The VA Palo Alto Health Care System is currently recruiting for a full time not to exceed 19 months Peer Specialist position with the national women's health services located at the Palo Alto Division. Functions as an interdisciplinary team member, assisting physicians and other professional/non-professional personnel in a women veterans program. To qualify for this position, applicants must meet all requirements by the closing date of this announcement, 09/30/2022. 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-6 position you must have served 52 weeks at the GS-5. 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: 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. 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. *Definition of a Veteran: Per 38 U.S.C. 101(2) the term "Veteran" means a person who service in the active military, naval or air service, and who was discharged or released under conditions other than dishonorable (or submits a certification that he or she is expected to be discharged or released from active duty in the armed forces under honorable conditions not later than 120 days after the date of the certification's submission). SPECIALIZED EXPERIENCE FOR PEER SPECIALISTS, GS-102-6/9:In addition to the basic requirements, candidates must have at least 1 year of specialized experience equivalent to the next lower grade level. Specialized experience is progressively responsible, 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. GS-06: One year of specialized experience at the next lower grade level (GS-05), related to the work of this position that has given particular knowledge, skills, and abilities required to successfully perform the duties of a Peer Support Specialist. At this level you are able to work from specific instructions for the performance of routine duties and detailed instructions and training in performance of the routine functions. 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-07: One year of specialized experience at the next lower grade level (GS-06), related to the work of this position that has given particular knowledge, skills, and abilities required to successfully perform the duties of a Peer Support Specialist. 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-08: One year of specialized experience at the next lower grade level (GS-07), related to the work of this position that has given particular knowledge, skills, and abilities required to successfully perform the duties of a Peer Support Specialist. 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-09: One year of specialized experience at the next lower grade level (GS-08), related to the work of this position that has given particular knowledge, skills, and abilities required to successfully perform the duties of a Peer Support Specialist. 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 cases. OR, SUBSTITUTION OF EDUCATION FOR PEER SPECIALISTS, GS-102-6/9: Graduate education or a post-bachelor's degree internship meets the specialized experience required for GS-6/9 only in those instances where it is directly related to the work of the position. GS-6: Six (6) months of graduate education or a 1-year post-bachelor's degree internship meets the requirements for GS-6. GS-7: One full year of graduate education meets the requirements for GS-7. GS-8: One and one/half years of graduate education meets the requirements for GS-8. GS-9: Two full years of graduate education or a master's degree meets the requirements for GS-9. You will be rated on the following Competencies for this position: AccountabilityCommunicationsCustomer Service (Clerical/Technical)Interpersonal SkillsTeaching 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: Typically, the employee will sit to the work. However, there may be some walking, standing, bending, carrying of light items (such as books, papers), accessing transportation, and/or driving a government vehicle. The work requires patience and control of emotions. 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/. ["Peer Specialists perform a variety of therapeutic and supportive tasks that include assisting their peers 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 specialist's own recovery experience, and supporting them in advocating for themselves to obtain effective services. Functions as a role model, exhibiting competency in personal recovery and use of coping skills; serves as a consumer advocate, provides consumer information and peer support for veterans in outpatient and inpatient settings. Experiences include but not limited to: Intimate Partner Violence (IVP), Military Sexual Trauma (MST) and other Women's specific concerns Teach and role model the value of every individual's recovery experience. Model effective coping techniques, holistic wellness, and self-help strategies. Assist 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). Inform Veterans about VA and community supports and resources. 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 serve as liaison to community-based organizations to develop and/or foster Veterans' community integration, natural supports and self-reliant strategies. May perform outreach activities to establish community partnerships that will provide healthcare services for the Veterans in the community and inform Veterans of the availability of those health care services and other benefits. May assist Veterans in building social skills in the community that enhance community re-integration using techniques such as role playing and social skills training. Perform 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. This is an OPEN CONTINUOUS ANNOUNCEMENT and will remain open until September 30, 2022. The initial cut-off date for referral of eligible applications will be March 31, 2022, with subsequent cut-off dates on the 1st of each month. Eligible applications received after that date will be referred at regular intervals or as additional vacancies occur on an as-needed basis until positions are filled. Work Schedule: Monday-Friday, 8:00am-4:30pm\nTelework: 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.\nVirtual: This is not a virtual position.\nPosition Description/PD#: Peer Specialist (Female Only)/PD06014A, PD06013A, PD06012A, and PD06011A\nRelocation/Recruitment Incentives: Not Authorized\nPermanent Change of Station (PCS): Not Authorized\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.