The Social Worker functions as part of an interdisciplinary team providing psychiatric, psychosocial, and case management services to Veterans with mental health concerns in an outpatient/specialty mental health clinic setting. The social worker may be required to work extended or alternate work schedules to meet the needs of the Veterans. 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. Basic Requirements Citizenship. Citizen of the United States. Licensure. Full, unrestricted license or certification by a state to independently practice social work at the advanced practice level. Education. Master's degree in social work (MSW) 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 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 master's degree in social work. Grade Determinations: GS-9 Experience, Education, and Licensure: None beyond the basic requirements. The candidate must demonstrate all of the following KSAs: Ability to work with Veterans and family members from various socioeconomic, cultural, ethnic, educational, and other diversified backgrounds utilizing counseling skills. 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. 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. Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships and communicate with clients, staff, and representatives of community agencies. 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. Assignments. Individuals assigned as GS-9 grade level social workers are considered to be at the entry level and are closely supervised, as they are not yet functioning at the independent practice level conferred by independent licensure or certification. Social workers at the GS-9 entry level are typically assigned to program areas that do not require specialized knowledge or experience. Duties may include but are not limited to: identifying behaviors or symptoms of abuse, neglect or exploitation; providing education on advance directives and advanced care planning; providing social work case management; acting as an advocate with appropriate VA and community service providers/agencies when it serves the best interest of the Veteran and family members/caregiver; assessing the psychosocial functioning and needs of Veterans and their family members identifying the Veteran's strengths, weaknesses, coping skills and psychosocial acuity, in collaboration with the Veteran, family, and interdisciplinary treatment teams; maintaining a current network of internal and external resources to educate the Veteran and/or family members/caregivers and assist with the appropriate referrals. Since social workers at this level are not practicing at an independent level, they should not be assigned to program areas where independent practice is required, such as in a CBOC, unless there is a licensed social worker in the program area who can provide supervision for practice. GS-9 social workers provide psychosocial services in the assigned area under supervision. GS-11 Experience and Licensure: Applicants must 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. In addition to the experience above, candidates must demonstrate all of the following KSAs: Knowledge of community resources, how to make appropriate referrals to community and other governmental agencies for services, and ability to coordinate services. 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. 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. 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. 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. Assignments. This is the full performance level. Social workers at this level are licensed or certified to independently practice social work. Incumbents are assigned to all program areas, including but not limited to: inpatient or outpatient medicine, surgery, mental health, neurology, rehabilitation medicine, and geriatrics. Employees provide professional, independent social work services in the assigned area. Duties include but are not limited to: assessing and documenting identified behaviors or symptoms of abuse, neglect, exploitation and/or intimate partner violence; use of clinical social work skills and knowledge to maintain Veteran privacy and confidentiality per policies, handbooks or directives; and acts as an advocate with appropriate VA and community service providers and agencies when it serves the best interest of the Veteran and family members/caregiver. Incumbent independently assesses the psychosocial functioning and needs of Veterans and their family members, identifying the Veteran's strengths, weaknesses, coping skills, and psychosocial acuity. References: VA Handbook 5005, Part II, Appendix G39 - Social Worker Qualification Standard. 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: The physical demands of this position involve primarily walking, sitting, talking, driving, use of the telephone, etc. Strenuous physical activity is not required although the incumbent is expected to withstand pressure and stress as part of their day-to-day activities. There is ongoing exposure to individuals having psychiatric and physical illness and disabilities. These include violent or aggressive behavior and chronic psychiatric and medical problems. Light lifting, under 15 pounds, Light carrying, under 15 pounds, Hearing (aid permitted). ["This is an OPEN CONTINUOUS ANNOUNCEMENT and will remain open until January 22, 2023. The initial cut-off date for referral of eligible applications will be August 7, 2022, with subsequent cut-off dates on the 1st of each month. Eligible applications received after that date will be referred at regular intervals or as additional vacancies occur on an as-needed basis until positions are filled. The incumbent independently demonstrates leadership, experience and creative approaches to the assessment, treatment planning, and management of the complex mental health needs of patients in receiving outpatient substance use disorder services . Additionally, they are responsible for identifying and screening patients for the psychosocial needs outlined in their recovery plan. Incumbent must possess the knowledge and ability to independently implement treatment modalities, provide counseling or case management for individuals, families and groups. Incumbent independently conducts psychosocial assessments; develops treatment/recovery plans in collaboration with the veteran/family and with the interdisciplinary treatment team; possesses the skills to offer psychosocial interventions and measures outcomes to interventions. The incumbent provides critical case management and psychotherapy for this complex population including homeless veterans, many of whom present with serious paranoid and delusional thinking. Independently identifies high-risk patients and provides case management services. Incumbent provides crisis intervention services, seeking to address the cause as well as the presenting complaint, coordinates family conferences and serves as liaison to family members. Has working knowledge and experience in use 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. Establishes and maintains effective therapeutic relationships with veterans and their families. Incumbent independently works with patients and families who experience a variety of psychiatric, medical and social problems utilizing individual counseling and case management skills. Independently provides consultation services to other staff regarding the psychosocial needs of veterans and the impact of psychosocial problems on health care and adherence to treatment plan. Ability to evaluate incumbent's own practice through professional peer review, case conferences and other organizational means. Incumbent communicates effectively, both orally and in writing, with people from varied backgrounds. General knowledge of veterans' benefits and services relating to special programs, service connected compensation, non-service connected pension. Facilitates referrals based upon veterans needs and eligibility. The Social Worker may also serve as consultant to the team of psychiatrists, primary care physicians and nursing staff regarding new patient admissions into the clinic, appropriate issue of Certificates for Evaluations, as well as numerous legal issues, including guardianship, power of attorney, and the role of fiduciaries. Incumbent coordinates community-based services, including information and referral for additional services from other VA programs, other government programs and community agency programs. The incumbent for this position will be able to provide a full range of psychosocial assessments, and interventions within the scope of social work practice. Additionally, the incumbent should possess or be willing to receive training on a variety of evidenced-based treatments (EBTs) relevant to the critical work performed in the Substance Use Disorders Clinic, including CBT for SUD and Motivational Interviewing. The incumbent is expected to make every effort to meet the needs of customers while supporting VA missions. Consistently communicates and treats customers (veterans, their representatives, visitors, and all VA staff) in a courteous, tactful, and respectful manner. Incumbent provides the customer with consistent information according to established policies and procedures. Handles conflict and problems in dealing with the consumer constructively and appropriately. Has working knowledge and skill in the use of word-processing, data management and other computer systems, especially those programs in use by VHA. Work Schedule: Monday - Friday; 8:00am - 4:30pm\nTelework: Available\nVirtual: This is not a virtual position.\nPosition Title/Functional Statement #:Social Worker (SUD)/PD000000\nRelocation/Recruitment Incentives: Not Authorized\nPermanent Change of Station (PCS): Not Authorized\nFinancial 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.