This is an open continuous announcement for U.S Citizens. This announcement may be extended or closed as needed. If you are a Current VHA Employee, please apply through announcement CBTE-11688917-23-JER for consideration. Applicants will be reviewed every 10 days. Qualified applicants will be referred as vacancies arise. Qualifications Applicants pending the completion of educational or certification/licensure requirements may be referred and tentatively selected but may not be hired until all requirements are met. NOTE: This applies to the past, current, and upcoming VA Health Professional Trainees (HPT) only. HPT is an individual appointed to temporary positions in one or more VHA medical facilities performing clinical or research training experiences to satisfy program or degree requirements or receiving VA Health Professional Scholarship Program. HPTs can be either VA-paid or Without Compensation (WOC) Basic Requirements: United States Citizenship: Non-citizens may only be appointed when it is not possible to recruit qualified citizens in accordance with VA Policy. Education: Requires master's degree in social work from a school of social work fully accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). Graduates of schools of social work that are in candidacy status do not meet this requirement until the school of social work is fully accredited. A doctoral degree in social work may not be substituted for the master's degree in social work. Verification of the degree can be made by going to the CSWE website to verify if that social work degree meets the accreditation standards for a Master of Social Work. Licensure: Must be licensed or certified by a state to independently practice social work at the master's degree level. Exception: VHA may waive the licensure or certification requirement for persons who are otherwise qualified, pending completion of state prerequisites for licensure/certification examinations. This exception only applies at the GS-9 grade level. English Language Proficiency: Must be proficient in spoken and written English to be appointed as authorized by 38 U.S.C. § 7403(f). Grandfathering: May qualify based on being covered by the Grandfathering Provision as described in the VA Qualification Standard for this occupation (only applicable to current VHA employees who are in this occupation and meet the criteria). (1) All persons employed in VHA in this occupation on the effective date of this qualification standard (September 10, 2019) are considered to have met all qualification requirements for the title, series and grade held, including positive education and licensure or certification that are part of the basic requirements of the occupation. For employees who do not meet all of the basic requirements in this standard, but who met the qualifications applicable to the position at the time they were appointed to it, the following provisions apply: (2) Such employees in an occupation that requires a licensure or certification, may be reassigned, promoted up to and including the full performance (journey) level, or changed to lower grade within the occupation, but may not be promoted beyond the journey level or placed in supervisory or managerial positions. (3) Employees who are appointed on a temporary basis prior to the effective date of the qualification standard may not have their temporary appointment extended or be reappointed, on a temporary or permanent basis, until they fully meet the basic requirements of the standard. (4) Employees initially grandfathered into this occupation, who subsequently obtain additional education and/or licensure/certification/registration that meet all of the basic requirements of this qualification standard must maintain the required credentials as a condition of employment in the occupation. (5) If an employee who was retained in an occupation listed in 38 U.S.C. § 7401(3) under this provision leaves that occupation, the employee loses protected status and must meet the full VA qualification standard requirements in effect at the time of reentry to the occupation. NOTE: If social workers covered under the grandfathering provision of the 1991 Federal law regarding licensure or certification of VHA social workers leave the GS0185 social work series, they lose the grandfathering protection. If they choose to return at a later date to the GS-0185 series, they must be licensed or certified to qualify for employment as a social worker. Grade Determinations: In addition to the basic requirements for employment, the following criteria must be met when determining the grade of candidates. Social Worker, GS-9: Experience, Education, and Licensure. None beyond the basic requirements. Demonstrated Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities. In addition to the experience above, the candidate must demonstrate all of the following KSAs: (a) Ability to work with Veterans and family members from various socioeconomic, cultural, ethnic, educational, and other diversified backgrounds utilizing counseling skills. (b) Ability to assess the psychosocial functioning and needs of Veterans and their family members, and to formulate and implement a treatment plan, identifying the Veterans problems, strengths, weaknesses, coping skills, and assistance needed. (c) Ability to implement treatment modalities in working with individuals, families, and groups to achieve treatment goals. This requires judgment and skill in utilizing supportive, problem solving, or crisis intervention techniques. (d) Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships and communicate with clients, staff, and representatives of community agencies. (e) Fundamental knowledge of medical and mental health diagnoses, disabilities, and treatment procedures. This includes acute, chronic, and traumatic illnesses/injuries; common medications and their effects/side effects; and medical terminology. Social Worker, GS-11, Experience and Licensure: Appointment to the GS-11 grade level requires completion of a minimum of one year of post-MSW experience equivalent to the GS-9 grade level in the field of health care or other social work-related settings, (VA or non-VA experience) and licensure or certification in a state at the independent practice level. OR Education: In addition to meeting basic requirements, a doctoral degree in social work from a school of social