The Senior Social Worker practices in the Emergency Department to provide psychiatric emergency services as the licensed mental health provider. Services are provided from 7am to 11pm, seven days per week. 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/. [(1) 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.] (a) 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. Most states require two years of post-MSW experience as a prerequisite to taking the licensure/certification exam, and VHA gives social workers one additional year to pass the licensure/certification exam. In states such as California, Washington, and others where the prerequisites for licensure exceed two years, social workers must become licensed at the independent, master's level within one year of meeting the full state prerequisites for licensure. (b) A social worker who does not yet have a license that allows independent practice must be supervised by a licensed independent practitioner of the same discipline who is a VA staff member and who has access to the electronic health record. (c) Different states have different levels of licensure or certification, making it difficult for VHA staff to determine the independent practice level. Each state, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia completed surveys identifying the level of licensure or certification allowing independent practice. Copies of the surveys are on file in the VHA Office of Care Management and Social Work Services, and a summary spreadsheet of the levels of licensure or certification is available to social work professional standards board members for purposes of determining whether the social worker's level of licensure or certification meets the VHA qualification standards. All states except California use a series of licensure exams administered by the ASWB. Information can be found at https://www.aswb.org/. The ASWB is the association of boards that regulates social work. ASWB develops and maintains the social work licensing examination used across the country and is a central resource for information on the legal regulation of social work. The ASWB offers three examinations. The master's examination is generally used by states for the independent practice level of licensure or certification, while the advanced generalist and the clinical examinations are used for the advanced practice level of licensure or certification. Differences between the master's and the advanced exams demonstrate the expectation that advanced practice social workers will have a more sophisticated knowledge of practice theory and its application. (2) Failure to Obtain License or Certification. 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. (3) Loss of Licensure or Certification. 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. English Language Proficiency. Candidates must be proficient in spoken and written English to be appointed as authorized by 38 U.S.C. § 7403(f). 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: Senior Social Worker, GS-12 (1) Experience/Education. The candidate must have at least two years of experience post advanced practice clinical licensure and should be in a specialized area of social work practice of which, one year must be equivalent to the GS-11 grade level. Senior social workers have experience that demonstrates possession of advanced practice skills and judgment. Senior social workers are experts in their specialized area of practice. Senior social workers may have certification or other post-masters training from a nationally recognized professional organization or university that includes a defined curriculum/course of study and internship or equivalent supervised professional experience in a specialty. (2) Licensure/Certification. Senior social workers must be licensed or certified by a state at the advanced practice level which included an advanced generalist or clinical examination, unless they are grandfathered by the state in which they are licensed to practice at the advanced practice level (except for licenses issued in California, which administers its own clinical examination for advanced practice) and they must be able to provide supervision for licensure. (3) Demonstrated Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities. In addition to the experience above, candidates must demonstrate all of the following KSAs: (a) Skill in a range of specialized interventions and treatment modalities used in specialty treatment programs or with special patient populations. This includes individual, group, and/or family counseling or psychotherapy and advanced level psychosocial and/or case management. (b) Ability to incorporate complex multiple causation in differential diagnosis and treatment within approved clinical privileges or scope of practice. (c) Knowledge in developing and implementing methods for measuring effectiveness of social work practice and services in the specialty area, utilizing outcome evaluations to improve treatment services and to design system changes. (d) Ability to provide specialized consultation to colleagues and students on the psychosocial treatment of patients in the service delivery area, as well as role modeling effective social work practice skills. (e) Ability to expand clinical knowledge in the social work profession, and to write policies, procedures, and/or practice guidelines pertaining to the service delivery area. References: VA Handbook 5005 Part II-G39-9 The full performance level of this vacancy is GS-12. Physical Requirements: VA Directive and Handbook 5019, Employee Occupational Health Services. ["VA Careers - Social Work: https://youtube.com/embed/enRhz_ua_UU The incumbent performs specialized treatment of complex physical and mental illness for patients in the emergency department with psychiatric emergencies. In the absence of the Emergency Department/Outpatient Clinic Social Worker, he/she is also responsible for assisting any veterans/families who do not have another assigned Social Worker. Services are primarily provided in the emergency department with very little supervisory control. The incumbent is typically the only Social Worker on duty during early mornings, evenings, and weekends. He/She must demonstrate significantly advanced clinical skills and be able to function independently. The number of patients served is considerable. The incumbent incorporates complex multiple causation in differential diagnosis and treatment of veteran patients, including making psychosocial and psychiatric diagnoses within approved clinical privileges or scope of practice. Specific tasks may include: evaluation, DSM diagnosis, and intervention for psychiatric emergencies in the emergency department; psychosocial assessment, treatment planning, and coordination of care for patients in the program areas served; individual and group psychotherapy; consultation with other emergency services (San Diego Police, Psychiatric Emergency Response Team, crisis houses, etc); end of life counseling. The Senior Social Worker is able to provide individual, group, and family psychotherapy and advanced level case management interventions used in the treatment of veterans with serious medical and psychiatric disorders. The Social Worker provides services that access the continuum of care. The Social Worker provides services on an outpatient basis. The Social Worker develops and implements methods for measuring effectiveness of social work practice and services in the emergency psychiatric care and crisis intervention specialty areas, utilizing outcome evaluations to improve treatment services. The incumbent is able to demonstrate the ability to design changes based on empirical findings. The Senior Social Worker offers consultation to colleagues and students on the psychosocial treatment of patients treated in specialty areas, rendering professional opinions based on experience and expertise and role modeling effective social work practice skills. The incumbent demonstrates the ability to teach and mentor staff and students in the special area of practice and to provide supervision for licensure or specialty certifications. The Social Worker performs other related duties as assigned. Work Schedule: Full-Time, Monday-Friday\nCompressed/Flexible: Compressed Schedule available with Monday-Thursday schedule\nTelework: Not Available\nVirtual: This is not a virtual position.\nFunctional Statement #: 0000\nRelocation/Recruitment Incentives: Not Authorized\nPermanent Change of Station (PCS): Not Authorized\nFinancial Disclosure Report: Not required"]
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.