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Peer Specialist

TITLE: Peer Specialist
REPORTS TO: Legal Partnership Liaison
WORK WEEK: Not to exceed 40 hours per week
WAGE CLASSIFICATION: Non-exempt
OSHA RISK CLASSIFICATION: Medium

SUMMARY POSITION STATEMENT
The Peer Specialist (PS) is an active member of the Legal Partnership Project and works closely with the community Reentry and Recovery Program Team to provide peer support services to clients with mental illnesses, addiction, alcoholism, and other challenges. Work performed by the PS will promote community socialization, recovery, self-advocacy, self-help, and development of natural supports.

ESSENTIAL FUNCTIONS/ROLES & RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE POSITION

Under supervision of the PCHS Legal Partnership Liaison, the Peer Specialist will function as a role model to peers; exhibiting competency in personal reintegration/recovery and use of coping skills, serve as an advocate, provide resource information and peer support for individuals in a wide variety of settings.  The PS performs a wide range of tasks to assist peers of all ages in regaining independence within the community and mastery over their own reintegration and/or recovery processes. Resources such as booklets, pamphlets and other written materials will be utilized by the Peer Specialist in the provision of services. Using a formal goal setting process, the PS will:  

  • Assist participants in articulating personal goals for reintegration and/or recovery through the use of one-to-one and group sessions. During these sessions, the PS will support participants in identifying and creating goals and developing reintegration/recovery plans with the skills, strengths, supports and resources to aid them in achieving those goals
  • Assist participants in working with their case manager or treatment team in determining the steps he/she needs to take in order to achieve these goals and self-directed reintegration/recovery.
  • Assist participants in setting up and sustaining self-help (mutual support) groups when needed and/or locate and joining existing groups.
  • Utilize tools such as the Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP) to assist participants in creating their own individual wellness and recovery plans. 
  • Independently or with periodic assistance of treatment team members, utilize and teach problem solving techniques with individuals and groups; discussions will be utilized where participants will share common problems in daily living and methods they have employed to manage and cope with these problems.  As one who has overcome similar challenges, the PS will share their own experiences and what skills, strengths, supports and resources they use.
  • Use ongoing individual and group sessions to teach clients how to identify and combat negative self-talk and how to identify and overcome fears by providing a forum which allows group members and PS to share their experiences.
  • Support participants vocational choices and assist them in choosing a job that matches their strengths, overcoming job-related anxiety by reviewing job applications, and providing interview tips. The PS may also assist by walking participants through a mock interview.
  • Assist participants in building social skills in the community that will enhance job acquisition.
  • Utilizing their recovery experience, the PS will teach and role model the value of every individual’s reintegration/recovery experience and model effective coping techniques and self-help strategies.    
  • Assist in obtaining services that suit that individual’s reintegration/recovery needs by providing names of staff, community resources, and groups that may be useful.  Inform participants about community and natural supports and how to use these in the reintegration/recovery process.
  • Assist participants in developing empowerment skills and combating stigma through self-advocacy.  This will be accomplished through regular meetings, individual or group sessions.  Through the use of role playing/modeling techniques the PS provides opportunities for others to show/demonstrate how they have handled similar problems, how to present themselves in certain situations, or how to handle problems that may arise in interactions with others.  
  • With assistance from the Reentry Coordinator and PCHS staff, the Peer Specialist will work with the participants to develop a treatment/ reintegration/recovery plan based on each participants identified goals. Treatment/Reintegration/Recovery Plans will be reviewed and signed by the Coordinator/Team Leader and the required treatment staff. The PS will document the following on the client’s treatment/reintegration/recovery plan:

a. identified person-centered strengths, needs, abilities, and recovery goals
b. interventions to assist the client with reaching their goals for recovery
c. progress made toward goals

The PS will continue to share recovery materials with others at continuing education seminars and other venues to be developed to support reintegration/recovery-oriented services; and attend continuing education seminars and other in-service training when offered.

LEGAL CONCEPTS
• Maintain confidentiality.
• Follow federal, state and local legal guidelines.
• Maintain HIPAA compliance.

POSITION REQUIREMENTS
Education: Bachelor’s degree in psychology, social work, counseling or related field preferred. Four years of experience working with seriously mentally ill adults or seriously emotionally disturbed children or a combination of related experience and an Associate’s Degree in a related field, may substitute for education.  Successful completion of the Behavioral Health Tech Apprentice Program will also substitute for education.
License: No license required.
Experience: Prefer experience working with children who meet the state of Alaska criteria for Serious Emotional Disturbances (SED) for the Youth And Family Program and  people who meet the state of Alaska criteria of Serious Mental Illness (SMI) or co-occurring mental illness and substance abuse for the Adult Department.

