This Peer Support Apprentice position may only be filled with a Veteran that meets statutory requirements that are detailed in the qualifications section. To qualify for this position, applicants must meet all requirements by the closing date of this announcement, 09/17/2023. 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 (mental illness and/or substance use disorder). 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. 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 VRA, and 30% DAV; Those eligible under the Employment Program for People with Disabilities; and those eligible for CTAP/ICTAP. Length of Experience in Recovery Basic Requirement: 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. NOTE: You MUST provide copies of your DD-214 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. You will be rated on the following Competencies for this position: Problem Solving Communication Teaches Others 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 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. ["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, the position would be eligible for a permanent, peer specialist position. The Peer Support Apprentice functions as an interdisciplinary team member, assisting physicians and other professional/non-professional personnel in a rehabilitation treatment program. Peer support apprentices 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 apprentice's own recovery experience, and supporting them in advocating for themselves to obtain effective services. The position functions as a role model, exhibiting competency in personal recovery and use of coping skills and serves as an advocate, provides information and peer support services for Veterans in outpatient, inpatient and/or community settings. This individual must develop the ability to assist others 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. By inspiring the hope that recovery and resiliency are achievable goals, the position can assist and empower Veterans, who are diagnosed with mental illnesses and/or co-occurring disorders, as well as other chronic illnesses or injuries, to achieve their personal recovery goals. The position performs a wide range of tasks to assist Veterans in regaining independence within the community and mastery over their own recovery and wellness process. As an entry level position, most duties are performed under close supervision by either a licensed independent provider (LIP) or a non-licensed provider who works under a LIP. The purpose of the supervision is to facilitate learning and the development of skills. The knowledge required for this position will be attained through ongoing instruction provided by the supervisor or designee (e.g., the Local Recovery Coordinator). In addition, the position must complete a State or VA-approved contract vendor's certification training process, to be eligible to be hired as a peer specialist. 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 tools to coach Veterans on relevant skills needed 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 through immediate consultation with the supervisor or most available clinical provider. 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. Work Schedule: Full Time. 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. AD-HOC Virtual: This is not a virtual position. Position Description/PD#: Peer Support Apprentice/PD99695S Relocation/Recruitment Incentives: Not Authorized Permanent Change of Station (PCS): Not Authorized Financial Disclosure Report: Not required"]
The Veterans Health Administration is America’s largest integrated health care system, providing care at 1,298 health care facilities, including 171 medical centers and 1,113 outpatient sites of care of varying complexity (VHA outpatient clinics), serving 9 million enrolled Veterans each year.