This position is located within the Behavioral VA Care Line, with primary assignment to Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Treatment Services located at the Batavia VA Medical Center. The social worker functions as part of an interdisciplinary team, providing comprehensive outpatient and/or residential assessment and treatment to Veterans, as well as clinical consultation and systemic consultation to allied clinicians and administrators. 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/. 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: GS-11 Requirements: 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. NOTE: For appointment licensure or certification at this level please refer to paragraph 3c. 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 Full Performance Level Assignments. 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. Employees provide professional, independent social work services in the assigned area. Duties include but are not limited to: assessing and documenting identified behaviors or symptoms of abuse, neglect, exploitation and/or intimate partner violence; use of clinical social work skills and knowledge to maintain Veteran privacy and confidentiality per policies, handbooks or directives; and acts as an advocate with appropriate VA and community service providers and agencies when it serves the best interest of the Veteran and family members/caregiver. Incumbent independently assesses the psychosocial functioning and needs of Veterans and their family members, identifying the Veteran's strengths, weaknesses, coping skills, and psychosocial acuity. In collaboration with the Veteran, family/caregiver, and interdisciplinary treatment team, the social worker facilitates the delivery of health care services. The social worker identifies family/caregiver stressors, conducts assessment and provides specific interventions. The incumbent provides case management and care coordination to facilitate appropriate delivery of health care services, incorporates complex multiple causation in differential diagnosis and treatment of Veterans, including making psychosocial and psychiatric diagnoses within approved clinical privileges or scope of practice. The social worker links the Veteran with services, resources, and opportunities, in order to maximize the Veteran's independence, health, and well-being. The social worker conducts timely assessment of at-risk Veterans in crisis to identify immediate needs, evaluate risk, and initiate safety plan as appropriate. The social worker provides interventions independently with Veterans and their families/caregivers who are experiencing a wide range of complicated medical, behavioral health, financial, legal, and psychosocial problems. They provide a range of interventions and treatment modalities which may include individual, group, and/or family counseling or psychotherapy. They independently formulate and implement a treatment plan including measurable, achievable goals identifying the Veterans' needs, strengths, weaknesses, coping skills, and psychosocial acuity. Social workers serve on committees, work groups, and task forces at the facility and VISN level or in the community. References: VA Handbook 5005/120, Part II, Appendix G39. 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. Physical Requirements: Work is sedentary but also demands standing, walking, bending, twisting, and carrying light items. ["Incumbent has knowledge of the principles and theoretical concepts of social work as well as the administrative mechanisms appropriate to Veterans' care. Position requires the ability to select the most appropriate and pertinent techniques for improving similar programs. Incumbent possesses the ability to use fact-finding techniques and has basic knowledge of program objectives. Knowledge and skill in Evidence Based Practices for treatment of PTSD. Best practices, practice guidelines and evidence-based treatment protocols are utilized to the extent feasible in all therapeutic interventions. Individuals assigned as GS-11 Social Worker are considered to be at the full performance level. A GS-11 social worker has a Master's Degree in Social Work granted by a graduate program fully accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). Incumbent's work is primarily concerned with the welfare of patients/families with mental illness that might be at considerable risk of personal damage or emotional involvement which would require particular caution to prevent or minimize destructive consequences. Incumbent is responsible for interviewing Veterans to establish facts regarding the situation, its nature, cause, components and impact on the client. Incumbent interviews Veterans and families, interprets VHA's guidelines and eligibility requirements and completes comprehensive psychosocial history and assessment. Incumbent's work would also include making diagnosis of the Veteran's condition. This would include the incumbent spending sufficient time learning enough about the Veteran affected to understand correctly the present and potential consequences to the client. Incumbent is responsible for insightful assessment of cases involving Veterans with mental illness, who may react to their situations with impulsive behaviors that may be self-destructive and emotional problems that are associated with health conditions. Independently conducts psychosocial assessments. Develops treatment plans in collaboration with the Veteran/family and with interdisciplinary treatment team. Incumbent possesses the skills to offer psychosocial interventions and measures outcomes to interventions. Incumbent is responsible for the development of individualized recovery plans. Possesses the ability to assess the Veteran's situation in order to assist in developing goals that would involve resources that are available to the Veteran. Incumbent will assess the likelihood that the Veteran will accept the differing types of assistance through the available resources. Incumbent also assesses whether the current level of care is appropriate for continuation for the Veteran or if a referral is needed and appropriate. Through the process of evaluating, following-up and adjusting treatment when necessary, the incumbent establishes a continuing relationship with the Veteran, evaluates progress made towards goals, performs follow-up after referral or if the Veteran misses an appointment and works with the Veteran to make changes to the recovery plan according to the Veterans' current goals for treatment. Incumbent monitors the Veterans progress in treatment, maintain comprehensive case documentation and ensures accurate diagnosis and treatment of clinical disorders. Incumbent demonstrates competent discretion in decisions to adjust treatment and consults treatment team and clinical supervisor when appropriate. It is also the responsibility of the incumbent to provide individual and group therapy to Veterans diagnosed with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in the outpatient and/or residential treatment setting. Incumbent provides these clinical services to the Veteran within the policies of the assigned clinical setting. Incumbent provides comfort, emotional support and other assistance through empirically based therapeutic interventions. Incumbent would provide therapeutic interventions to both Veterans individually or, if appropriate and requested, the Veteran's family. Incumbent serves as a referral source for Veterans to other community resources or other Governmental resources to resolve problems and meet the needs of the Veteran. Incumbent is able to coordinate community-based services, including information and referral for additional services from other VA programs, other government programs and community agency programs. The incumbent utilizes highly professional skills to motivate Veterans to identify their own personal strengths and empowers the Veteran to understand the role that his or her strengths play in facilitating growth, change and the maintenance of this gained effectiveness in their lives. Work Schedule: M-F 0800-1630"]
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.