The position 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, learning and practicing new skills, helping them monitor their progress, assisting them in their treatment. To qualify for this position, applicants must meet all requirements by the closing date of this announcement, 01/28/2022. BASIC REQUIREMENTS FOR PEER SPECIALISTS, GS-102-6/9: 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. NOTE: You MUST provide copies of your legible DD-214 and Peer Specialist Certification, with your application package. 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-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. You may qualify based on your experience and/or education as described below: Specialized Experience: You must have one year of specialized experience equivalent to at least the next lower grade n the normal line of progression for the occupation in the organization. Examples of specialized experience would typically include, but are not limited to: 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. 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-7/9 ONLY in those instance where it is directly related to the work of the position. You must have: GS-07: One full year of graduate education meets the requirements for GS-07. GS-08: One and one/half years of graduate education meets the requirements for GS-08. GS-09: Two full years of graduate education or a master's degree meets the requirements for GS-09. 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. MUST HAVE A VALID Driver's license. 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 will be rated on the following Competencies for this position: CommunicationsConflict ManagementCustomer Service (Clerical/Technical)Interpersonal SkillsTechnical Competence 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: 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. The applicant must be able to perform primarily light and sedentary duties with occasionally moderate physical demands, exercise patience, and control emotions, with reasonable accommodations if necessary, without endangering the health and 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/. ["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, 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. The position assists Veterans in treatment, based on the principles of recovery, wellness, and resiliency, by promoting self-determination, personal responsibility, and the empowerment inherent in self-directed recovery. 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. In this capacity, the position completes assignments based on comprehensive peer support knowledge and recognition by others of demonstrated superior skill and proven sound judgment. The position works with Veterans with complex mental illnesses, substance abuse issues and challenging situations that require effective communication and decision-making skills.\nServes as a recovery agent by providing and advocating for effective wellness and holistic recovery-based services that aid Veterans in daily living. The position orients new Veterans to the programs' services, hours, locations, staff, and other pertinent information necessary for the Veterans to understand how to effectively utilize the program services. Assists Veterans to articulate personal recovery goals through the use of individual or group meetings. During these meetings, the position assists Veterans in identifying their skills, strengths, supports, and resources needed to aid them in achieving their recovery goals.\nAssists Veterans in determining the steps needed to achieve their self-directed recovery goals and wellness. 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.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. Utilizing his/her personal recovery experience, the position will: Teach and role model the value of every individual's recovery experience.- Model effective coping techniques, holistic wellness, and self-help strategies.\nAssist 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 (i.e. assist Veterans in exploring options for obtaining decent and affordable housing and make referrals to appropriate VA housing programs; support Veterans vocational choices and refer them to appropriate resources to support employment).\nInform 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, Social Security offices, Department of Family and Children Services, YMCAs, libraries, restaurants, Veteran Service Organizations (VSOs), and the Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD).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. May provide support of Veterans' vocational choices and assists them in choosing a job matching their strengths, overcoming job-related anxiety by reviewing job applications, providing interview tips, and practice sessions. Other 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: Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.\nTelework: Not Available\nVirtual: This is not a virtual position.\nFinancial Disclosure Report: Not required"]
Providing Health Care for Veterans: The Veterans Health Administration is America’s largest integrated health care system, providing care at 1,255 health care facilities, including 170 medical centers and 1,074 outpatient sites of care of varying complexity (VHA outpatient clinics), serving 9 million enrolled Veterans each year.