Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration Social Worker in United States
The incumbent serves as a Readjustment Counselor at a Vet Center in the Readjustment Counseling Service (RCS) providing direct counseling services, outreach, referral, and follow-up care coordination to eligible individuals. In this capacity, the incumbent functions as a member of a small multi-disciplinary team of 4 or more members, including social workers, other mental health professionals, outreach workers and office managers.
Conditions of Employment
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. Education: Must 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 the CSWE website to verify if that 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 at the GS-9 grade level. For the GS-11 grade level, the candidate must be licensed or certified. 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). Grade Determinations:
GS-9: Experience, Education, and Licensure: None beyond the basic requirements.In addition to the experience above, the candidate must demonstrate all of the following Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities (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. GS-11 Experience and Licensure: 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 the 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 Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities (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. References: VA Handbook 5005/120, Part II, Appendix G39, dated September 10, 2019. Physical Requirements: Moderate lifting 15-44 lbs, both hands required, walking and standing up to 4 hours, crawling and kneeling 1-2 hours, both legs required, Operation of motor vehicle, both eyes required, depth perception, ability to distinguish colors, hearing (aid permitted), glasses and prosthesis allowed, able to hear whispered voices, and emotional and mental stability; Environmental factors: outside and inside, electrical energy, working closely with others, protracted or irregular hours of work, and repetitive computer use.