The social worker is expected to possess strong clinical skills to provide treatment under close guidance and supervision for a range of mental health disorders relevant to Veterans and may provide a wide range of care including - high-risk assessment and referral; intake/diagnostic and psychosocial assessments; comprehensive treatment planning using patient centered and recovery-based models; evidenced-based individual, group, and family therapy services to Veterans and their families 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. 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 asocial 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. English Language Proficiency: Social workers must be proficient in spoken and written English. 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: Works with Veterans and family members from various socioeconomic, cultural, ethnic, educational, and other diversified backgrounds utilizing counseling skills. Assesses 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. Implements 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. Establishes 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. 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: Knowledge of community resources, how to make appropriate referrals to community and other governmental agencies for services, and ability to coordinate services. Independently conducts 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. Independently implements 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. Provides consultation services to new social workers, social work graduate students, and other staff about the psychosocial needs of patients. Reference: VA HANDBOOK 5005/50, Part II, APPENDIX G39. SOCIAL WORKER QUALIFICATION STANDARD dated September 10, 2019 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 Demands: The work of the social worker is largely office based and in a sedentary setting. No manual labor is required above ordinary situations. Incumbent must be capable of using a computer given that all clinical charting is electronic ["The proportion of these duties will be determined by the Mental Health Service Chief (and/or his/her delegates) and are expected to be flexible based upon clinical need. Providing clinical services in a virtual modality is expected. Virtual modality includes video telehealth, patient/provider secure messaging, telephone visits, review of electronically forwarded medical records. Knowledge of community resources, how to make appropriate referrals to community and other governmental agencies for services, and ability to coordinate services. Conduct psychosocial assessments including assessing functioning and needs of Veterans to formulate and implement a recovery-oriented treatment plan, identifying the Veteran's problems, strengths, challenges, coping skills and assistance needed, in collaboration with the Veteran, family and interdisciplinary treatment team. Provides psychosocial treatment to a wide variety of individuals from various socio-economic, cultural, ethnic, educational and other diversified backgrounds. Utilizes knowledge of human development and behavior (physical and psychological) and the differential influences of the environment, society and culture. Knowledge and experience in the use of medical and DSM-5 mental health diagnoses, disabilities and treatment procedures. This includes acute, chronic and traumatic illnesses/injuries, common medications and their effects, and medical and mental health terminology. Provide psychoeducation to Veterans and their family members regarding diagnoses, symptom management and recovery from illness. Provide consultation services to other staff about the psychosocial needs of patients and the impact of psychosocial problems on mental health care and compliance with treatment. Provide orientation and coaching to new social workers and social work graduate students. Function as Field Instructor for social work graduate students who are completing VAAAHS field placements. Participate as member of various VAAAHS committees functioning as liaison between those committees and the Mental Health Service. Knowledge and skill in use of computer software applications for drafting documents, data management, and tracking, predominantly those programs in use by VAAAHS. Complete comprehensive documentation in the veteran's charts including intake assessments, psychosocial assessments, treatment plans, progress notes, and discharge plans. Independently provide evidence-based interventions and treatment modalities used in the Mental Health Service in working with individuals, families, and groups who are experiencing a variety of psychiatric, medical, and social problems to achieve treatment goals. Utilizes independent judgment and skill in utilizing supportive, problem solving and evidence-based crisis intervention techniques. Respond to consults by interviewing the veteran utilizing questionnaires and other assessment tools while determining the Veteran's emotional, functional, and psychological condition. Participate in multidisciplinary treatment decisions. Assist Veterans in the preparation of materials needed for application to various internal and external resources for entitlements, then, follow the process of application until a determination has been made. Serve as the major consultant for information on negotiating the complex processes Veteran's encounter when interacting with government and community agencies. Collaborate with members of the team on which one functions and other professional specialty clinics to provide comprehensive care to Veterans. Identify, develop and facilitate accessibility and utilization of VAAAHS and community resources to meet the needs of Veterans. Study current theory and treatment modalities by reading professional journals, attending conferences, clinic seminars and teleconferences, and materials given out by staff within and outside Mental Health Service. Participate and contribute to research and educational activities associated with Mental Health Service and initiate research activity if appropriate. Complete appropriate discharge plans for Veterans considering unique, individualized follow-up treatment needs which promote recovery, symptom stabilization and improved functioning. Coordinate verbally and in writing with discharge plan care providers to insure smooth coordination of care. Expected to be proficient in the use of TeleMental Health technology (including related video/audio equipment, computer software, and faxing and copying technology) to deliver clinical services (assessment and interventions) efficiently and effectively to patients off site. Work Schedule: Monday-Friday (8:00 am to 4:30 pm) Compressed/Flexible: Yes, TBD by agency policy Telework: Yes, TBD by agency policy Virtual: This is not a virtual position Relocation/Recruitment Incentives: Not 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. The VA Martinsburg Healthcare System offers a wide range of health, support, and facility services for Veterans at 8 locations serving western Maryland, south-central Pennsylvania, northwest Virginia, and West Virginia’s eastern panhandle. Primary Care services are offered at the following locations. Martinsburg WV, Hagerstown MD, Cumberland MD, Franklin WV, Harrisonburg VA, Petersburg WV and Winchester VA.
OUR MISSION: To fulfill President Lincoln's promise – "To care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan" – by serving and honoring the men and women who are America's Veterans.
Physicians interested in caring for our America's Veterans and their families, email Nicole.Carey@va.gov or call 304-620-4354.