We're Hiring: Harm Reduction Response Team Lead

Position Information 

Grid: 38 $28.56 /hour

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

Hours of Work: 30 hours/week, 12pm – 8pm, Monday through Thursday or 12pm – 8pm, Friday through Monday

Start Date: ASAP

End Date: September 15, 2021

To Apply: Please submit your resume and cover letter to jobs@avi.org by 5pm on Sunday, April 11, 2021

Job Summary:

The Harm Reduction Response Team Lead will provide supervision and support to the Harm Reduction Response Team (casuals and regular staff).

This position will support staff while also providing a broad range of low barrier, psycho-social supports to individuals accessing harm reduction services through AVI in community settings. This position will also provide evidence-based educational and harm reduction interventions to individuals and priority populations to increase knowledge regarding overdose prevention, risk and response. Also, this position ensures people have accurate information regarding HIV, HCV and other BBD transmission and prevention strategies, and facilitates behavior change to prevent transmission. The position requires quickly developing and implementing strategies and services in response to varied community needs.

This position will provide oversight, support, and 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. Supervises the harm reduction services for the AVI Harm Reduction Response Team and acts as a liaison between Harm Reduction Response staff, managers, community resources and stakeholders to communicate and manage support needs, client concerns, and issues related to operations, and critical incidents
  2. Arranges staffing coverage, contacts casual staff members to call-out shift(s), confirms staffing according to seniority and making any necessary scheduling adjustments.
  3. Assists in administrative tasks, for example:  ordering supplies, ensuring sites are stocked and transporting supplies to sites. 
  4. Provides break coverage and coverage when minimum staffing is not met
  5. Assists with paperwork including but not limited to the completion of statistics, leave forms, weekly narrative and reporting, as required, to ensure Managers receive information and reports in a timely manner
  6. Maintains both paper and electronic confidential client files as required
  7. When appropriate, attend meetings as representative of Manager
  8. Facilitates workshops, education and support groups related to community support, Harm Reduction and overdose prevention and response.
  9. Engages in planning, evaluation, and program development as directed
  10. Responsible for harm reduction supply distribution and recovery
  11. 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. 
  12. Monitors and supports people who are injecting. Assesses for overdose symptoms and respond with rescue breathing and naloxone when necessary. Follows up with developing safety plans for individuals
  13. Responsible for contributing to and supporting culturally safe practices and spaces with humility
  14. Provides harm reduction and overdose prevention education and individual safety plans.
  15. Uses brief assessment, active listening and crisis response skills to help meet immediate, basic needs and make appropriate referrals to other health and support services within the community
  16. Maintains the safety of the program by following protocols related to violence prevention and critical incidents (such as overdose prevention and response), including the ability to use communication devices
  17. Performs other duties as assigned


Education, Training, and Experience

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

Valid Class 5 BC Driver’s License

The Harm Reduction Support Worker – Team Lead will have a minimum of three years’ relevant work experience and will demonstrate the following minimum requirements:

  • Supervisory experience in a front line social service agency working with vulnerable folks who use substances. This includes a demonstrated knowledge of harm reduction practice and social services systems (income assistance, housing, healthcare)
  • First Aid training and experience responding to critical incidents, including overdose response, including rescue breaths and the administration of naloxone.
  • Experience with providing harm reduction outreach support in a variety of settings including parks, encampments, shelters, drop-in centres, people’s homes, community services and to people living outside and/or in temporary and fixed Overdose Prevention sites and other areas of Victoria, for example.
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills required to work effectively as a supervisor, co-worker, with clients, community, and other service providers.
  • Direct service delivery and supervisory 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 understanding of the importance and role of people who use drugs in the development, delivery, and evaluation of services intended to benefit them
  • 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 substance use, safer sex, sex work, HIV/AIDS, hepatitis C, mental health, etc.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of social justice, health promotion and public health approaches and models of social support and health care
  • Demonstrated cultural safety and humility, and trauma-informed practices.
  • Experience managing hostile interactions, utilizing non-violent communication and diffusing techniques
  • Ability to apply sound judgement: stay grounded and use creativity, flexibility and assertiveness when working through complex and often urgent situations
  • Strong working knowledge of local health and social services
  • Demonstrated knowledge of group process and facilitation techniques

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 manage and support staff with diverse experiences.
  • Physical ability to carry out the duties of the position
  • Ability to work both independently and in a team setting
  • Ability to organize and prioritize you work.
  • Ability to establish and maintain rapport with and observe/recognise changes in clients
  • Ability to apply conflict resolution strategies and work thru a diversity of issues with clients and staff.
  • Conflict resolution and crisis intervention skills and ability to work under pressure
  • Advocacy skills
  • Understanding of diversity, and anti-oppressive practices
  • Understanding of the psycho-social issues affecting people who use substances
  • Ability to recognise program needs and implement programming with input from relevant stakeholders

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.