Respite Worker

Respite Workers are responsible for assisting in the delivery of services and supports to Parachute NYC service recipients, primarily those residing in CA's CRC. Respite Workers also serve as warm line operators.  Peers are integral in supporting people during personal crisis, helping individuals learn how to view crises differently and how to use wellness tools to help decrease the intensity of or prevent future crises. A primary role of Respite Workers is to create a respite from extreme emotional distress through the promotion of a non-judgmental, supportive, friendly and engaging environment. Designed to promote self-determination and hope, peer delivered services and supports include: peer support, wellness education and skill building opportunities, identification and engagement in community-based resources including health care services.

Core Principles
The job responsibilities of all staff extend to understanding and incorporating certain principles into their work and into their relationships with program participants.  These principles are:
  • Program participants' right to self determination;
  • Respectful communication;
  • Services that support recovery and healing consistent with and nurturing each participant's cultural background, experience, identity, and values;
  • Ethical and supportive relationships.

Essential Job Functions
  • Develops a partnership with guests experiencing crisis utilizing trauma-informed, recovery oriented, intentional peer support. 
  • Promotes the provision of a safe, comfortable, secure and trusting environment where guests are listened to and respected by staff.
  • Practices the Need Adapted Treatment Model (NATM) and Intentional Peer Support (IPS) after completing training provided as part of the Parachute NYC grant.
  • Draws on knowledge and skills acquired from personal experience with the mental health system with a focus on guest's personal recovery process.
  • Creates a sense of community through the mutual sharing of lived experiences and offering encouragement and support to participate in daily activities within the CRC and community.
  • Assists with pre-registration process for both individuals referred from NA-MCT (Need Adapted Mobile Crisis Team) and those who self-refer (respite-only guests). 
  • Assists with intake and registration of new guests, including an explanation of services and expectations, a tour of the premises, introduction to other staff and guests.
  • Assists and collaborates with other Parachute NYC staff when appropriate to help guests identify, plan for and realize short-term personal goals and priorities while in the CRC. 
  • Facilitates individual and group-based educational, recovery, wellness and skill building opportunities including: wellness self-management; WRAP; peer support; harm reduction; and other social or leisure activities.
  • Follow-up with guests to monitor and support progress toward goal-achievement.  
  • Assists guests to identify interesting and needed community-based resources, to make informed decisions about participation, and engage in meetings, appointments and activities through linking, supporting and accompaniment.
  • Advocates for and facilitate access to needed health care services, proactively addressing potential barriers such as missed appointments, transportation, fear and stigma, and communication with professional staff. 
  • Assists guests with steps required to prepare their own meals, manage their own medication, take care of their physical needs, and participate in the maintenance of a clean living environment.
  • Provides Warm Line services including supportive peer counseling, friendly and understanding conversation, referral and transfer to crisis lines and other services, access to language lines and TTY information to discharged guests.
  • Responsible for timely and accurate documentation including documentation of interactions with guests and warm line callers, services provided, critical information and events, contacts with collaterals and referrals, as required by CA policies and Parachute NYC.
  • Provides household upkeep duties as needed.
  • Serves daily cold breakfast for guests and assist guests with accessing snacks, when needed.
  • Encourages guest participation in relevant aspects of documentation process. 
  • Participates in data collection and recording related to outcomes, research and other agency and grant-based priorities
  • Participates in supervision, team meetings, interagency. meetings, case conferences, NA-MCT meetings, and other relevant meetings as required by CA and Parachute NYC 
  • Participates in required trainings. 
  • Provides flexible evening, night, weekend and holiday coverage
  • Performs other duties as assigned.

Job Qualifications
  • Have an understanding, appreciation, and commitment to the philosophy and mission of Community Access
  • Have lived experience with the mental health system and willingness to share personal experience appropriately and respectfully. 
  • A respect for, and high level of comfort around people experiencing psychiatric crisis. 
  • Ability to be mindfully present with a person in crisis.
  • Exceptional oral communication skills including empathic listening, responding. 
  • Ability to utilize critical thinking, problem-solving and de-escalation skills to assist with creating and maintaining an environment that promotes recovery. 
  • Resourceful and knowledgeable of community resource and services.
  • Willingness and ability to participate in Parachute NYC Training including NATM, IPS, Health Navigator and other required training.
  • Successful completion of all required training and ability to integrate skills, knowledge and approach into their work with guests.
  • Work experience in a behavioral health or related setting, preferably using the recovery model.
  • Graduate of core peer specialist training program, preferred.
  • Minimum of high school diploma or equivalent (GED).
  • Must be fingerprinted and cleared by the Office of Mental Health (OMH).
  • Commitment to recovery oriented practice.
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team.
  • Ability to set priorities and manage multiple and competing tasks.
  • Good writing skills.
  • Ability to utilize various computer programs, specifically. Microsoft Word and Excel.
  • Be creative and flexible.
  • Show initiative and be responsible for follow through.
  • Ability to maintain confidential information, as related to position.
  • Ability to walk up several flights of stairs.
  • Ability to work in the field (using public transportation).
  • Bilingual preferred.