade level (GS-08), which is progressively responsible, taking the initiative in providing assistance and service and keeping the supervisor informed of the progress of cases assigned; planning programs of assistance and service for individuals and families incumbent works with, make continuing appraisals of progress of plans, give sustained effective help and encouragement, and evaluate changes in the family’s or individual’s situation that may affect assistance planning. Consults with his supervisor on unusual questions when incumbent wants conclusions reexamined or feels that adequate precedents for a proposed action have not been definitely established. Supervision is received mainly through review of reports and through periodic discussions of progress of assigned cases.OR,Education: Applicants may substitute education for the required experience. To qualify based on education, graduate education or a post-bachelor’s degree internship meets the specialized experienced required for GS-6/9 ONLY in those instance where it is directly related to the work of the position. You must have:GS-06:Six (6) months of graduate education in a degree program directly related to the work of this position OR a 1-year post-bachelor’s degree internship directly related to the work of this position.GS-07:One full year of graduate education in a degree program directly related to the work of this position.GS-08:One and one-half years of graduate education in a degree program directly related to the work of this position.GS-09:Two full years of graduate education or a master’s degree in a program directly related to the work of this position.You will be rated on the following Competencies for this position:* Public Service Motivation* Teaches Others* Team Building* Therapy and Counseling* Veteran and Customer FocusExperience 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 and Mental Requirements: Applicant must be able to perform primarily light & sedentary duties with occasionally moderate physical demands, exercise patience & control emotions, with reasonable accommodation if necessary, without endangering the health & safety of the applicant or others.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/.EducationA transcript must be submitted with your application if you are basing all or part of your qualifications on education.NOTE: If your school has changed names, or is no longer in existence, you must provide this information in your application.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.