ImpACT Peer Support Specialist

  • Full Time
  • Austin, TX
  • $40,114-$49,702 USD / Year
  • Full Time
  • Austin, TX
  • $40,114-$49,702 USD / Year

Caritas of Austin

Job Title: ImpACT Peer Support Specialist
Department: Programs
Program: ImpACT Housing Program
Reports To: ImpACT Program Manager
FLSA Status: Non-Exempt/Full Time
COVID-19 Vaccine Required but subject to recognized exemptions

Position Summary
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 for maximizing client choice, self-determination, and decision-making in the planning, delivery, and evaluation of treatment, rehabilitation, and support services. This position works with individuals residing in at a single supportive housing site and helps clients access community-based services and resources.

Essential Duties & Responsibilities (inclusive but not exhaustive):
Provide peer counseling and support to clients, utilizing a recovery-oriented, person-centered, relationship-focused, trauma-informed approach.
Provide recovery and wellness support, providing information on and support with planning for recovery.
Serve as a mentor and role mole to clients to provide guidance and empower clients to take responsibility for and actively participate in their own recovery.
Advocate for clients, providing support in stressful or urgent situations and helping to ensure client rights are respected.
Help clients identify, understand, and combat stigma and discrimination associated with behavioral health issues and develop strategies to reduce self-stigma.
Increase awareness of, and support client participation in, self-help programs and advocacy organizations that promote recovery.

Provide ongoing assessment, problem-solving, skills teaching, and environmental adaptations, and support to assist clients with activities of daily living.
Help clients access reliable transportation, including transporting clients in personal vehicle as needed.
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 client-run peer support organizations).
Assist clients to plan and carry out leisure time activities on evenings, weekends, and holidays.
Act as an interpreter for other team members to assist them in better understanding each clients’ unique experience and perceptions.

Assist in the ongoing assessment of clients’ behavioral health symptoms and response to treatment. Suggest appropriate changes in client service plans to ensure that immediate client-centered interventions are provided in response to changes in clients’ mental status or behavior which puts clients at risk (e.g., suicidality).
Provide expertise and consultation from a behavioral health consumer perspective to the team concerning client experience of mental health and/or substance use issues.

Collaborate with team to identify client-centered treatment options.
Help team members identify and understand culture-wide stigma and discrimination against people with behavioral health issues and develop strategies to eliminate stigma.
Serve as a liaison between the team and client-run programs such as self-help groups and drop-in centers.
Monitor and document participation, progress, referrals, and services provided to clients.
Attending agency, community, and supervisory meetings as needed.
Attending in-service trainings and outside conferences/workshops, as requested by the Program Manager.

Other Responsibilities:
Complies with all applicable training requirements.
Complies with all company safety, personnel and operational policies and procedures.
Complies with work schedule to ensure effective operations of Agency programs.
Contributes positively as a member of a productive and cooperative team.
Performs other duties as necessary to fulfill the Caritas of Austin Mission.

Required: High School Diploma or GED.
Preferred: Bachelor’s in human services/related field.
Preferred: Certification as a Peer Support Specialist in either mental health or substance abuse or will also accept Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor (LCDC) or equivalent qualification.
Have at least one year of experience working with adults who have severe and persistent behavioral health issues.
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. Have at least one year of experience working with adults who have severe and persistent behavioral health issues.
Computer Skills
Must be proficient with data management and information systems and have basic knowledge of Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook.
Required Knowledge, Skills and
Must be sensitive to and respect cultural diversity amongst clients, staff, and volunteers and able to work with diverse racial, ethnic, and economic groups.
Flexible work schedule and ability to work on-site or remotely with high productivity in both settings.
Ability to independently plan daily and weekly work schedule.
Ability to set appropriate limits, work under deadlines and multi-task.
Ability to organize, prioritize, self-motivate, and deliver results.
Excellent communication and listening skills.
Possess strong work ethics.
Successfully pass Law Enforcement background screening.
Valid Texas driver’s license, ability to drive and have reliable transportation.
Mission-driven attitude supplemented with integrity and passion.
Adherence to the highest ethical standards, personally and professionally.
Openness and willingness to receive feedback and suggestions from superiors and others, and to learn new skills to improve job performance.
Additional Knowledge, Skills and Abilities
Basic knowledge of the resources in the community available for the clients with serious and persistent mental illness and homelessness.
Have basic knowledge of severe and persistent mental illness and substance abuse.
Ability to form partnerships in the community and seek out community resources.
Strong oral and written communications.
Strong organizational, time management, and data management skills.
Proven ability to work effectively both individually and as part of a team.
Ability to multi-task and problem solve under pressure.
Ability to provide positive customer service to challenging populations.

Base Salary Range: $40,114-$49,702.The salary offered will follow Caritas of Austin salary guidelines based on candidate’s education and experience.
Employer paid health, dental, vision, life, short term disability, and long-term disability insurance for employees.
14 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.

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