Full Job Description
As a Social Worker assigned to the Captain James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center(FHCC) in North Chicago, IL providing services to Veterans, Active Duty Service Members, Retirees and their Dependents at the FHCC Main Campus and in Community Based Outpatient Clinics (CBOC) in Evanston, Illinois, McHenry, Illinois and Kenosha, Wisconsin.
Provides a channel through which Patients and their beneficiaries can seek solutions to problems, concerns and needs. Works with health care providers and administrative support staff throughout the medical center in preventing and resolving patient complaints. Interprets the Medical Center's mission, policies, procedures and available resources and services to Patients and presents their problems, opinions and needs to appropriate staff and management. Assists Patients in understanding their rights in addition to their responsibilities. Identifies existing and potential problem areas; suggests solutions or alternatives to existing procedures which contribute to those problems. Acts on behalf of the Director to resolve problems, expedite services, or implement necessary corrective measures within established policies and, where appropriate, through committee participation. Represents the Director in safeguarding and ensuring statutory and constitutional rights of Patients. Assists Patients, their beneficiaries and/or representatives, and facility staff members in recognizing and removing institutional barriers to the provision of optimal health care to Patients. Receives and listens to complaints and grievances from Patients or from individuals on behalf of Patients. Makes inquiry into complaints, initiates action or change necessary to correct problem situations, and reports on corrective measures taken to the Patient and/or their representative. Monitors and evaluates corrective measures taken. Acts as an Experience Specialist for Patients using seasoned judgment in resolving problems.
Provides input into the conduct of, and may be responsible for the maintenance of, files and records training to customer satisfaction surveys. Documents all findings from these surveys after thorough analysis of data in order to identify trends and patterns. Maintains a working liaison with Patient's service organizations, community groups, and others whose interests are in helping and protecting Patients, their families and their representatives.Assists with congressional and/or patient inquiry letters. Has the authority to review any files or records and discuss with personnel or witnesses any practices which appear to violate patients' rights, or which causes unnecessary discomfort or embarrassment to Patients, their families, or the Medical Center and reports such findings to management with recommendations for improvement. Identifies the elements of clinical or administrative practices that contribute or create an atmosphere for customer dissatisfaction and recommends changes that will reduce or eliminate justified complaints. As necessary, develops and provides in-service education to bring awareness to the medical center staff of the Patients' perceptions of their Medical Center experience, thereby contributing to improved staff understanding and attitude.Has overall responsibility for the resolution of patient problems which arise. Serves as a "Patient Experience Specialist" for patients throughout the medical center. May be called upon to provide information with which to answer complaints, congressional inquiries, etc. Maintains records of all patient inquiries or inquiries on behalf of patient using the Patient Experience Specialist Tracking System - Replacement (PATS-R). Produces on a regular basis a cumulative report that will include a categorization of patient inquiries in order to track and trend patterns and to identify opportunities for improvement.
Work Schedule: 7:30 am - 4:00 pm
Financial Disclosure Report: Not required
Job family (Series)
0185 Social Work
Community Mental Health Social Workers
Mental Health Social Workers
Psychiatric Social Workers
School Social Workers
Social Workers, All Other
Conditions of Employment
You must be a U.S. Citizen to apply for this job
Designated and/or random drug testing may be required
Selective Service Registration is required for males born after 12/31/1959
You may be required to serve a probationary period
Subject to a background/security investigation
Must be proficient in written and spoken English
Selected applicants will be required to complete an online onboarding process
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.
United States Citizenship: Non-citizens may only be appointed when it is not possible to recruit qualified citizens in accordance with VA Policy.
Education. Have a 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.
Licensure. Persons hired or reassigned to social worker positions in the GS-0185 series in VHA 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. For the GS-11 grade level and above, the candidate must be licensed or certified. At the time of appointment, the supervisor, chief social work or social work executive will provide the unlicensed/uncertified social worker with the written requirements for licensure or certification, including the time by which the license or certification must be obtained and the consequences for not becoming licensed or certified by the deadline.
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).
Social Worker, GS-11 (Full-Performance Level)
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.
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.
References: VA Handbook 5005, Part II, Appendix G39
The full performance level of this vacancy is GS-11. The actual grade at which an applicant may be selected for this vacancy is a GS-11.
Physical Requirements: The work of a Social Worker requires extreme patience and control of ones emotions. Strenuous physical activity is not required although the incumbent is expected to withstand considerable emotional pressure and stress as part of their day to day activities. Duties require periods of sitting, standing, walking, driving, bending, or carrying light objects. Work is primarily performed in an office type setting that exposes the incumbent to communicable diseases. The incumbent may also be required to drive a government vehicle. The incumbents environment may include visits to community agencies and community & government social services agencies.
