Casual SAFER Support Worker

Job Summary:

SAFER is a flexible, community-based, safe supply model with healthcare provider oversight. Its goal is to affirm the lives of people who use drugs by providing safer, pharmaceutical alternatives to the currently toxic supply.

Under the direct supervision of the SAFER Team Lead or designate, the Casual SAFER Support Worker applies their lived/living experience of criminalized drug use to build and maintain relationships with SAFER participants. They will practice harm reduction in their relationships to build trust and provide peer support. The Casual SAFER Support Worker will be integral to helping to establish and maintain a positive, respectful environment at the SAFER program space and to act as a SAFER ambassador in the community.

Key Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Work collaboratively with the SAFER team to identify potential participants, provide information regarding access to pharmaceutical alternatives to street drugs, and assist with assessments and intakes.
  • Provide peer support in a variety of settings including on-site program space, parks, encampments, shelters, supported housing and drop-in centres, for example.
  • Distribute safer drug use supplies, safer sex supplies and naloxone kits, and provide information and training about their use.
  • Monitor and support people who are using substances. Assess for overdose symptoms and respond with SAFER team with rescue breathing and naloxone when necessary. Training is provided.
  • Maintain the safety of all program spaces by following protocols related to violence prevention and critical incidents.
  • Provide harm reduction information and referrals for other health and social services.
  • Connect regularly with SAFER participants and offer peer support through active listening skills and non-judgmental attitude.
  • Liaise between participants, systems navigators, nurses and physicians to support participants to be heard and assist with keeping communication open and accessible.
  • Identify and develop safety plans with people who are using substances who are at increased risk of overdose.
  • Contribute to a positive, respectful environment at the SAFER program space and act as a SAFER ambassador in the community.
  • Attend regularly scheduled team meetings and individual supervision meetings.
  • Keep records and participate in ‘team charting’ to assure comprehensive documentation.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.

Qualifications:

  • Minimum two years’ experience working within harm reduction settings. Experience working with
    safer supply programs preferred.
  • Have lived/living experience with criminalized drug use and related health and social barriers. Have personal experience accessing harm reduction services for safer drug use support and/or accessed other services designed to meet the needs of people who use substances.
  • Experience responding to critical incidents and overdose, including administration of naloxone. Support to obtain first aid certificate is available if necessary.
  • Have a current knowledge of the local drug trends and can relate as a peer with SAFER participants.
  • Direct service delivery experience in the community social services sector with a demonstrated working knowledge of community-based programs and related provincial and community support services systems.
  • Comfortable approaching and initiating conversation with others and ability to build respectful
    rapport.
  • Interest in learning and eager to share information with peers with a non-judgmental attitude.
  • Demonstrated understanding of the importance and role of people who use drugs in the
    development, delivery, and evaluation of services intended to benefit them
  • Working understanding of the importance of confidentiality and boundaries.
  • Working knowledge in the areas of harm reduction, safer drug use, OAT, safer sex, sex work, HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis C, mental health, etc.
  • Commitment to honor Indigenous communities and ways of knowing, and approach learning about the ongoing impacts of colonial violence with humility.
  • Demonstrated understanding and commitment to harm reduction principles and practices.

Skills and Abilities:

  • Ability to work in cooperation with others.
  • Ability to communicate clearly and with respect, both verbally and in writing.
  • Ability to establish and maintain rapport with participants and observe for changes in health and wellbeing.
  • Comfortable approaching and initiating conversation with others and ability to build respectful
    rapport.
  • Ability to work in settings that can be high energy and stressful with self-awareness.
  • Ability to keep a ‘cool head’ when tense situations arise and willingness to engage in proactive
    problem solving.
  • Physical ability to carry out the duties of the position and operate related equipment.
  • Ability to work outdoors during all types weather in all seasons.

Job Specifics:

  • Work Locations: SAFER Program Space; outreach work in community (Victoria, BC).
  • Start Date: ASAP
  • End Date: March 31, 2022
  • Hours of Work: varies, Monday to Sunday 8:30 am to 5:30 pm
  • Pay: BCGEU Grid 34: $26.42/hour

To Apply:

    We encourage applications from, but not limited to, Indigenous persons, persons of colour, persons living with disabilities, persons who use/d currently illegal drugs, persons with experience of sex work, and persons representing diverse genders and sexualities.

    To apply, email jobs@avi.org with your resume and cover letter.