This position is located within the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Veterans Health Administration (VHA), VA Mid-Atlantic Health Care Network (VISN 6), Hampton Veterans Affairs Medical Center (HVAMC), under the Mental Health and Behavioral Sciences Service Line (MHBS). This position is aligned with the Substance Use Disorder Program under Specialty Outpatient Mental Health Services. This position will be filled as either an LPC or Social Worker. 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: Be a citizen of the United States. (Non-citizens may be appointed when it is not possible to recruit qualified citizens in accordance with VA Handbook 5005, chapter 3, section A, paragraph 3g. 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 Master of Social Work. 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. 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 up to the full performance level. Failure to Obtain License or Certification. In all cases, social workers must actively pursue meeting state prerequisites for licensure or certification starting from the date of their appointment. Failure to become licensed or certified within the prescribed amount of time will result in removal from the GS-0185 social worker series and may result in termination of employment. English Language Proficiency. Candidates must be proficient in spoken and written English to be appointed as authorized by 38 U.S.C. § 7403(f). Grade Determinations (GS-9), Entry Level Experience, Education and Licensure. None beyond the basic requirements. 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. Grade Determinations (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. 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. 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. In collaboration with the Veteran, family/caregiver, and interdisciplinary treatment team, the social worker facilitates the delivery of health care services. The social worker identifies family/caregiver stressors, conducts assessment and provides specific interventions. The incumbent provides case management and care coordination to facilitate appropriate delivery of health care services, incorporates complex multiple causation in differential diagnosis and treatment of Veterans, including making psychosocial and psychiatric diagnoses within approved clinical privileges or scope of practice. The social worker links the Veteran with services, resources, and opportunities, in order to maximize the Veteran's independence, health, and well-being. The social worker conducts timely assessment of at-risk Veterans in crisis to identify immediate needs, evaluate risk, and initiate safety plan as appropriate. The social worker 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. They provide a range of interventions and treatment modalities which may include individual, group, and/or family counseling or psychotherapy. They independently formulate and implement a treatment plan including measurable, achievable goals identifying the Veterans' needs, strengths, weaknesses, coping skills, and psychosocial acuity. Social workers serve on committees, work groups, and task forces at the facility and VISN level or in the community. References: VA Handbook 5005/120, Part II, Appendix G39, Social Worker Qualification Standard, September 10, 2019. Available in the 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 work is primarily sedentary. It may require some lifting (10-20 lbs.) occasionally. Reaching above shoulder; Frequent keyboarding (4-7 hours per day); Sitting (4-7 hours per day); Walking up to 6 hours per day); Standing (up to 8 hours per day); Infrequent climbing/descending of stairs; Some bending; Ability for rapid mental and muscular coordination simultaneously; Correctable near sighted and far-sighted vision; Hearing (Aid permitted). The work may be performed in a well-lit and temperature-controlled office environment. With patients who may suffer with mental illness, there is occasional risk of violence requiring the use of good judgment and safety precautions. ["This position may be filled as either a Licensed Professional Mental Health Counselor (LPMHC) or Social Worker. To apply as a LPMHC, please apply to announcement 11749961 (current VA/Federal employees) or 11749962 (All U.S. Citizens). The clinical and program activities assumed under this position are conducted as part of the Substance Use Disorder Program and provides clinical, psychosocial, and case management services to Veterans enrolled in the Substance Use Disorder Program and in some cases, to their family members. All Substance Use Disorder Program enrollees are provided a psychosocial assessment and treatment in accordance with assessed needs. In accordance with The Joint Commission Behavioral Health Standards, the Social Worker completes an Integrated Clinical Summary with input from multidisciplinary treatment team. The Social Worker assists other non-Social Work staff with complex psychosocial treatment issues and may case manage the most complex patients through the substance use rehabilitation process. Veterans treated come from a wide geographic area. Their health care and psychosocial problems and needs are complex and require a high degree of clinical oversight and creative problem solving. Services are provided in the healthcare setting of the Substance Use Disorder Program. Work Schedule: Monday - Friday, 8:00 am to 4:30 pm. Subject to change based on the needs of the agency. Compressed/Flexible: MAY be available at supervisor's discretion. Telework: Not Available Virtual: This is not a remote or virtual position. Functional Statement #: 000000 Relocation/Recruitment Incentives: Not Authorized Permanent Change of Station (PCS): Not Authorized PCS Appraised Value Offer (AVO): 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.
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