Systems Navigator - Full Time - Enhanced Harm Reduction

AVI Health & Community Services (AVI) is a multi‐disciplinary community based organization providing HIV, hepatitis C, and harm reduction services out of 5 locations across Vancouver Island. AVI provides services to more than 500 people living with HIV and hepatitis C and more than 3000 harm reduction clients. We work within a social justice and health promotion framework to ensure equity and access to services for all, and take an evidence based approach to prevent infection, provide support, and reduce stigma for impacted populations. At the core of what we do is our ability, and commitment to, creating meaningful connections. Every day, we strive to create meaningful connections between clients and staff, between peers, between staff members, between organizations, between communities, and between funders and impactful programs. For more information, please visit www.avi.org

The Enhanced Harm Reduction Service (EHR) is a new program operating out of our Community Health Centre in Nanaimo. The EHR is a flexible, community‐based, harm reduction program that will provide pharmaceutical alternatives to the toxic street drug supply along with wrap around supports.  Our services are delivered across the traditional territories of the Snuneymuxw, Stz’uminus, and Snaw'naw'as People

JOB SUMMARY:

This position will work in a flexible, community based, harm reduction program that provides safer, pharmaceutical alternatives to the currently toxic drug supply. This program operates in conjunction with AVI’s existing programs and services, including the positive wellness program for people living with or at risk of HIV/hepatitis C, health promotion education, youth advocacy and outreach, and drop-in harm reduction services. Our services are delivered on the lands of the Snuneymuxw First Nation.

Under the direct supervision of the Program Coordinator or designate, the Systems Navigator will work on a multidisciplinary team to provide a range of psychosocial and health-related supports to program participants. The successful candidate will embody a philosophy and practice of collaboration, while working from a relational perspective that upholds values of harm reduction, empathy, social justice, cultural humility, and trauma informed care.

DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES:

  1. Assist the Service Coordinator and Clinical Nurse Lead with program coordination, including staff supervision, recruitment, hiring, and orientation training.
  2. Provide mentorship and modeling of practice for Outreach Support Workers and Peer Support Workers that is in line with principles of social justice, trauma-informed care and cultural humility.
  3. Arrange staffing coverage, contact casual staff members to call‐out shifts and makes any necessary scheduling adjustments.
  4. Attend community partner meetings as directed by the Service Coordinator and help maintain relationships with other direct service providers.
  5. Act as a liaison between the Service Coordinator and Clinical Nurse Lead to communicate staff support needs, client concerns, and issues related to facilities, operations, and critical incidents.
  6. Work both independently and collaboratively to provide psychosocial supports for participants in the community, as well as at the program site as appropriate.
  7. Provide information to program participants regarding access to pharmaceutical alternatives to street drugs, conduct assessments and intakes, and develop care plans.
  8. Provide outreach-based supports in the community including accompaniment to appointments, home visits, and advocacy in accordance with the established care plans.
  9. Transport clients to and from external service provider appointments as necessary.
  10. Use brief assessment, crisis response and counselling skills to help meet immediate, basic needs and make appropriate referrals to other health and support services.
  11. Distribute safer drug use supplies, safer sex supplies and naloxone kits, and provide information on harm reduction practices, overdose prevention and overdose response.
  12. Monitor and support people who are using substances. Assess for overdose symptoms in program participants and respond with rescue breathing and naloxone when necessary.
  13. Work with program participants and team to navigate administrative and financial requirements for access to pharmaceuticals according to care plan.
  14. Maintain confidential records in accordance with privacy requirements.
  15. Engage in planning, evaluation, reporting, and program development as directed.
  16. Foster safety by following protocols related to violence prevention and critical incidents.
  17. Assist with overdose response other medical emergencies as required.
  18. Perform other duties as assigned.

