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.
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.
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.
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.
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 up to the full performance 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 3 years of their appointment as a social worker.
Failure to become licensed or certified within the proscribed amount of time will result in removal from the GS-185 social work series and may result in termination of employment.
Preferred Experience: Licensed applicants in a state at the independent practice level.
Grade Determinations: GS-11 Social Worker: Experience, Education and Licensure.
Completion of a minimum of 1 year of post-MSW degree experience in the field of health care social work (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 licensure requirements.
Or, In addition to meeting basic requirements, a doctoral degree in social work from a school of social work may be substituted for the required 1 year of professional social work experience in a clinical setting.
In addition, the candidate must demonstrate the KSAs in subparagraph (b) below.
Demonstrated Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities Knowledge of community resources, how to make appropriate referrals to community and other governmental agencies for services, and ability to coordinate services.
Ability to independently assess the psychosocial functioning and needs of patients and their family members and to formulate and implement a treatment plan, identifying the patient's problems, strengths, weaknesses, coping skills and assistance needed, in collaboration with the patient, family and interdisciplinary treatment team.
Ability to independently conduct psychosocial assessments and provide psychosocial treatment to a wide variety of individuals from various socio-economic, cultural, ethnic, educational and other diversified backgrounds.
This requires 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 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.
Knowledge of psychosocial treatment and ability to independently implement treatment modalities in working with individuals, families and groups who are experiencing a variety of psychiatric, medical and social problems to achieve treatment goals.
This requires independent judgment and skill in utilizing supportive, problem solving or crisis intervention techniques.
Ability to independently provide counseling and/or psychotherapy services to individuals, groups and families.
Social workers must practice within the bounds of their license or certification.
For example, some states may require social workers providing psychotherapy to have a clinical level of licensure.
Ability to provide consultation services to other staff about the psychosocial needs of patients and the impact of psychosocial problems on health care and compliance with treatment.
Ability to provide orientation and coaching to new social workers and social work graduate students.
Ability to serve as a field instructor for social work graduate students who are completing VHA field placements.
Ability to independently evaluate his/her own practice through participation in professional peer review case conferences, research studies, or other organized means.
Knowledge and skill in the use of computer software applications for drafting documents, data management, and tracking, especially those programs in use by VHA.
This is the full performance level for social workers.
GS-11 social workers are licensed or certified to independently practice social work.
They are assigned to all program areas, including inpatient or outpatient medicine, surgery, mental health, neurology, rehabilitation medicine, and geriatrics.
Employees provide professional, independent social work services in the assigned area.
References: VA Handbook 5005, Part II, Appendix G39, Social Worker Qualification Standard, GS-185, dated February 29, 2012.
The full performance level of this vacancy is GS-11.
Physical Requirements: The incumbent's work is primarily sedentary.
Infrequently, assignments may require prolonged standing.
The incumbent may carry light items, such as books, files or a laptop computer.
Tasks may require moderate walking and manual dexterity.
The incumbent must possess current driver's license and drive a government vehicle in carrying out professional duties when deemed necessary at the Community Based Outpatient Clinics (CBOCs).