This Clinical Social Worker position is in Mental Health services at the VA Maine Healthcare Systems. This position is full-time at 40 hours per week. Due to a critical staffing shortage, 38 U.S.C. § 7412 waives the requirement to apply Veterans' preference for this job announcement. 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 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. Current state requirements may be found on the OHRM website. 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. English Language Proficiency: Social workers must be proficient in spoken and written English in accordance with VA Handbook 5005, Part II, chapter 3, section A, paragraph 3j. 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). If social workers covered under the grandfathering provision of the 1991 Federal law regarding licensure or certification of VHA social workers leave the GS-0185 social work series, they lose the grandfathering protection. If they choose to return at a later date to the GS-0185 series, they must be licensed or certified to qualify for employment as a social worker. Grade Determinations: GS-9: Experience, Education, and Licensure: None beyond the basic requirements. AND Demonstrated Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities: In addition to the basic requirements, the candidate must demonstrate all of the following KSAs: 1. Ability to work with Veterans and family members from various socioeconomic, cultural, ethnic, educational, and other diversified backgrounds utilizing counseling skills. 2. 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. 3. 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. 4. Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships and communicate with clients, staff, and representatives of community agencies. 5. 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: 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. 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. AND Demonstrated Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities: In addition to the experience above, candidates must demonstrate all of the following KSAs: 1. Knowledge of community resources, how to make appropriate referrals to community and other governmental agencies for services, and ability to coordinate services. 2. 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. 3. 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. 4. 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. 5. 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, Part II, Appendix G39 - Social Worker Qualification Standard. 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 Requirements and Work Environment: No special physical qualifications are required to perform the work. The work requires the ability to move around the office and facility. The work is performed in offices and meeting rooms. ["Major duties and responsibilities include, but are not limited to: Screening/Assessment -Develops an assessment of the Veteran in collaboration with the interdisciplinary treatment team, the Veteran, family members and significant others. The goal of the assessment is to highlight the Veteran's strengths, limitations, risk factors and internal/external supports and service needs in order to optimize the Veteran's functional status. Makes Psychosocial /Psychiatric Diagnoses- Independently evaluates the Veteran's presenting problems, including their reaction and ability to manage them, and arrives at a reasoned conclusion. Treatment Planning/Goal Setting - Responsible for developing the treatment plan and setting achievable treatment goals with the Veteran/family. Referral to service providers - Throughout the course of treatment the social worker is the subject matter expert on VA and/or community resources; Collaborates with other service providers in reassessing the veteran's needs. 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; Refers the veteran to needed services. Advocacy - Understands the intimidation of bureaucracy and will act as an advocate when it serves the best interest of the veteran/family. When appropriate and feasible, social worker will educate and encourage the veteran/family to advocate on own behalf, thus fostering a sense of independence and empowerment. Crisis Intervention - Experienced in making rapid assessments and developing crisis management plans for admission to mental health inpatient programs. Social worker has access to multiple resource directories in addition to previously developed resources to meet the demands of a crisis. Education/Health promotion and prevention - Provides education related to VA and community resources, entitlements, Advance Directives/Living Will and will refer Veterans/families to the appropriate interdisciplinary team member for identified health education needs. Coordination of non-institutional and institutional services - Educates the Veteran, their families, and the team of all the options available to them and will collaborate with the Veteran and family on the preferred option. Supportive counseling - Provides supportive counseling, as needed, to Veterans and their caregivers who the purpose of such counseling is to deal with the psychosocial impact of coping with chronic/disabling illness(es), onset of a catastrophic illness. Individual, and group therapy- Individual psychotherapy-anger management, sexual abuse in childhood and adulthood, within and outside the military; personality disorders; PTSD; Schizophrenia and mood disorders using various therapeutic venues including cognitive behavior therapy, psychodynamic therapies, systems, reality therapies, narrative techniques, and structural techniques. Group Therapy-dynamic, reality, systems dealing with anger management, personality disorders, SUD, and PTSD. Administrative responsibilities - Enters all Veteran/family contacts in the electronic record using appropriate formats and templates. Social Worker will attend all appropriate staff meetings (interdisciplinary treatment team meetings, Social Work staff meetings, MHC staff meetings, other committees as appropriate, etc.) Work Schedule: Full-time; Monday - Friday; 07:30am-4:00pm Telework: VA supports the use of telework as a way to help attract and retain talented individuals in public service, increase worker productivity, and better prepare the agency to operate during emergencies. This position may be authorized for telework. Telework eligibility will be discussed during the interview process. Virtual: This is not a virtual position. Functional Statement #: Social Worker/402-F4016-09 and 402-F2207-11 Relocation/Recruitment Incentives: Not Authorized. Permanent Change of Station (PCS): Not Authorized. Financial Disclosure Report: Not required. NOTIFICATIONS: Veterans' preference does not apply for other current permanent Federal agency employees. This position is an AFGE Bargaining Unit position. This position is covered by locality-based comparability pay. Travel and relocation expenses are not authorized. This position is in the Excepted Service. May be required to attend conference at other facilities or other VA sites on occasion. Selectee may be required to work at any VA Maine Healthcare System campus, as needed. The incumbent may be required to travel to other VA campuses and CBOC's. Narrative responses to the knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs) will be required from the selectee in order to proceed with the appointment."]
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.