JOB REQUIREMENTS:

  • Ability to work in a team and independent setting, good communication and organizational skills required.
  • Ability to work effectively with area agencies on behalf of the patient and family.
  • Must demonstrate the willingness to work with patients and families in the school and home environment as well as in the community.
  • Establish and maintain the confidence and cooperation of patients and persons connected to the course of work.
  • Able to work in an electronic health record environment.
  • Must be computer literate, familiar with Microsoft Office Products and able to type a minimum of 45 words per minute.
  • Will be held to productivity standards set by supervisor and/or Director of Behavioral Health.
  • Expected to read and respond timely to emails through Outlook.
  • Documentation must be completed accurately within the timeframe required.
  • Able to work effectively with people who have a diverse set of personalities.
  • Positive work ethic and attitude. 
  • Must pass State-required background check and pre-hire drug screen.
  • A valid and clean Alaska driver’s license is required.  If engaged in community outreach, employee’s personal vehicle must be available to use, following PCHS driving guidelines. 
  • Consistent attendance and punctuality is required and expected to work the hours set by PCHS and/or the schedule set by supervisor. 
  • Expected to complete required trainings such as CPR, Mandt, Mental Health First Aid and any others deemed necessary for this position.

KNOWLEDGE REQUIRED BY THE POSITION

  • Knowledge of the reintegration/recovery process and the ability to facilitate reintegration/recovery using established standardized processes (training is provided).
  • Knowledge and skills to teach and engage participants in basic problem-solving strategies to support individuals in self-directed recovery. 
  • Knowledge and skills sufficient to use community resources necessary for independent living and ability to teach those skills to other individuals. The PS may accompany participants to community resources to assist them in accessing these resources.
  • Knowledge of how to establish and sustain healthy, mutual, sustainable support systems.

CORE VALUES

  • Treat all co-workers and clients with dignity and respect. 
  • Project a professional manner and image. 
  • Adhere to ethical principles.
  • Communicate professionally & effectively – focus on cooperation & win/win outcomes.
  • Serve as Community Liaison.
  • Abide by the policies and procedures outlined by PCHS including the Employee Manual
  • Follow and enforce the mission of PCHS.
  • Report any safety and/or health concerns to management as soon as they become apparent. 
  • Expected to bring your best work and attitude to PCHS.
  • Expected to Assume Good Intent towards fellow employees.
  • Expected to handle complaints and grievances professionally, adhering to the employee manual and to uphold employee core values.

TYPICAL PHYSICAL DEMANDS:

  • Occasional bending, stooping and stretching
  • Requires eye-hand coordination and manual dexterity sufficient to operate a keyboard.
  • May be occasional lifting papers or boxes up to 15 pounds.

JOB RELATIONSHIPS:

  • Reports directly to the Legal Partnership Liaison.

 

***PLEASE TAKE NOTE OF THE FOLLOWING APPLICANT'S STATEMENT TO WHICH
YOU ARE AGREEING TO WHEN YOU SUBMIT YOUR APPLICATION ***

I understand that the employer follows an "at will employment" policy, in that I or the employer may terminate my employment at any time, for any reason consistent with applicable state or federal law. I understand that this application is not a contract of employment. I understand that federal law prohibits the employment of unauthorized aliens; all persons hired must submit satisfactory proof of employment authorization and identity; failure to submit such proof will result in denial of employment. I understand this application will be active for a period of one year; after that time, if I wish to be considered for employment, I must submit a new application.

I voluntarily authorize any present or former employer, firm, school, hospital, university, or government agency and it's employees or agents to release any and all information concerning my former position to any prospective employer, or it's employees or agents, making a request for such information. I understand that the information may include, but is not necessarily limited to, performance reports, transcripts, job descriptions, disciplinary reports and opinions regarding my suitability for the position.
I voluntarily release and hold harmless former employers, schools, hospitals or government agencies, and their employees or agents from any and all claims, liabilities, or damages arising from the disclosure or release of information or opinions concerning my professional qualifications.

I certify that all the statements herein are true and correct to the best of my knowledge and understand that any falsification or willful omission shall be sufficient cause for dismissal or refusal of employment.

I agree to any pre-hire testing PCHS requires. 

I am aware of and agree to a background check required by the Alaska Background Check Program and pre-hire drug screen.  I acknowledge that I must clear both before a formal offer can be made by PCHS.

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