The incumbent is a professional social worker assigned to the PACT. The incumbent must use a high level of skill in assessing and treating the complicated psychosocial problems of Veterans and their families/significant others. Social Work responsibilities include the assessment of psychosocial problems that cause distress, often impacting the health condition and creating barriers to care. These stressors can include adjustment to the current medical condition, untreated or under-treated mental health or substance abuse condition, economic instability, legal problems, and inadequate housing and transportation. Referrals typically originate from any member of the interdisciplinary team, from Veterans and/or their families who call or walk-in for assistance, and from community professionals. The incumbent must complete thorough assessments to determine the underlying causes of the presenting problem, the interpersonal and environmental factors impacting the problem, and its affect on the patient's ability and desire to comply with the treatment recommendations by the multidisciplinary team. The social worker will help the patient and family to understand the contributing factors to the problem(s), will discuss with them the pros and cons of possible short-term and long-term solutions, encouraging them to make positive and lasting changes to reduce stressors.
Is responsible for supporting the mission, policies, and procedures of the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Veterans Health Administration (VHA), the appropriate Veterans Integrated Service Network (VISN), and the facility.
Is willing to serve on committees, work groups, and task forces at the facility as deemed appropriate by the supervisor and Chief of Social Work Services.
Is mindful of keeping their supervisor apprised of problems and recommended solutions to problems encountered in the incumbent's area of responsibility.
Is responsible for furthering one's own professional growth through continuing education and for ensuring continuing education appropriate to the area of assignment.
Is able to provide assistance with the orientation and learning of less experienced social workers.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.
Licensure: Persons hired or reassigned to social worker positions in the GS-185 series in VHA must be licensed or certified by a state to independently practice social work at the master's degree level. Current state requirements may be found on the OHRM website. EXCEPTION. VHA may waive the licensure or certification requirement for persons (GS 9) who are otherwise qualified, pending completion of state prerequisites for licensure/certification examinations. This exception only applies up to the full performance level. For grade levels above the full performance level (GS 11), the candidate MUST BE LICENSED OR CERTIFIED (LCSW).
Creditable Experience: To be creditable, the experience must have required the use of knowledge, skills, abilities, and other characteristics associated with current professional social work practice. The experience or education must be post-MSW degree. Experience and education satisfying this requirement must be active professional practice, which is paid/non-paid employment as a professional social worker, as defined by the appropriate state licensing board
(a) Experience, Education and Licensure. GS-9 is the entry level grade for the GS-185 social work series and is used for social workers with less than one year of post-MSW experience and for social workers who are not yet licensed or certified at the independent practice level. Social workers at the GS-9 level are working toward completion of prerequisites for licensure or certification. In addition, the candidates must demonstrate the KSAs in subparagraph (b) below.
(b) Demonstrated Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities
1. Ability to provide psychosocial treatment to a wide variety of individuals from various socio-economic, cultural, ethnic, educational, and other diversified backgrounds. This requires knowledge of human development and behavior (physical and psychological), and the differential influences of the environment, society, and culture.
2. Ability to work with patients and families who are experiencing a variety of psychiatric, medical, and social problems utilizing individual, group, and family counseling skills. Work with more complex problems is done under close supervision. With guidance from the social work supervisor, ability to assess the psychosocial functioning and needs of patients and their family members, and to formulate and implement a treatment plan, identifying the patient's problems, strengths, weaknesses, coping skills, and assistance needed.
3. Knowledge of psychosocial treatment modalities and, under supervision, 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.
4. Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with clients, staff, and representatives of community agencies. Ability to communicate effectively, both orally and in writing, with people from varied backgrounds.
5. 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.
6. Basic skill in the use of computer software applications for drafting documents, data management, and tracking. Ability to learn and utilize software programs in use by VHA.
(2) GS-11 Social Worker
(a) Experience, Education and Licensure. Promotion to the GS-11 full performance level requires completion of a minimum of 1 year of post-MSW degree experience in the field of health care social work (VA or non-VA experience) and licensure or certification in a state at the independent practice level. NOTE: For appointment licensure or certification at this level please refer to paragraph 2c.
In addition to meeting basic requirements, a doctoral degree in social work from a school of social work may be substituted for the required 1 year of professional social work experience in a clinical setting. In addition, the candidate must demonstrate the KSAs in subparagraph(b) below.
(b) Demonstrated Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities
1. Knowledge of community resources, how to make appropriate referrals to community and other governmental agencies for services, and ability to coordinate services.
2. Ability to independently assess the psychosocial functioning and needs of patients and their family members and to formulate and implement a treatment plan, identifying the patient's problems, strengths, weaknesses, coping skills and assistance needed, in collaboration with the patient, family and interdisciplinary treatment team.
3. Ability to independently conduct psychosocial assessments and provide psychosocial treatment to a wide variety of individuals from various socio-economic, cultural, ethnic, educational and other diversified backgrounds. This requires knowledge of human development and behavior (physical and psychological) and the differential influences of the environment, society and culture.
4. Knowledge and experience in the 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.
5. Knowledge of psychosocial treatment and ability to independently implement treatment modalities in working with individuals, families and groups who are experiencing a variety of psychiatric, medical and social problems to achieve treatment goals. This requires independent judgment and skill in utilizing supportive, problem solving or crisis intervention techniques.
6. Ability to independently provide counseling and/or psychotherapy services to individuals, groups and families. Social workers must practice within the bounds of their license or certification. For example, some states may require social workers providing psychotherapy to have a clinical level of licensure.
7. Ability to provide consultation services to other staff about the psychosocial needs of patients and the impact of psychosocial problems on health care and compliance with treatment. Ability to provide orientation and coaching to new social workers and social work graduate students. Ability to serve as a field instructor for social work graduate students who are completing VHA field placements.
8. Ability to independently evaluate his/her own practice through participation in professional peer review case conferences, research studies, or other organized means.
9. Knowledge and skill in the use of computer software application
References: References: Applicants must meet the minimum qualifications as stated in VA Handbook 5005 005/50, Part II, Appendix G39 dated February 29, 2012. This can be found in the local Human Resources Office.
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, talking, driving, use of the telephone, etc. Strenuous physical activity is not required although you may be expected to withstand pressure and stress as part of your day to day activities.
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, documentation to support Veterans Preference or ICTAP/CTAP documentation (for displaced Federal employees).
Other Veterans Document
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.