The incumbent in this position functions as a Social Worker for the Amarillo VA Health Care System Mental Health Care Line in Amarillo, under the immediate supervision of the Chief, Mental Health Service or designee. The Mental Health Clinic is a multi-disciplinary staff program serving a wide diversity of outpatient Veterans with mental health conditions and/or substance use disorders. 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. HPTs who are on track to graduate/complete the requirements should respond as if they have met the requirements. Provide details in the narrative sections of the assessment. 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: Must be proficient in written and spoken English. 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 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/. 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. 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 a social worker. In all cases, social workers must actively pursue meeting state prerequisites for licensure or certification starting from the date of their appointment. Failure to become licensed or certified within the prescribed amount of time will result in removal from the GS-0185 social worker series and may result in termination of employment. Once licensed or certified, social workers must maintain a full, valid, and unrestricted independent license or certification to remain qualified for employment. Loss of licensure or certification will result in removal from the GS-0185 social worker series and may result in termination of employment. 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). GS-11 Social Worker: 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. In addition to the experience above, candidates must demonstrate all of the following KSAs: (a) Knowledge of community resources, how to make appropriate referrals to community and other governmental agencies for services, and ability to coordinate services. (b) 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. (c) 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. (d) 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. (e) 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. This is the full performance level. Social workers at this level are licensed or certified to independently practice social work. Incumbents are assigned to all program areas, including but not limited to: inpatient or outpatient medicine, surgery, mental health, neurology, rehabilitation medicine, and geriatrics. 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. Preferred Experience: At least one year conducting assessment of patients' needs in a health care setting. Experience in working with a multidisciplinary treatment team (at least 1 year). At least one-year experience in electronic medical record documentation of health and behavioral issues. At least one-year experience in working with mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, PTSD. Experience in EBP's (evidenced based psychotherapies). References: VA Handbook 5005/120 Appendix G39 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 GS-11. Physical Requirements: Light lifting/carrying (under 15 pounds); walking/standing/repeated bending (1-2 hours); working alone and in teams (weekly). ["Individuals assigned as GS-9 grade level social workers are considered to be at the entry level and are closely supervised, as they are not yet functioning at the independent practice level conferred by independent licensure or certification. At the GS-11 full performance level, the position requires an individual with comprehensive professional competence and judgment. The clinical objectives and activities to be supported by the incumbent include: a. Improved mental health outpatient treatment.\nb. Improved mental health assessments and case management.\nc. Improved referrals for patients with mental health needs.\nd. Improved individualization of outpatient treatment.\ne. Improved mental health patient follow-up and aftercare. Major duties include but are not limited to: Plans Effective Treatment: Develops appropriate treatment plan. Completes an initial, comprehensive assessment and provides resources and referrals based on this assessment. Independently develops an effective intervention utilizing treatment matching to insure best outcome for individual. This will include referrals for community resources which may include nursing home care, assisted living environments, intensive outpatient treatment and other appropriate interventions. Of utmost concern will be the safety of the Veteran and assurance of effective outcomes for stabilization. Implements Treatment: Provides clinical services to clients. Provides counseling, guidance, support and other assistance as identified. Assists clients in individual and/or family counseling. Provides referrals to VA and community resources. as needed (i.e. transition to halfway houses, shelters, etc.). Addresses comprehensive needs of clients including those with serious psychiatric instability. Implements motivational and counseling skills to encourage clients to utilize effective interventions. Utilizes professional skills in addressing Veterans who are unstable or indifferent to treatment and demonstrates empathic engagement skills to assist Veterans in mental health and substance use recovery. Utilizes comprehensive case management skills to address all aspects of psychosocial strengths and challenges to assist with barriers to effective care. Evaluates/Follows Up; Adjusts Treatment as Necessary: Establishes a continuing relationship with the client, evaluating progress towards goals, performing follow-up after referral or if the client misses a counseling session, and adjusts treatment plan as needed. Monitors client's progress, maintains comprehensive case documentation, and assesses effectiveness of treatment and adjusts interventions accordingly. Provides psychoeducation to Veteran and family to assist with greater understanding of illness and treatment expectations. Performs other related duties as assigned. While functioning as an independent professional, the incumbent is under the direct supervision of the Chief, Mental Health Service or designee. Discipline-specific guidance will be provided by an Advance Practice Supervisory Social Worker in Mental Health Service with oversight and input, as needed, by the Social Work Executive/Chief of Social Work. Incumbent meets the needs of customers while supporting VA missions. Consistently communicates and treats customers (Veterans, their representatives, visitors, and all VA staff) in a courteous, tactful, and respectful manner. Provides the customer with consistent information according to established policies and procedures. Handles conflict and problems in dealing with the customer constructively and appropriately. Work Schedule: Monday - Friday 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m\nTelework: Not Available\nVirtual: This is not a virtual position.\nFunctional Statement #: 000000\nRelocation/Recruitment Incentives: Not Authorized\nPermanent Change of Station (PCS): Not Authorized\nFinancial Disclosure Report: Not required\nThis is a bargaining unit position."]
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.