Social Worker (PACT) - Education Debt Reduction Program
Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration
Location: Abilene, Texas, Texas
Mental Health/Social Services
Internal Number: 691356100
This position is eligible for the Education Debt Reduction Program (EDRP), a student loan payment reimbursement program. You must meet specific individual eligibility requirements in accordance with VHA policy and submit your EDRP application within four months of appointment. Approval, award amount (up to $200,000) and eligibility period (one to five years) are determined by the VHA Education Loan Repayment Services program office after complete review of the EDRP application. 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: 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. 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. 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. 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. ASWB develops and maintains the social work licensing examination used across the country and is a central resource for information on the legal regulation of social work. The ASWB offers three examinations. The master's examination is generally used by states for the independent practice level of licensure or certification, while the advanced generalist and the clinical examinations are used for the advanced practice level of licensure or certification. Differences between the master's and the advanced exams demonstrate the expectation that advanced practice social workers will have a more sophisticated knowledge of practice theory and its application. 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. Loss of Licensure or Certification. Once licensed or certified, social workers must maintain a full, valid, and unrestricted independent license or certification to remain qualified for employment. Loss of licensure or certification will result in removal from the GS-0185 social worker series and may result in termination of employment. Physical Requirements: See VA Directive and Handbook 5019, Employee Occupational Health Services. English Language Proficiency: Candidates must be proficient in spoken and written English to be appointed as authorized by 38 U.S.C. § 7403(f). 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: 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: 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. Additional Qualification information under Additional Information Section ["This vacancy will remain open until filled. The first cut-off date is 12/19/2022. Additional applications will be referred as needed. VA Careers - Social Work: https://youtube.com/embed/enRhz_ua_UU Duties include, but are not limited to: Screening/Assessment Completing an assessment of the Veteran in collaboration with the interdisciplinary treatment team, the Veteran, family members and significant others. Demonstrating an understanding of the range of treatment and skills needed for all adult patients (including geriatric patients) related to their physical limitations, psychological needs and age associated illnesses and conditions. Understanding the problems of advancing age and have respect for the diverse needs of the aging Veteran population, being sensitive to human growth and development, age-appropriate needs and concerns of the geriatric Veteran and be able to provide current and advanced techniques to the treatment of this Veteran population. Treatment Planning/Goal Setting Contributing to the development of the treatment plan and setting achievable treatment goals with the Veteran and family members/caregiver. Referral to Service Providers Subject matter expert on VA and/or community resources. Collaborating with other service providers in reassessing the Veteran's needs Responsible for educating the Veteran and family members/caregivers of the available services and assisting them in establishing the appropriate referrals based on the Veteran's preference or that of his surrogate decision-maker. Resource Usage/Development Responsible for using the current Social Work resource file of VA and community social service programs and enhancing the content to the benefit of Veterans. Advocacy Understanding difficulty of bureaucracy and will act as an advocate when it serves the best interest of the Veteran and family members/caregiver. Crisis Intervention Providing crisis intervention services, seeking to address the cause as well as the presenting complaint, coordinating family conferences and serving as liaison to family members. Maintaining knowledge of Suicide Prevention policy and procedure Recognizing warning signs for suicide ideation or recent self-directed violence Utilizing the identified screening tools to assess suicide risk Education/Health Promotion and Prevention Providing education related to VA and community resources, entitlements, Advance Directives/Living Will and will refer Veterans and family members/caregiver to the appropriate interdisciplinary team member for identified health education needs Coordination of Non-Institutional and Institutional Services Reviewing the progress notes from the other providers to accurately determine the strengths and limitations of each Veteran Educating the Veteran, their family members/caregiver and the team of all the options available to them and collaborating with the Veteran and family members/caregiver on the preferred option Responsible for the monitoring of and discharge planning for, Veterans assigned to the PACT Team while Veterans are hospitalized in any number of local medical facilities Supportive Counseling Providing the Veterans and their family members/caregiver with ongoing supportive counseling Administrative Entering all Veteran/family contacts in the electronic record using appropriate formats and templates. Establishing and maintaining positive working relationships with employees, volunteers, consumers and stakeholders within the VA and outside community agencies Attending all appropriate staff meetings (interdisciplinary treatment team meetings, Social Work Service staff meetings, Social Work supervision meetings, and other committees and workgroups, as appropriate) Performing other duties as required Participating in \"on call\" coverage for Social Work Service Work Schedule: Fulltime, Monday thru Friday 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Telework: Not available Virtual: This is not a virtual position Functional Statement #: 000000 Relocation/Recruitment Incentives: Not authorized EDRP Authorized: Contact VISN17EDRP2@va.gov, the EDRP Coordinator for questions/assistance. Learn more Permanent Change of Station (PCS): Not authorized Financial Disclosure Report: Not required This is a Bargaining Unit position Physical Requirements: moderate lifting (15-44 pounds), moderating carrying (15-44 pounds), reaching above shoulder, use of fingers, walking (4 hours), standing (4 hours), near vision correctable at 13\" to 16\" to Jaeger 1 to 4, far vision correctable in one eye to 20/20 and to 20/40 in the other, hearing (aid permitted) and emotional and mental stability. 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."]
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.