The Outpatient Mental Health Clinical Social Worker provides mental health services to the Veteran population enrolled at VASLCHCS. Services include provision of high-quality individual and group therapy, clinical treatment, crisis intervention, case management, advocacy, coordination of care and referrals to other appropriate VA or community service providers/agencies, as needed by the client. 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. **This is an OPEN CONTINUOUS ANNOUNCEMENT and will remain open until 09/29/2023.The initial cut-off date for referral of eligible applications will be 06/26/2023. 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.** 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. English Language Proficiency. Candidates must be proficient in spoken and written English to be appointed as authorized by 38 U.S.C. 7403 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. Verification of the degree can be made by going to http://www.cswe.org/Accreditation to verify that the social work degree meets the accreditation standards for a masters of 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. Current state requirements may be found by going to http://vaww.va.gov/OHRM/T38Hybrid/. 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. For appointments at the GS-9 grade level, VHA social workers who are not licensed or certified at the time of appointment must become licensed or certified at the independent, master's level within three years of their appointment as a social worker. Most states require two years of post-MSW experience as a prerequisite to taking the licensure/certification exam, and VHA gives social workers one additional year to pass the licensure/certification exam. In states such as California, Washington, and others where the prerequisites for licensure exceed two years, social workers must become licensed at the independent, master's level within one year of meeting the full state prerequisites for licensure. (b) A social worker who does not yet have a license that allows independent practice must be supervised by a licensed independent practitioner of the same discipline who is a VA staff member and who has access to the electronic health record. Different states have different levels of licensure or certification, making it difficult for VHA staff to determine the independent practice level. Each state, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia completed surveys identifying the level of licensure or certification allowing independent practice. Copies of the surveys are on file in the VHA Office of Care Management and Social Work Services, and a summary spreadsheet of the levels of licensure or certification is available to social work professional standards board members for purposes of determining whether the social worker's level of licensure or certification meets the VHA qualification standards. All states except California use a series of licensure exams administered by the ASWB. Information can be found at https://www.aswb.org/. The ASWB is the association of boards that regulates social work. Grade Determinations: 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. NOTE: For appointment licensure or certification at this level please refer to paragraph 3c. 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. Preferred Experience: One year experience in an Evidence-Based Therapy. References: VA HANDBOOK 5005/120 September 10, 2019 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 in the range of GS-09 to GS-11 ["VA Careers - Social Work: https://youtube.com/embed/enRhz_ua_UU Social workers at this level are licensed or certified to independently practice social work. Provides individual and group evidence-based therapies (e.g., CPT, PE, etc.) to Veterans. Provides interventions independently with Veterans and their families/caregivers who are experiencing a wide range of complicated medical, behavioral health, financial, legal, and psychosocial problems. Provide a range of interventions and treatment modalities. Assess the biopsychosocial functioning and needs of Veterans and their family members to formulate and implement a treatment plan identifying a Veteran's problems, strengths, weaknesses, coping skills, and assistance needed. Independently formulate and implement a treatment plan including measurable, achievable goals identifying the Veterans' needs Conducts timely assessment of Veterans in crisis to identify immediate needs, evaluate risk, and initiate safety planning as appropriate. Act as an advocate with appropriate VA and community service providers and agencies. Work collaboratively with the Veteran and the interdisciplinary care team, Link Veterans with services, resources, and opportunities, to maximize their independence, health, and well-being. Serve on committees, work groups, and task forces at VASLCHCS, the VISN 19, or in the community. Establish and maintain ongoing education programs for Veterans, community agencies, students, and staff, to facilitate understanding of social work interventions specific to the Veterans seeking mental health care. Licensed social worker the incumbent will adhere to the NASW Code of Ethics, all local and regional social work policies, and maintain an unrestricted, unsuspended license to practice social work. Subject matter expert on VA and/or community resources. Work Schedule: Monday-Friday 8am-4:30pm May be required to work some evening hours or on the weekend dependent upon program/agency needs. Compressed/Flexible: May be available based on program/agency needs. To be negotiated with supervisor. Telework: Ad-hoc Virtual: This is not a virtual position. Functional Statement #: GS-9 57703A, GS-11 57704A Relocation/Recruitment Incentives: Authorized Permanent Change of Station (PCS): Not Authorized Financial Disclosure Report: Not required"]
The Veterans Health Administration is America’s largest integrated health care system, providing care at 1,298 health care facilities, including 171 medical centers and 1,113 outpatient sites of care of varying complexity (VHA outpatient clinics), serving 9 million enrolled Veterans each year.