Senior Social Worker (Emergency Department Rapid Access)
Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration
Location: Albany, New York, New York
Mental Health/Social Services
Internal Number: 773609400
This position is located in the Social Work Service Department at the Albany VA Medical Center in Albany, New York. The incumbent holds a valid state license to practice social work from a fully accredited program granted by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). The Social Worker functions as part of the staff in the Mental Health Service providing behavioral health in the rapid access clinic. 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. Current state requirements may be found by going to http://vaww.va.gov/OHRM/T38Hybrid/. 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: In addition to the basic requirements stated above, the following qualification criteria must be met. The candidate's qualifications must clearly demonstrate the level of competence required for the grade. Senior Social Worker, GS-12 Creditable Experience: The candidate must have knowledge of current professional social work practices. To be creditable, the experience must have required the use of knowledge, skills, abilities, and other characteristics associated with current professional social work practice. The experience or education must be post-Master of Social Work (MSW) degree. Experience and education satisfying this requirement must be active professional practice, which is paid/non-paid employment as a professional social worker, as defined by the appropriate state licensing board. Quality of Experience: Experience is only creditable if it is obtained following graduation with a master's degree in social work and if it includes work as a professional social worker directly related to the position to be filled. Qualifying experience must also be at a level comparable to social work experience at the next lower level. 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. 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. Demonstrated Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities: In addition to the experience above, candidates must demonstrate all of the following KSAs: 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. Ability to incorporate complex multiple causation in differential diagnosis and treatment within approved clinical privileges or scope of practice. 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. 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. 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. This assignment is to be relatively few in number based on the size of the facility/service and applying sound position management. This assignment must represent substantial additional responsibility over and above that required at the full performance grade level and cannot be used as the full performance level of this occupation. References: VA Handbook 5005/120 Part II Appendix G39, dated September 10, 2019 The full performance level of this vacancy is GS-12, which is the actual grade at which an applicant may be selected for this vacancy. Physical Requirements: See VA Directive and Handbook 5019, Employee Occupational Health Services. ["VA Careers - Social Work: https://youtube.com/embed/enRhz_ua_UU Major Duties: Clinical Functions The Social Worker interviews the Veteran, family member and/or significant other to establish facts about the Veteran's current situation. In collaboration with the Veteran, family member and/or significant others, the Social Worker, completes a psychosocial assessment. The Social Worker is able to exercise appropriate judgment and decision making when formulating a diagnosis and developing a plan of care. Clinical Duties: The Senior Social Worker provides a full range of social work services within commonly accepted standards of social work practice which includes case work, individual and family counseling, discharge planning, case management and other services as appropriate. The incumbent assists patients and their significant others with coping and dealing with the loss and grief experiences in disability, terminal illness, and death. Referrals and Care Coordination: The Senior Social Worker will provide case management to Veterans and families, as needed, throughout the continuum of care. This includes performing the initial psychosocial assessment for Veterans being admitted to one of the acute units, including psychiatric or medical/surgical units. The Senior Social Worker has knowledge of the VA and community's service systems to identify viable treatment options, and the incumbent will use his/her clinical training, insight, experience, and ability to interpret data to make referrals. Veterans can be assisted in choosing from an array of services with appropriate intensity and flexibility. Mental Health Discharges: The Senior Social Worker is required to track appointments and phone contacts for discharges from the ED where the treatment was related to mental health. He/she may be required to track other contact information relevant to continuity of care. The incumbent maintains data and statistical compilations to comply with Joint Commission, VA and medical center policy and procedures. The Senior Social Worker coordinates and complete Post Discharge Engagement (PDE) contacts for patients that discharged from units that may include acute psychiatry, psychiatric residential units, and medical units where the admission was also for psychiatric reasons. Documentation and Data Management: The Senior Social Worker documents all encounters with Veterans, family member and/or significant other electronically through the Computerized Patient Record System (CPRS) and complete encounter forms for each contact. This information is entered in a complete, timely, confidential, and professional manner to ensure information on the Veteran is shared with other VA staff. The Senior Social Worker, when appropriate, discloses information about the Veteran's treatment and progress to third parties. Treatment Team Collaboration: The Senior Social Worker is an active participant in the treatment planning process with other disciplines. The incumbent, in collaboration with the Veteran, develops a plan of care to reach his/her goals of care. The incumbent coordinate treatment and communicate with other services to facilitate continuity of care for Veterans. They act as a consultant to other team/staff members and acts as liaison between VA and community resources, to include marketing and public relation duties as needed. The incumbent provides consultation/education to medical residents on social work practice and VA policy and procedure. Administrative Functions: The Senior Social Worker attends all administrative and programmatic meetings. They may perform other duties as assigned by the Chief of Mental Health or Chief, Social work Service. This can include coverage responsibilities in the absence of other staff to ensure that Veterans or families receive services as required. The incumbent participates in committee assignments, as deemed necessary by the Service. Education, Supervision, Coaching, and Mentoring: The Senior Social Worker is responsible for working within his/her scope of practice in his/her assigned area and uphold the profession's standards of treatment and ensure that all services provided are recovery-oriented in nature. The incumbent updates his/her social work practice skills and acquire new knowledge in contemporary treatment modalities. The Senior Social Worker educates/promotes these skills/practices to other Social Workers or interdisciplinary team members when needed. The incumbent evaluates his/her practice on an on-going basis through participation in professional peer reviews, case conferences, research studies or other organized means. Other duties as assigned. Work Schedule: Monday-Friday, 8:00am - 4:30pm Telework: Ad-Hoc Virtual: This is not a virtual position. Functional Statement #: 26556F Relocation/Recruitment Incentives: Not Authorized Permanent Change of Station (PCS): Not Authorized Financial Disclosure Report: Not required"]
The Veterans Health Administration (VHA) is the largest integrated health care system in the United States, providing care at 1,321 health care facilities, including 172 VA Medical Centers and 1,138 outpatient sites of care of varying complexity (VHA outpatient clinics) to over 9 million Veterans enrolled in the VA health care program. At VA Long Beach Healthcare System, our health care teams are deeply experienced and guided by the needs of Veterans, their families, and caregivers. Our medical center provides primary care and specialty health services, including cardiology, mental health care, treatment for spinal cord injuries and disorders, suicide prevention, women’s health services, and more.