The Senior Social Worker is responsible for providing mental health treatment and psychosocial intervention to address a broad range of medical and mental health issues. The incumbent serves Veterans who tend to have serious, frequent and severe crises, lack family or adequate community support networks, frequently fails to comply with instructions and treatments; have significant deficits in coping skills and require continuing psychosocial support. BASIC REQUIREMENTS. The basic requirements for employment as a VHA social worker are prescribed by statute in 38 U.S.C. § 7402(b)(9), as amended by section 205 of Public Law 106-419, enacted November 1, 2000. To qualify for appointment as a social worker in VHA, all applicants must meet the following: Citizenship. Be a citizen of the United States. (Non-citizens may be appointed when it is not possible to recruit qualified citizens in accordance with chapter 3, section A, paragraph 3g this part). 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/. Physical Requirements. See VA Directive and Handbook 5019, Employee Occupational Health Services. 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). English Language Proficiency. Candidates must be proficient in spoken and written English to be appointed as authorized by 38 U.S.C. § 7403(f). Preferred Experience: 1 year of community or field work experience. GRADE DETERMINATIONS. In addition to the basic requirements for employment, the following criteria must be met when determining the grade of candidates. Senior Social Worker, GS-12 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. 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. 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. Reference: VA Handbook 5005/120 PART II APPENDIX G39 II-G39 ["Performs specialized treatment of complex physical needs or mental illness, including provision and mastery of various of Evidenced Based Practices (EBP). Responsible for the overall function of program development, recruitment of Veteran patients, case management, networking with community resources, and coordination of care with the Psychiatrist and/or Nurse Practitioner and medical staff on-site, as well as within other departments at the Wilmington VAMC. Independently completes thorough psychosocial assessments to determine the functioning and needs of Veterans and/or their families. Utilizes this assessment in facilitating the Veteran's maximum use of treatment for attainment of the highest level of independence. Coordinates screening of Veterans for specific programs such as PTSD, ADATP, PRRTP, CNH, VIST, HHA, OEF/OIF and provides ongoing treatment and documentation, per VA Guidelines and facility policy. Provides education on advance health care planning and facilitates psychoeducational and support groups on a variety of topics for Veteran and their families. Ability to expand clinical knowledge in the profession, provide consultation and guidance to colleagues, role model effective social work practice skills, teach or provide orientation to less experienced Social Workers, develop innovations in practice interventions, and provide clinical supervision for social work licensure or certification. Provides training to Social Work interns, residents and staff from other disciplines. Receives and completes consults from interdisciplinary teams and other Social Workers on complex difficult cases using advance practice skills and expertise. Provides in person and/or utilizes telehealth services for individual, group, and family psychotherapy and advanced level case management interventions used in the treatment of Veterans with poly-trauma injuries, spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, visual impairment, post-traumatic stress disorder, addictions, and other serious disorders. Attends VA sponsored Evidenced Based Practice (EBP) trainings and offers EBP psychotherapy services that are more complex and intensive beyond general psychotherapy. Provides consultation to referral sources and is responsible for development and maintenance of professional standards of practice and educating others regarding same. Documents independently and in accordance with VHA DIRECTIVE 2011-025, that workload closeout must be transmitted no later than 7-calendar days from the date of the outpatient care encounter. This includes, documentation in CPRS electronic medical records, including psychosocial assessments, diagnostics, treatment, progress notes, follow-up and referrals. Interviews and conducts psychosocial assessments to establish Veteran's treatment needs, presenting problems, and DSM V diagnosis. Assesses high risk factors, acuity and need for services, at times for walk-ins and unscheduled visits. Interprets and explains VA treatment and benefit programs. Develops a treatment plan with the Veteran based on this assessment. Along with the Veteran, develops a plan that includes measurable time limited treatment goals. The plan will be reviewed during therapeutic sessions and reassessed as clinically appropriate. Provides independent consultation and makes recommendations to the interdisciplinary team on course of treatment. Acts as an advocate when appropriate while encouraging the Veteran and family to advocate on their own behalf, thus fostering a sense of independence and empowerment.\nHas the ability to complete urgent assessments and develops crisis management plans for admission to residential rehabilitation treatment programs (RRTPs), as needed. In the event of an alleged abuse case, medical or psychiatric emergency, medical center policy will be followed and in accordance with state reporting laws where the CBOC is located. Ensures that the interdisciplinary team is kept informed of any concerns with the patient and/or caregiver. Active in and accepts responsibility for the development and maintenance of professional standards of treatment, in accordance with National Association of Social Workers' Standards and Code of Ethics. Responsible for clinical program development and is accountable for clinical program effectiveness and modifications. Requires specialized knowledge of complex diagnosis and patient population, such as Schizophrenia, Bipolar Disorder, PTSD, TBI, high risk for suicidality, dual disorders-substance use disorders and mental health disorders. Other duties as assigned. Work Schedule: 8:00am to 4:30pm Monday - Friday\nTelework: May be available per the needs of the service.\nVirtual: This is not a virtual position.\nPosition Title/Functional Statement #:Senior Social Worker/000000\nRelocation/Recruitment Incentives: 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.