This Peer Specialist position may only be filled with a Veteran that meets statutory requirements that are detailed in the qualifications section. This is an open-continuous announcement. Positions will be filled as they become available. The first cut-off date to consider applications for referral to the selecting official will be October 30, 2023, the remaining cut-off dates will be at 2-week intervals To qualify for this position, applicants must meet time-in-grade and specialized experience requirements within 30 days of the closing date of this announcement, 02/14/2024. 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 within 30 days of closing date of this announcement. For a GS-6 position you must have served 52 weeks at the GS-5. For a GS-7 position you must have served 52 weeks at the GS-6. For a GS-8 position you must have served 52 weeks at the GS-7. For a GS-9 position 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. 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. 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 in Recovery: must have at least 1 year of recovery from a mental health condition (mental illness and/or substance use disorder). Successful recovery is exemplified by one who manages symptoms of illness and pursues a healthy lifestyle; lives independently; is employed or volunteers significant time approximating at least a part-time employment schedule; has meaningful relationships with family members and friends; and is socially involved in the community through clubs, hobby groups, church, civic organizations or Veteran organizations in which the individual provides a service to others. 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. Restricted to VETERANS - See IMPORTANT NOTICE. Open to current, permanent employees of the VA (i.e. T38, T38 Hybrid, and VCS employees on excepted appts covered by an interchange agreement); Federal employees on a Career/Career-Conditional appt.; Former competitive civil service employees eligible for reinstatement; Veterans eligible under VEOA, VRA, and 30% DAV; Those eligible under the Employment Program for People with Disabilities; and those eligible for CTAP/ICTAP. 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 GRADE LEVEL QUALIFICATIONS 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: (Must see Education Section below) You will be rated on the following Competencies for this position: 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. ["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. This position will serve as a community-based peer specialist within the local VA facility catchment area. The working environment may include providing peer support services in places such as Veterans' homes, prisons, jails, treatment courts, shelters, tent encampments, street outreach, etc. 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. Position requires operation of a motor vehicle or access to public transportation to perform assigned duties. Accompanies Veterans to appointments as needed, whether medical, housing, or other treatment plan goal appointments, either through agency vehicle or public transportation. Assists Veterans to identify resources and problem solve how to overcome barriers so that the Veterans can independently address transportation and other personal needs. Subsequent background checks may be required if treating Veterans in an institutional setting Performs other related duties as assigned. Work Schedule: Monday - Friday, 8:00am - 4:30pm Telework: Not Available Virtual: This is not a virtual position. Position Description/PD#: Peer Specialist/PD30669A, PD30670A, PD30671A, and PD30672A Relocation/Recruitment Incentives: Not Authorized Permanent Change of Station (PCS): Not Authorized Financial Disclosure Report: Not required Promotion Potential: This position involves a multi-grade career ladder. 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. 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)."]
The Veterans Health Administration (VHA) is the largest integrated health care system in the United States, providing care at 1,321 health care facilities, including 172 VA Medical Centers and 1,138 outpatient sites of care of varying complexity (VHA outpatient clinics) to over 9 million Veterans enrolled in the VA health care program. At VA Long Beach Healthcare System, our health care teams are deeply experienced and guided by the needs of Veterans, their families, and caregivers. Our medical center provides primary care and specialty health services, including cardiology, mental health care, treatment for spinal cord injuries and disorders, suicide prevention, women’s health services, and more.