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. 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. 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: 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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 G-39 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. Driver's License is Required Physical Requirements: The work requires sitting, bending, stooping and walking consistent with the delivery of services in the office, hospital and community. The position may entail lifting of no more than 25 pounds on an occasional basis. Whenever possible, carts and dollies will be utilized as an alternative to lifting. In carrying out responsibilities, operation of a motor vehicle with a valid driver's license is required. The social worker must meet the requirements to use a government vehicle in accordance with VHA directive 2008-020. It will be necessary for the social worker to travel throughout the Altoona VAMC catchment area where they conduct interviews with Veterans, family members, representatives of community health, welfare and law enforcement agencies. ["They document all contacts with Veterans/families in the electronic medical record. They participate in program specific conference calls, as assigned. The social worker supports the administrative/clinical functions of the program by participating in quality assurance, policy and procedure development, program planning, preparation of reports and other duties as assigned. The social worker completes and enters Initial Data Forms, 6 month follow up data forms, Clinical Programs Reports and Discharges into Northeast Program Evaluation Center (NEPEC) data base in a timely manner. The social worker actively participates in committees; provides training to Medical Center and Mental Health staff through patient review conferences, in-service programs, and medical education presentations. They keep abreast of new developments in the field of mental health specifically PTSD, Substance Abuse, homelessness, and health care, and demonstrate the ability to incorporate this knowledge into practice. They use sound judgment in the interpretation of trends and patterns, the application of guidelines and the recommendation of program enhancements. The social worker performs a variety of inter-related activities which are usually carried simultaneously. The social worker possesses the ability to communicate effectively, both orally and in writing, with people of varied backgrounds. They adhere to VA and other federal confidentiality and privacy guidelines. The social worker is accountable for self-development activities, for enrolling in continuing education programs and independently obtaining the necessary continuing education credits to maintain the required social work licensure level. They are a member of the ICMHR Program social work team and provide coverage for other Social Workers as needed. Complete clinical documentation according to ICMHR and Medical Center standards. Provides documentation of patient care as prescribed by the ICMHR and Medical Center Directives. Also document any problem areas concerning implementation of the program and own activities within the programs and making suggestions for resolving any such problems consistent with ICMHR and Medical Center policies and procedures. They are responsible for planning and carrying out the assignment, resolving most conflicts that arise, coordinating and communicating with others as necessary and interpreting policies to accomplish their work. The social worker independently organizes work, sets priorities, meets multiple deadlines, and evaluates assigned program areas. The social worker will assure that all high-risk patients have completed and received a copy of a Suicide Safety Plan which documents crisis prevention strategies that the Veteran identifies and is in agreement with. The social worker attends all required team, interdisciplinary, committee, and service level meetings. The social worker participates in the development and implementation of continuous performance improvement processes and complies with performance measures as required by the VA for their specific population and/or program. They establish and maintain positive working relationships with VA employees, VA volunteers, Veterans, customers, and stakeholders within the VA and in the community. Also, the social worker assists with outreach to community resources such as 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. The social worker correctly utilizes the patient electronic record (CPRS) to capture care activities and productivity workload. The social worker documents all intervention in the medical record according to medical center and VA Central Office standards. They will provide timely and accurate documentation, using appropriate notes and templates as defined within the facility Suicide Prevention Program as well as mental health. The social worker adheres to VA and other federal confidentiality and privacy guidelines. The social worker is accountable for self-development activities, for enrolling in continuing education programs and independently obtaining the necessary continuing education credits to maintain the required social work licensure level. They are a member of the ICMHR Program social work team and provide coverage for other Social Workers as needed. The social worker performs other related duties as assigned. Preferred Experience: Community based treatment experience. Work Schedule: Monday thru Friday, 8:00 am to 4:30 pm Compressed/Flexible: Available Telework: Not Available Virtual: This is not a virtual position. Functional Statement #: Social Worker/PD000000 Relocation/Recruitment Incentives: Not Authorized EDRP Authorized: Contact the EDRP Coordinator for questions/assistance. Learn more Permanent Change of Station (PCS): Not Authorized Financial Disclosure Report: Not required"]
About Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration
Providing Health Care for Veterans: The Veterans Health Administration is America’s largest integrated health care system, providing care at 1,255 health care facilities, including 170 medical centers and 1,074 outpatient sites of care of varying complexity (VHA outpatient clinics), serving 9 million enrolled Veterans each year.