WNCAP Employment Opportunity – Harm Reduction Specialist

Harm Reduction Specialist

Full-time, hourly, non-exempt

Direct Supervisor: SEP Coordinator

Description: 

The duties of the Harm Reduction Specialist (HRS) include, but are not limited to:

  • Completing intakes on syringe exchange program (SEP) participants, and orienting them to all services available at WNCAP.
  • Educating SEP participants on laws relating to SEPs in NC;  Dispensing harm reduction supplies to all WNCAP syringe exchange program (SEP)participants; these supplies include, but are not limited to: sterile syringes, cookers, tourniquets, and naloxone/overdose reversal kits, etc.
  • Providing individualized education to SEP participants on harm reduction practices including, but not limited to: safe injection skills, overdose reversal, STI prevention, safe syringe disposal.
  • Offering HIV, HCV, & syphilis tests to participants, and providing testing, post-test counseling, and referrals, as appropriate.
  • Referring SEP participants to community resources upon request, including, but not limited to: substance use disorder (SUD) treatment, HIV & HCV treatment, PrEP,housing supports/shelters, pharmacy services, counseling & medical care.
  • Creating rapport with SEP participants while maintaining healthy boundaries.
  • Tracking dispensed supplies by maintaining a database & sign out sheets, and assisting in preparation of all necessary reports to NCDHHS.
  • Receiving/documenting inventory shipments.
  • Safely disposing of collected syringes, tracking syringe return rate, and help develop strategies to improve return rate.
  • Various other administrative tasks as requested by Harm Reduction Coordinator.

The HRS should prioritize participant autonomy without judgement, and should only engage in discussion of SUD treatment options if the participants themselves request this.

Ideal candidates include: Certified Peer Support Specialists (CPSS) with experience using substances intravenously, and a minimum of 24 months of active substance use recovery; or,non-CPSS with previous experience in harm reduction work; or, non-CPSS individuals with a minimum 1 year of experience in the helping professions, and a willingness to learn harm reduction principles and practices.

All candidates must be comfortable around people who are actively using substances, and must be comfortable around injection equipment.

Communication and Organization:

  • Use accessible realistic language to convey complex pertinent information.
  • Develop relationships with a variety of partners in the community.
  • De-escalate contentious interactions.
  • Use time efficiently while maintaining some flexibility, working at times weekends oroutside traditional office hours, up to 40 hours a week.
  • Ability to deliver when sense of urgency.

Professionalism:

  • Honor clients’ rights and confidentiality.
  • Handle sensitive information appropriately and confidentially.
  • Provide friendly, judgement-free customer service.
  • Embrace diversity and differences.
  • Adhere to philosophy of harm reduction.
  • Take responsibility for own professional growth and enjoy learning.
  • Travel as needed for trainings and workshops.
  • Maintain professional/comfortable appearance.
  • Have minimal absences.
  • Communicate with Harm Reduction Coordinator for schedule changes.
  • Work well independently and in team setting.
  • Ask for help as needed.

Physical Requirements and Skills:

  • Ability to speak and write English, bi-lingual ability is a plus.
  • Have no significant restrictions in bending, stooping or lifting.
  • Have hand/eye coordination and finger dexterity.
  • Have intact or corrected visual acuity and hearing.
  • Handle hazardous waste with extreme caution.
  • Be able to drive and supply own transportation.

Education and Job Knowledge:

Eligibility to be certified by the State of North Carolina’s Peer Support Specialist training program, if applicable.
Upon hire, complete Whetstone Counseling and Linkage to Care training, also upon hire complete training in use of Ora-sure, Trinity Biotech, and any other brandof rapid testing needed.

Google suite; Microsoft Office, especially Excel.

To apply, please send a cover letter and resume to employment@wncap.org with “Harm Reduction Specialist” in the subject line.

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