Job Title: Peer Support Specialist
Department: Client Services
Program: Supportive Housing
Reports To: Supportive Housing Program Manager
FLSA Status: Non-Exempt/Full Time
COVID-19 Vaccine Required but subject to recognized exemptions
The Peer Support Specialist has lived experience with behavioral health services for severe and persistent mental health disorder(s), substance use, and/or homelessness and is willing to use and share their personal, practical experience, knowledge, and first-hand insight to benefit the team and its clients. The peer specialist functions as a fully integrated team member to provide expertise about the recovery process, symptom management, and the persistence required by clients to have a safe and stable life. Collaborates to promote team culture that recognizes, understands, and respects each client’s point of view, experiences, and preferences. Responsible to maximize client choice, self-determination, and decision-making in the planning, delivery, and evaluation of treatment, rehabilitation and support services.
Essential Duties & Responsibilities (inclusive but not exhaustive):
- All peer support services must be recovery-oriented, person-centered, relationship-focused and trauma-informed.
- Peer specialist services may include: recovery and wellness support, which includes providing information on and support with planning for recovery; mentoring, which includes serving as a role model and providing assistance in finding needed community resources and services; and advocacy, which includes providing support in stressful or urgent situations, and helping to ensure that the recipient's rights are respected.
- Act as an interpreter to non-behavioral health consumer team members to assist them in better understanding each clients’ unique and subjective experience and perceptions.
- Provide expertise and consultation from a behavioral health consumer perspective to the team concerning client experiences on symptoms of mental health or substance use issues. Collaborate with team on client response to or opinions of treatment and experiences of recovery.
- Help clients identify and understand stigma and discrimination associated with mental health and develop strategies to reduce self-stigma.
- Increase awareness of and support client participation in consumer self-help programs and consumer advocacy organizations that promote recovery.
- Assist in the provision of ongoing assessment of client behavioral health symptoms and client response to treatment. Suggest appropriate changes in treatment plans to ensure immediate client-centered interventions are provided in response to changes in client mental status or behavior which puts clients at risk (e.g., suicidality).
- Provide ongoing assessment, problem-solving, side-by-side services, skills teaching, support (prompts, assignments, encouragement), and environmental adaptions to assist clients with activities of daily living.
- Help clients to access reliable transportation.
- Assist and support clients to have and effectively use a personal primary care physician, dentist, and other medical specialists as needed.
- Provide side-by-side support, coaching, and encouragement to help clients socialize (going with a client to community activities, including, activities offered by consumer-run peer support organizations.
- Required: High School Diploma or GED.
- Preferred: Bachelor’s in human services or related field.
- Preferred: Certification as a Peer Support Specialist in either mental health or substance abuse or will accept Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor (LCDC) or equivalent qualification.
- Minimum 1 year experience working with adults who have severe and persistent behavioral health issues required.
- Knowledge of harm reduction practices and 12-step programs for substance use.
- Experience or education with human services and people experiencing homelessness.
- Eligible to become certified Peer Recovery Support Specialist within 6 months of hire.
- Experience with internet, MS Office, and databases required.
- Valid driver’s license, ability to drive and have reliable transportation.
- Base Salary Range: $38.975-$48,400.
- Employer paid health, dental, vision, life, short term disability, and long term disability insurance for employees.
- 13 Paid Holidays per year.
- 20 days of accrued PTO in year one with increases up to 31 days per year.
- Retirement plan with employer match.
- Discounted Rates on Gold’s Gym and Legal Shield memberships.
- Mileage Reimbursement.
- Monthly Phone Stipend.
- Monthly Paid Parking for employees who office from Downtown Location.
Caritas of Austin is an equal opportunity employer, and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, national origin, disability status, genetics, protected veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state or local laws.