work may be substituted for the required one year of professional social work experience in a clinical setting. Demonstrated Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities. In addition to the experience above, candidates must demonstrate all of the following KSAs: (a) Knowledge of community resources, how to make appropriate referrals to community and other governmental agencies for services, and ability to coordinate services. (b) Skill in independently conducting psychosocial assessments and treatment interventions to a wide variety of individuals from various socio-economic, cultural, ethnic, educational and other diversified backgrounds. (c) Knowledge of medical and mental health diagnoses, disabilities and treatment procedures (i.e. acute, chronic and traumatic illnesses/injuries, common medications and their effects/side effects, and medical terminology) to formulate a treatment plan. (d) Skill in independently implementing different treatment modalities in working with individuals, families, and groups who are experiencing a variety of psychiatric, medical, and social problems to achieve treatment goals. (e) Ability to provide consultation services to new social workers, social work graduate students, and other staff about the psychosocial needs of patients and the impact of psychosocial problems on health care and compliance with treatment. Driver's License: A valid State Driver's License may be required for some positions. References: VA Handbook 5005, Appendix G39. Social Worker Qualification Standard GS-0185 The full performance level of this vacancy is GS-11. The actual grade at which an applicant may be selected for this vacancy is in the range of GS-9 to GS-11. Physical Requirements: Day-to-day work involves sitting, walking, standing and carrying light objects, such as medical records. ["The Social Worker assists in the day-to-day operations of the Program/Unit specific to his/her area of assignment and ensures compliance and collaboration with local facility and the VA Central Office initiatives. Conducts Veteran, family, and caregiver clinical interventions to facilitate the identification of caregiver stress, psychiatric illness, emotional distress and social needs as treatment issues. Professional judgement, including the knowledge of normal and abnormal behavior, is an inherent competency applied in daily interactions. Responsibilities include high risk needs assessment and screening, early intervention/admission diversion, case finding, psychosocial assessment, psychosocial treatment planning, individual counseling and case work, group work, caregiver support, family counseling, psychotherapy, community/home/residence/agency visits, information and referral. Responsible for the coordination of the psychosocial aspects of discharge and aftercare planning, clinical case management and care coordination, patient advocacy, crisis intervention, critical incident stress management, trauma counseling, patient/caregiver/family education, and end of life planning. Coordination of community-based services, liaison to community programs and resources, resource brokering, community outreach, program planning and development of new initiatives, consultation to and coordination with other health care professionals and community agencies are functions required of the incumbent. Participates in social research and performance improvement activities related to health care and outcome evaluation. Collaborates with community agencies in developing psychosocial support services and participates in community-based educational functions and events related to Medical Center and Social Work programming. Outreaches to new populations. Identifies unmet Veteran needs, gaps in service delivery systems, and barriers to timely program access and participates in the development of additional community resources and partnerships between the VA and community agencies. Assists in staff development and continuing education activities to upgrade the clinical proficiency of Social Work and other health care staff. Documents clinical professional interventions in the Veteran's medical record. Performs clinical activities and therapeutic interventions in support of the Veteran's financial, housing, legal, vocational, community integration, health care and other psychosocial needs. Serves as a consultant for navigating the complex processes Veterans, caregivers, and families encounter when interacting with government and community agencies. Assist in coordinating events and programs for the program/unit in which they are assigned as applicable. Performs a wide range of services and may provide technical assistance to state, local, and private agencies, and universities. Technical assistance is based on monitoring activities and program reviews, and the development and analysis of information. In addition, uses sound judgment in the interpretation of trends and patterns; the application of guidelines; and the recommendation of program enhancements. The Social Worker is able to maintain a level of productivity and quality consistent with the complexity of the assignment and consistent with Social Work standards, Joint Commission/CARF standards, and facility standards. The Social Worker is willing to serve on committees, work groups, and task forces at the facility as deemed appropriate by the Supervisor and Chief, Social Work Service. The Social Worker is flexible to include modification of tour of duty to accommodate patient care needs during WHEN hours as needed. These clinical duties constitute the majority of the Social Worker's responsibilities; however, other collateral duties may be assigned to address patient care, Social Work or Medical Center needs. Work Schedule: Will be determined by position available. Telework: Determined by position Virtual: This is not a virtual position. Position Title/Functional Statement #: Relocation/Recruitment Incentives: Not Authorized Permanent Change of Station (PCS): Not Authorized Financial Disclosure Report: Not required"]
Providing Health Care for Veterans: The Veterans Health Administration is America’s largest integrated health care system, providing care at 1,255 health care facilities, including 170 medical centers and 1,074 outpatient sites of care of varying complexity (VHA outpatient clinics), serving 9 million enrolled Veterans each year.