Peer Support Specialist

Casa Esperanza, Inc.
Job Type: Full-Time
Date Posted: May 30, 2018
Application Due: Open Until Filled

AGENCY SUMMARY

Casa Esperanza, Inc. is a bilingual/bicultural behavioral health treatment provider serving Boston and the Merrimack Valley. Our mission is to empower individuals and families to recover from addiction, trauma, mental illness and other chronic medical conditions; overcome homelessness; and achieve health and wellness through comprehensive, integrated care. Casa Esperanza has an operating budget of $7.3 million and more than $9 million in assets.

DEPARTMENT: Recovery Support Services

JOB SUMMARY

The role of the Peer Support Specialist is to provide outreach and psychosocial support for youth 13 to 24 years of age, who are highly at risk for HIV infection and substance use disorders. S/he will conduct outreach activities, including participation in prevention and education community events; facilitate peer group sessions; play a lead role in engaging participants in social media campaigns; facilitate access to recovery-oriented substance-use-disorder (SUD) treatment, resources, and recovery groups; provide referrals for HIV/STI/Hep A, B, C individual and group prevention sessions, including counseling and testing; and, provide other psychosocial support and mentoring for participants.

Responsibilities:

Outreach

  • Conduct outreach to engage and educate others in the community on the treatment services available at Casa Esperanza, Inc.
  • Recruit and engage community providers and youth and young adults for Community Needs Assessment
  • Connect population to HIV and Recovery support services at Casa Esperanza and at other agencies across Greater Boston
  • Coordinate client participation in external community events
  • Develop relationships with community agencies who may need support connecting PLWH/A to behavioral health services
  • Oversee participants engagement in social media campaigns, including providing support in uploading YouTube vides, monitoring Facebook participation, and other social media
  • Work with project staff and software developer for build-out of the project app
  • Work closely with Medical Case Managers to engage clients into care
  • Assist Casa Esperanza, Inc. Intake Coordinators and other program staff with other outreach, as needed
  • Represent the agency by providing education and participating in community events

On Campus Support Services

  • Conduct intakes, assessments, individual service plans, and ongoing evaluation with clients living with HIV/AIDS, as needed
  • Provides clients with ongoing education regarding substance abuse, mental health, HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis, tobacco, nutrition and exercise and other health and wellness information
  • Educates and supports clients in implementing a range of relapse prevention and harm-reduction strategies
  • Facilitate weekly Peer Support and Education groups
  • Work closely with the Recovery Support Services team to ensure that client needs are being met
  • Shares personal experiences of living with HIV and demonstrates and models effective coping techniques and self-help strategies
  • Assist clients in completing forms necessary for any medical, housing, or behavioral health needs
  • Accompany clients to medical appointments and social support appointments and activities as needed
  • Provides interpretation for clients, as needed
  • Work closely with our Casa Esperanza/BHCHP counseling and testing services

Administrative

  • Document all client encounters and other data as required and maintain up-to-date client records
  • Work closely with multidisciplinary team to ensure that client’s treatment and service plans are implemented and client needs are being met
  • Attend and participate in community networking meetings
  • Attend bi-weekly supervision
  • Assist in all reporting as required by Program funding sources
  • Attend all relevant case conferences and staff meetings including MDT
  • Other duties as assigned

Requirements:

  • Personal experience living with HIV/AIDS
  • Bilingual Spanish/English, with knowledge of cultural, economic and health factors in Latino community.
  • Minimum High School Diploma required; bachelor’s degree in related field preferred.
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills in English
  • Awareness of the intersection of culture, addiction, mental illness, trauma, health, and homelessness.
  • Knowledge of appropriate community resources
  • Experience with homelessness, mental illness, domestic violence
  • Experience in group facilitation
  • Minimum 2 years’ experience of the issues affecting people with behavioral health disorders
  • Ability to work as a team member and independently
  • Understanding of harm reduction techniques
  • Strong interpersonal skills;
  • Crisis management Skills
  • Knowledge of Ryan White Standards of Care, preferred
  • Computer skills, minimum Microsoft Word
  • Certified Peer Leader (or equivalent training) or willing to complete certification training within six months of start date
  • Valid Massachusetts Driver’s License
  • CPR and first aid Certified required
  • Ability to meet the physical and training requirements of the position