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Peer Support Worker

As we serve vulnerable youth, all employees working for Covenant House Vancouver must be fully vaccinated for COVID-19. Proof of vaccination status will be required prior to your start date.

About Covenant House Vancouver

Since 1997, Covenant House Vancouver has provided relentless support for youth experiencing, or at-risk of experiencing, homelessness. We provide support to young people age 16 to 24 who have experienced a wide range of early life and ongoing, complex trauma; including physical, sexual and emotional abuse and neglect. Our purpose is to serve all youth, with absolute respect and unconditional love, to help youth experiencing homelessness, and provide a safe and supportive environment for all youth in need.

Working at Covenant House will be one of the most meaningful things that you’ll do in your life. However, you will be confronted with significant issues in this work and frankly, this work is not for everyone. In the course of doing your work, particularly for those doing frontline work, you will be exposed to the trauma of others. The youth we serve may also experience overdose, physical harm perpetuated by self or others and even death. Because we provide a relational model of care, the harms our youth experience can impact us in varying degrees.  
 
While we provide training for youth workers on avoiding what we call vicarious trauma (namely, the trauma you can experience or take on by hearing other’s traumatic stories), and a generous allowance for counselling, it is still difficult work that can and does take its toll on many employees. Self-awareness and self-care are key. Some candidates and employees decide during the recruiting and probationary periods that this work isn’t for them, and that is totally fair. 
 
We will provide more information on vicarious trauma during recruiting and on-boarding, to help you decide if Covenant House is the place for you.  

The Impact the Peer Support Worker with the Complex Support Services Team can make:

As a youth Peer Support Worker, you will be responsible for making the first impressions with our youth. As one of their first points of contact, helping with intakes, orienting new youth to the space, and providing support and accompaniments in the community. You will be responsible for the direct implementation of Covenant House Vancouver’s philosophy, policy, and principles as they pertain to client care and safety. You will support the youth with personal planning, referrals to other social services and involve the youth in recreational opportunities. 

How you will contribute:

  • Interact with youth, responding to enquires, helping with intakes, etc.  
  • Connect with youth on a peer-level, sharing strategies learned from lived experience and providing assistance navigating services
  • Model personal wellness
  • Support an effective connection between Youth Workers and youth
  • Assist the youth towards self-managing all aspects of their life, including their mental illness, substance use and other health conditions by such methods as sharing information and lived experience perspective, practical problem-solving, and linkages with peer supports in the community
  • Support youth to attend appointments (accompaniment)  
  • Ensure adherence to and role model Covenant House principles and core values 
  • Greet and welcome youth accessing CHV services, assess and respond to their immediate needs, and provide them with practical resources including food, clothing, transportation, etc.  
  • Build rapport with at risk youth 16-24 years of age 
  • Act as a role model for youth who connect with you as a peer
  • Facilitate peer led activities
  • Read and review all pertinent information and communication (i.e. Incident reports, communications logs, policies, procedures, emails, etc) 
  • Attend all training as directed by your Supervisor 
  • Meet operational needs as required and ensure the safety of building and occupants, including fire, safety, and emergency procedures 
  • Maintain the cleanliness and safety of the program areas – both staff and youth 
  • Support youth with laundry
  • Other duties as required 

Compensation:

The successful candidate can expect a starting hourly rate of between $20.52 and $25.65 depending on factors such as internally equity, experience, competencies, and education. Once hired, the hourly rates are reviewed annually following the annual performance review and successful employees have the opportunity for their hourly rate to increase, over time, up to the maximum of the pay band, currently $30.78.

Who We Are Looking For?

Education and Experience:

  • Peer Support Worker training program completion, or near completion  
  • First Aid & Non-Violent Crisis Intervention is an asset 
  • Lived and/or living experience accessing mental health, substance use, housing services, gender affirming care, and/or other support services  

Competencies:

  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills
  • Ability to effectively listen and communicate with consistency and clarity using active listening techniques
  • Familiarity with the challenges facing youth who are experiencing homelessness or housing instability
  • Familiarity with substance misuse and mental health concerns
  • Cultural awareness and flexibility
  • Ability to use conflict resolution and crisis intervention skills
  • Ability to work cooperatively and effectively with others to reach a common goal
  • Ability to maintain professional boundaries with the youth
  • Proficient computer literacy skills
  • Ability to communicate well verbally and in writing
  • Ability to take personal ownership and responsibility for the quality and timeliness of work commitments
  • Ability to respond to job related commitments by meeting deadlines and being reliable
  • Ability to respond positively to change, embracing and using new practices or values to accomplish goals and solve problems

Compensation

The successful candidate can expect a starting hourly rate of between $20.52 and $25.65 depending on factors such as internally equity, experience, competencies, and education. Once hired, the hourly rates are reviewed annually following the annual performance review and successful employees have the opportunity for their hourly rate to increase, over time, up to the maximum of the pay band, currently $30.78. 

Total Rewards

This position has excellent extended health and dental benefits for you and your spouse & children, including generous counselling benefits. During the first year, employees receive three weeks’ paid vacation, increasing to four in the second year; we have paid sick and personal leave and a matching Registered Pension Plan, investment in professional development, and more.  If you’d like more information on what we offer, please ask! 

We have been recognized as one of Canada’s Top 100 Employers for 2024!

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Covenant House Vancouver is a secular organization that welcomes and serves young people from all backgrounds. While the international federation to which we belong was founded in the 1970s by members of the Catholic Church, we are not aligned with any specific faith traditions.

CHV is committed to upholding diversity, equity, and inclusion in our workplace. We actively encourage applications from members of groups with historical and/or current barriers to equity, including, but not limited to:

  • Persons from groups marginalized due to race, ancestry, colour, religion/spiritual beliefs, or place of origin;
  • Persons with visible (physical) and/or invisible (mental) disabilities;
  • Persons who identify as women;
  • Persons of marginalized sexual orientations, gender identities, and gender expressions; and
  • Indigenous persons.

We recognize that many of these identities intersect and that therefore, diversity, equity, and inclusion can be complex. We value the contributions that each person brings and are committed to ensuring full and equal participation for all at Covenant House Vancouver.

We love what we do and try to make a difference every day. Covenant House Vancouver offers a competitive salary with a great benefits package and excellent opportunity for training and career advancement. If you are looking to join a place where we have a purpose and aim to achieve positive outcomes, please join us by applying.

If our recruitment process does not work for you, let us know. Let’s see how we can work together to get to know you and see what might be a great fit!