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UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON

Specification for Class

PEER COUNSELOR/COMMUNITY HEALTH WORKER

UW CODE AND REPRESENTATIVE GROUP

17263 (NE S SEIU 925 Non Supv)
21239 (NE H SEIU 925 Non Supv)

BASIC FUNCTION

At Harborview Medical Center, this class supports specialized, underprivileged, at risk, and otherwise marginalized client populations. This class helps patients and clients identify and pursue goals that promote recovery from mental illness or other health conditions; acts as a role model who demonstrates resiliency and self-sufficiency; provides outreach and engagement and/or assists clients in getting access to health and social services they need through outreach, service coordination, referral, and follow-up.

DISTINGUISHING CHARACTERISTICS

Single class – no series. Incumbents allocated to this class are individuals who have deep roots or shared life experiences with the individuals or communities they serve.

Under general supervision, work as a member of a multi-disciplinary team and in conjunction with the clinics to serve a wide and diverse population of clients who have mental illness or other health conditions by providing outreach and engagement, counseling, coaching, mentoring, and/or social support; helping clients increase health knowledge and be self-sufficient; and acting as a link to health/social services.

TYPICAL WORK

Serve as a role model and utilize his or her lived experience of recovery from mental illness and/or addiction, plus skills learned in formal training, to assist clients with identifying goals that promote recovery and resiliency; share personal recovery stories to help clients create their individual recovery plans;

Assist other clinical staff with identifying services and activities to help clients attain a healthy and productive lifestyle. Provide culturally appropriate health education and information, participate in disease prevention activities, and collect community- and health-related data;

Work in conjunction with internal and external partners as part of the client’s treatment team. Perform outreach services in support of case management, supported housing, supported employment programs, and/or medication adherence.

Assist clients with identifying and linking to community-based services and supports. Provide assistance with applying for and securing financial benefits;

Coordinate Drop-In Center activities. Welcome clients, organize activities, maintain order, and clean up Drop-In Center at end of the day. May supervise volunteers/interns and facilitate shower and laundry services for homeless program participants; develop and facilitate groups.

Assist individuals with long and/or recurrent involvements in a variety of institutional settings, like psychiatric hospitals, detox centers, adult and nursing home, and jails and prisons to make successful transitions to community living. Assist individuals in avoiding future incarceration and in connecting to their communities;

Assist in the coordination with inpatient treatment units to facilitate discharge planning and may assist in the development and implementation of individualized transition plans with each participant;

Assist patients in their recovery by teaching independent living skills such as shopping, budgeting, meal preparation, accessing public transportation and establishing/maintaining community based natural supports;

Maintain clinical records and charts client contact in the electronic medical record;

Establish and maintain record keeping in support of individualized one-to-one services. Performs clerical duties on behalf of the department; and

Perform related duties as required.

MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS

High school graduation or equivalent and two years’ experience in a behavioral health organization or consumer/peer run organization; or equivalent education/experience.

AND
Peer Counselor Certification (Department of Behavioral Health and Recovery) OR Community Health Worker Certification (Department of Health)

AND
Within 7 days of employment and depending on job requirements:

  • must apply for Agency Affiliated Counselor Registration/License with the State of WA (Dept of Health), and have obtained this credential within 60 days of hire (RCW18.19.210).

CLASS HISTORY

New Class: 07-01-2018
This body of work used to be allocated in Class# 17255 PROGRAM ASSISTANT (SEIU Local 925 Clerical Nonsupervisory).