We're Hiring: Harm Reduction Response Support Worker - Victoria

Details of the Position:

Grid Level:  34, $26.42/hour

Work Location: Mobile - outreach / in community and when determined the publicly - accessible location, Victoria, BC

Hours of Work: 32 hours/week

Schedule: Saturday to Monday from 1:00 – 7:00pm, Tuesday and Wednesday 1:00 – 8:30pm

Start Date: ASAP

End Date: Return of the employee

To Apply: Please submit your resume and cover letter to Jessica.murray@avi.org by 5pm on Wednesday, December 29, 2021


Job Summary:

The Harm Reduction Response Support Worker will be part of a temporary outreach team which provides a broad range of low barrier, harm reduction supports to individuals accessing harm reduction programming and services through AVI.

The Harm Reduction Response Support Worker will provide evidence-based educational and harm reduction interventions to individuals and priority populations to increase knowledge of overdose prevention and response strategies. This positions will also provide accurate information regarding HIV, HCV and other blood-borne disease transmission and prevention strategies.

This position will provide support & overdose response, including the administration of oxygen and Naloxone, to people using illicit substances in a variety of community settings. 

Key Duties and Responsibilities:

  1. Provides outreach and support in a variety of settings including parks, encampments, shelters, drop in centers, people’s homes, community services and to people living outside and/or in temporary and fixed Overdose Prevention sites and other areas of Victoria
  2. Provides on the spot training in overdose response and education on substances and safer use techniques
  3. Responsible for contributing to and supporting culturally safe practices and spaces with humility
  4. Prepares and distributes timely drug warnings
  5. Monitor and support people who are using substances. Assess for overdose symptoms and respond with rescue breathing and naloxone when necessary.  Training is provided.
  6. Responsible for harm reduction supply distribution and recovery
  7. Provides overdose prevention education and first aid response, including education on the administration of Naloxone
  8. Uses brief assessment, active listening and crisis response skills to help meet immediate, basic needs and make appropriate referrals for people who use substances and those who have survived overdose(s) to other health and support services within the community.
  9. Engages with clients in a collaborative, person-centered approach grounded in harm reduction
  10. Facilitates overdose response trainings
  11. Maintains the safety of all program spaces by following protocols related to violence prevention and critical incidents (such as overdose prevention and response), including the ability to use communication devices (cell phone/2-way radio)
  12. Identify and develop safety plans with people who are using substances who are at increased risk of overdose
  13. Maintains both paper and electronic confidential records as required
  14. Provide training and support to build capacity for peer lead inanities
  15. Performs other related duties as assigned


Education, Training, and Experience:

Diploma in health or social services (Social Work, Psychology, Mental Health Support Worker, etc.), or equivalent combination of education and experience 

Proof of Vaccination Status, as required by the Provincial Health Order for Hospital and Community Health Care Services staff  

Harm Reduction Response Workers will have a minimum of one-year relevant work experience and will demonstrate the following minimum requirements:

  • First Aid training and experience responding to critical incidents, including overdose
  • Experience with overdose response, including administration of naloxone, an asset.
  • Experience in providing harm reduction outreach in various situations. Including but not exclusively street outreach, encampments, and within hotel sheltering sites and supported housing.
  • 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
  • Demonstrated ability to establish rapport with a diverse range of clientele including individuals who are actively using substances and living with significant health challenges
  • Demonstrated skills, experience and knowledge in the areas of safer drug use, OAT, safer sex, sex work, HIV/AIDS, hepatitis C, mental health, etc.
  • Demonstrated cultural safety and humility, and trauma-informed practices.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of social justice, health promotion and public health approaches and models of social support and health care
  • Demonstrated understanding and commitment to harm reduction principles and practices
  • Experience managing hostile interactions, utilizing non-violent communication and diffusing techniques
  • Ability to problem solve with creativity, flexibility and assertiveness in dealing with complex issues
  • Demonstrated understanding of the importance and role of people who use drugs in the development, delivery, and evaluation of services intended to benefit them
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills required to work effectively with co-workers, clients, community, and other service providers
  • Strong working knowledge of local health and social services

Skills and Abilities:

  • Commitment to honor local indigenous communities and to recognize the ongoing impacts of colonial violence.
  • Committed to social justice, equity, anti-racism and decolonization. 
  • Ability to carry out physical duties of position
  • Ability to work independently and in cooperation with others
  • Ability to communicate effectively, both verbally and in writing
  • Ability to organize and prioritize
  • Ability to establish and maintain rapport with clients and recognize changes in folks
  • Ability to analyze and resolve issues thru conflict resolution and crisis interventions skills
  • Advocacy skills
  • Comfortable approaching and initiating conversation with others and ability to build respectful rapport.
  • Ability to work with a diverse and often unpredictable street involved clientele
  • Demonstrated skills, experience and knowledge in the areas of harm reduction/health promotion practices, safer using practices, HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis C, poverty issues, mental health concerns and addictions
  • Ability to work under pressure and in crisis situations
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills
  • Understanding of the psycho-social issues affecting people who use drugs

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