IMPORTANT: A transcript must be submitted with your application if you are basing all or part of your qualifications on education.
Note: Only education or degrees recognized by the U.S. Department of Education from accredited colleges, universities, schools, or institutions may be used to qualify for Federal employment. You can verify your education here: http://ope.ed.gov/accreditation/. If you are using foreign education to meet qualification requirements, you must send a Certificate of Foreign Equivalency with your transcript in order to receive credit for that education. For further information, visit: http://www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ous/international/usnei/us/edlite-visitus-forrecog.html.
Receiving Service Credit or Earning Annual (Vacation) Leave: Federal Employees earn annual leave at a rate (4, 6 or 8 hours per pay period) which is based on the number of years they have served as a Federal employee. VA may offer newly-appointed Federal employee's credit for their job-related non-federal experience or active duty uniformed military service. This credited service can be used in determining the rate at which they earn annual leave. Such credit must be requested and approved prior to the appointment date and is not guaranteed.
This job opportunity announcement may be used to fill additional vacancies.
It is the policy of the VA to not deny employment to those that have faced financial hardships or periods of unemployment.
This position is in the Excepted Service and does not confer competitive status.
VA encourages persons with disabilities to apply. The health-related positions in VA are covered by Title 38, and are not covered by the Schedule A excepted appointment authority.
Veterans and Transitioning Service Members: Please visit the VA for Vets site for career-search tools for Veterans seeking employment at VA, career development services for our existing Veterans, and coaching and reintegration support for military service members.
If you are unable to apply online view the following link for information regarding an Alternate Application.
How You Will Be Evaluated
You will be evaluated for this job based on how well you meet the qualifications above.
IN DESCRIBING YOUR EXPERIENCE, PLEASE BE CLEAR AND SPECIFIC. WE MAY NOT MAKE ASSUMPTIONS REGARDING YOUR EXPERIENCE. Your application, résumé, C.V., and/or supporting documentation will be verified. Please follow all instructions carefully. Errors or omissions may affect consideration for employment.
Experience refers to paid and unpaid experience, including volunteer work done through National Service programs (e.g., Peace Corps, AmeriCorps) and other organizations (e.g., professional; philanthropic; religions; spiritual; community; student; social). Volunteer work helps build critical competencies, knowledge, and skills and can provide valuable training and experience that translates directly to paid employment. You will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including volunteer experience.
Background checks and security clearance
Drug test required
Position sensitivity and risk
Noncritical-Sensitive (NCS)/Moderate Risk
Trust determination process
To apply for this position, you must provide a complete Application Package which includes:
VA Form 10-2850c Application for Associated Health Occupations can be found at: http://www.va.gov/vaforms/search_action.asp?FormNo=2850&tkey=&Action=Search. REQUIRED
The following documents are accepted, and may be required if applicable to your eligibility and/or qualifications for this position. Please use this checklist to ensure you have included all documents required for your application, such as a copy of your transcript (if using education to qualify), SF-50's (current/former Federal employees), etc.
DD-214/ Statement of Service
Disability Letter (Schedule A)
Disability Letter (VA)
SF-50/ Notification of Personnel Action
Veterans' Preference: When applying for Federal Jobs, eligible Veterans should claim preference for 5pt (TP), 10pt (CP/CPS/XP), or for Sole Survivor Preference (SSP) in the questionnaire. You must provide a legible copy of your DD214(s) which shows dates and character of service (honorable, general, etc.). If you are currently serving on active duty and expect to be released or discharged within 120 days you must submit documentation related to your active duty service which reflects the dates of service, character of service (honorable, general, etc.), and dates of impending separation. Additionally, disabled veterans and others eligible for 10-point preference (such as widows or mothers of eligible Veterans) must also submit an SF-15 "Application for 10 Point Veteran Preference" with required proof as stated on the form. Documentation is required to award preference. For more information on Veterans' Preference, please visit http://www.fedshirevets.gov/job/vetpref/index.aspx.
If you are relying on your education to meet qualification requirements:
Education must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education in order for it to be credited towards qualifications. Therefore, provide only the attendance and/or degrees from schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
Failure to provide all of the required information as stated in this vacancy announcement may result in an ineligible rating or may affect the overall rating.
A career with the U.S. Government provides employees with a comprehensive benefits package. As a federal employee, you and your family will have access to a range of benefits that are designed to make your federal career very rewarding. Learn more about federal benefits.
Review our benefits
Eligibility for benefits depends on the type of position you hold and whether your position is full-time, part-time, or intermittent. Contact the hiring agency for more information on the specific benefits offered.
This job is open to
U.S. citizens, nationals or those who owe allegiance to the U.S.
Clarification from the agency
Area of Consideration: 1st consideration is to employees of FHCC. 2nd Public