The Senior Social Worker - Suicide Prevention Specialist (hereafter referred to as the "Suicide Prevention Specialist" or "SPS" is located at VA Boston Healthcare System in the Mental Health (MH) Service and serves as a member of the Suicide Prevention team to facilitate implementation of suicide prevention strategies at the local level through education, monitoring, and coordination activities. 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. The basic requirements for employment as a VHA social worker are prescribed by statute in 38 U.S.C. ? 7402(b)(9), as amended by section 205 of Public Law 106-419, enacted November 1, 2000. To qualify for appointment as a social worker in VHA, all applicants must meet the following: a. Citizenship. Be a citizen of the United States. b. 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. c. 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/. (c) 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. (3) 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. d. 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. In addition to the basic requirements for employment, the following criteria must be met when determining the grade of candidates. Senior Social Worker, GS-12 (1) Experience/Education. The candidate must have at least two years of experience post advanced practice clinical licensure and should be in a specialized area of social work practice of which, one year must be equivalent to the GS-11 grade level. Senior social workers have experience that demonstrates possession of advanced practice skills and judgment. Senior social workers are experts in their specialized area of practice. Senior social workers may have certification or other post-masters training from a nationally recognized professional organization or university that includes a defined curriculum/course of study and internship or equivalent supervised professional experience in a specialty. (2) Licensure/Certification. Senior social workers must be licensed or certified by a state at the advanced practice level which included an advanced generalist or clinical examination, unless they are grandfathered by the state in which they are licensed to practice at the advanced practice level (except for licenses issued in California, which administers its own clinical examination for advanced practice) and they must be able to provide supervision for licensure. (3) Demonstrated Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities. In addition to the experience above, candidates must demonstrate all of the following KSAs: (a) Skill in a range of specialized interventions and treatment modalities used in specialty treatment programs or with special patient populations. This includes individual, group, and/or family counseling or psychotherapy and advanced level psychosocial and/or case management. (b) Ability to incorporate complex multiple causation in differential diagnosis and treatment within approved clinical privileges or scope of practice. (c) Knowledge in developing and implementing methods for measuring effectiveness of social work practice and services in the specialty area, utilizing outcome evaluations to improve treatment services and to design system changes. (d) Ability to provide specialized consultation to colleagues and students on the psychosocial treatment of patients in the service delivery area, as well as role modeling effective social work practice skills. (e) Ability to expand clinical knowledge in the social work profession, and to write policies, procedures, and/or practice guidelines pertaining to the service delivery area. Assignments. For all assignments above the full performance level, the higher-level duties must consist of significant scope, complexity (difficulty), and variety and be performed by the incumbent at least 25% of the time. Senior social workers are licensed or certified to independently practice social work at an advanced level. Senior social workers typically practice in a major program area such as but not limited to: Polytrauma Rehabilitation Center or Polytrauma Network Site; a Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation Center, or a national VHA referral center, such as a national Center for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder or a national Transplant Center, or other program areas of equivalent scope and complexity. The senior social worker may be assigned administrative responsibility for clinical program development and is accountable for clinical program effectiveness and modification of service patterns. Assignments include clinical settings where they have limited access to onsite supervision such as CBOCs or satellite outpatient clinics. The senior social worker collaborates with the other members of the treatment team in the provision of comprehensive health care services to Veterans, ensures equity of access, service, and benefits to this population, ensures the care provided is of the highest quality. The senior social worker provides leadership, direction, orientation, coaching, in-service training, staff development, and continuing education programs for assigned social work staff. They serve on committees, work groups, and task forces at the facility, VISN and national level, or in the community as deemed appropriate by the supervisor, Social Work Executive or Chief of Social Work Services. ["The SPS supports daily operations of the Suicide Prevention program including providing direct care services to high risk Veterans, providing education and training to VA and community stakeholders, ensuring timely responses using the CPRS consult system and the Veterans Crisis Line consults, and completing daily reporting/tracking. The functions of the Suicide Prevention Specialist include, but are not limited to: Consultation Responsibilities 1) Respond to Veterans Crisis Line consults in accordance with national guidelines, as well as the local VA Boston SOP and Suicide Prevention Operations Manual. In situations in which discrepancies exist between national and local guidelines, the more conservative guidelines will be followed. 2) Respond to Suicide Prevention facility consults in accordance with local SOP and Suicide Prevention Operations Manual. In situations in which discrepancies exist between national and local guidelines, the more conservative guidelines will be followed. 3) Contributes to the SP Team by managing the process of using the Category I PRF's to identify Veterans at high risk for Suicide in accordance with national guidelines and local SOP and Suicide Prevention Operations Manual. In situations in which discrepancies exist between national and local guidelines, the more conservative guidelines will be followed. 4) Provide consultation to facility staff regarding Suicide Prevention resources, services, and clinical interventions. 5) Attend inpatient rounds weekly and to provide consultation regarding Veterans with suicidal thoughts and behaviors. 6) Maintain awareness of suicide treatment options and making recommendations to providers when new options become available. 7) Participating in EOC inspections to identify elements of the architecture or care process that may lead to suicidal behaviors, and follow-up as needed. 8) Work with community resources such as Veteran Service Organizations (VSO's) and other community groups to assure that they are aware of how to recognize veterans at risk for suicide and their options for getting these veterans assistance. Clinical Responsibilities 1) Provide Suicide Prevention services to assigned Veterans in accordance with national guidelines, local SOP's, and the Suicide Prevention Operations Manual. In situations in which discrepancies exist between national and local guidelines, the more conservative guidelines will be followed. 2) Ensure enhanced services and monitoring of all Veterans identified as high risk. 3) Track any no-show appointments by high risk Veterans and ensure proper follow up is completed. 4) Comply with all CPRS documentation procedures, including timeliness standards for documentation and proper patient check out procedures (e.g., entering diagnostic and procedure codes). 5) Within the scope of privileges granted, incumbent provides a full range of mental health services utilizing appropriate evaluations and structured interviews, generates reports, and provides expert consultation to other disciplines or units providing care oriented to veterans at high risk for suicide. 6) Works to stay current with assessment and therapy techniques by reviewing and/or participating in research; and by promoting, initiating, assisting or engaging in program evaluation and/or other basic and applied research activities. Administrative Duties 1) Supports daily operations of Suicide Prevention program in accordance with national guidelines, as well as local SOPs and Suicide Prevention Operations Manual. Completes national and local Suicide Prevention reports as directed by the SP Team Leader and MH Leadership. 3) Attends weekly and monthly Suicide Prevention team meetings. \\4) Attends and participates in administrative and informational meetings as appropriate to the assignment. 5) Assures compliance with Joint Commission standards related to suicide prevention. 6) Assists in the execution of ongoing program evaluation and data-driven quality improvement projects to monitor the effectiveness of suicide prevention programming. 7) Complies with national and local performance measures. 8) Obtains any relevant HIPAA clearances to allow transmittal of facility data on suicide attempts and individuals at risk to the VISN 1 MIRECC and the VISN 1 Mental Health Office for trending and quality assurance purposes; and transmits the data following cyber security requirements as applicable for this sensitive data. Training and Outreach 1) Supports the SP Team in providing ongoing suicide prevention training to all VA staff. 2) Provide SAVE, gatekeeper, and clinical trainings to VA and community organizations as directed by the SP Team Leader. Work Schedule: 8:00am-4:30pm Telework: Ad-hoc Virtual: This is not a virtual position. Functional Statement #: Relocation/Recruitment Incentives: 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.