QUALIFICATIONS:

  • University degree in social work and registration with the British Columbia College of Social Workers as an RSW or RCSW.
  • 3 years of demonstrated experience in the direct delivery of social services, ideally in harm reduction services including case management and safer supply programs.
  • Supervisory experience in a social service agency working with vulnerable folks who use substances.
  • To comply with current BC Public Health Orders, must be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 or have an approved medical exemption. Proof of vaccination status will be required for successful applicants for positions covered by the order.
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills required to work effectively with co-workers, program participants, community, and other service providers.
  • Direct service delivery and advocacy experience with community-based and provincial support services and systems (income, housing, healthcare, legal systems, etc).
  • Understanding of how systemic barriers associated with poverty, mental health, substance use, trauma, racism, colonialism, heterosexism, and gender discrimination impact individual health and well-being, as well as service delivery provision.
  • Commitment to harm reduction principles and practice, with experience working alongside coworkers and program participants who experience intersecting systemic oppression.
  • Demonstrated understanding of public health and equity-oriented models of social support and health care.  
  • Commitment to honoring Indigenous communities and ways of knowing, while approaching learning about the ongoing impacts of colonial violence with humility.
  • Demonstrated ability to provide support and advocate for a diverse range of individuals who are actively using substances and living with significant barriers to their health and well-being.
  • Experience managing hostile interactions, utilizing non-violent communication and diffusing techniques.
  • Ability to problem solve in a complex and dynamic work environment.
  • Experience with data collection and reporting tasks.
  • First Aid certification and experience responding to critical incidents and overdose, including administration of naloxone.
  • Valid Class 5 BC Driver’s License and use of own vehicle for work purposes.

SKILLS AND ABILITIES:

  • Demonstrated leadership skills and experience in similar settings.
  • Physical ability to carry out the duties of the position and operate related equipment.
  • Practiced advocacy skills and ability to effectively navigate access requirements of various health and social supports (eg. income, housing, healthcare, treatment options, etc).
  • Excellent prioritization and time management skills, including ability to triage crises, urgent demands and complex situations within assigned working hours.
  • Ability to work with diverse groups of stakeholders including people impacted by poverty, substance use, and criminalization, as well as service providers, funders and other community members.
  • Demonstrated ability to be flexible and versatile in a changing work environment while maintaining effectiveness and efficiency.
  • Ability to establish and maintain respectful rapport with individuals who have experienced trauma and abuse due to structural violence, stigma and discrimination.
  • Ability to anticipate and identify challenges and proactively address through collaborative problem-solving.
  • Crisis intervention skills with a diverse population facing significant structural barriers.
  • Ability to work outdoors during all types weather in all seasons.

POSITION DETAILS:

  • Pay: $28.56/hour to start with stepped increases based on your seniority with AVI.
  • Hours and Schedule: 37.5 hours per week, Monday through Friday 10:00 am – 6:00 pm. Note: Hours of Work, Days Off and Work Area may be subject to change.
  • Union: AVI is a union environment under the Collective Agreement: HEABC & Health Services & Support Community Subsector Association 2019-2022 and this role is a BCGEU union position.
  • Benefits: This position will be eligible for extended health, life and AD&D coverage after 488 hours with AVI.  AVI pays for the entire cost of the plan on behalf of its staff.
  • Pension: If you are already a member of the Municipal Pension Plan (MPP), you can continue with them at AVI immediately.  If not, after 488 hours, you will be eligible to join the Municipal Pension Plan. At this time, AVI contributes an additional 9.31% towards your pension account.
  • Other Perks: This position gets 6% vacation (equivalent to 3 weeks), receives a paid day off for every Stat Holiday and Easter Monday and accrues a Sick Bank of 6.9%.  Sick and Vacation Days are both available to be used after your first 488 hours at AVI.

TO APPLY:

To apply, please send your resume and cover letter to jobs@avi.org by 5 pm on December 4th, 2022.

AVI is committed to equity and diversity and we strongly encourage applications from, but not limited to, folks who identify as Indigenous Persons, persons of colour, racialized, persons living with a disability, persons who use/d drugs, persons with experience of sex work, persons who live with HIV and/or hepatitis C, and persons representing diverse genders and sexualities.

It is beneficial to identify in the cover letter if you are Indigenous and/or have lived/living expertise relevant to the position.

Accommodations are available on request for candidates taking part in all aspects of the selection process.

As AVI is a union environment, internal staff will be prioritized in the hiring process.

We would like to thank all those that apply but only those selected for an interview will be contacted.