Senior Social Worker

Veterans Health Administration - Department of Veterans Affairs

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 (MSW) 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 the CSWE website (www.cswe.org) to verify if that social work degree meets the accreditation standards for a master of social work. Licensure: 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. 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. Preferred Experience:
– Knowledge and experience in the use of medical and mental health diagnoses, disabilities, and treatment procedures, i.e. evidence based practice.
– Demonstrate an ability to conduct performance improvement efforts based on systems engineering principles, such as Lean and Six Sigma, Transformational Coaching, etc.
– Have a valid state driver’s license. 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 and Licensure. Senior Social Workers have experience that demonstrates possession of advanced practice skills and judgment. At least two years should be in an area of specialized social work practice. Senior social workers must be licensed or certified by a state at the advanced practice level which included an ASWB advanced generalist or clinical examination. 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 (see paragraph 3a(c)). Demonstrated Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities. In addition, the candidate must demonstrate the professional KSAs in subparagraph (b) below. 1. Advanced knowledge of and mastery of theories and modalities used in the specialized treatment of complex physical or mental illness. Ability to incorporate 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. Ability to determine priority for services and provide specialized treatment services.
2. Advanced and expert 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 interventions used in the treatment of veterans with polytraumatic injuries, spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, visual impairment, post-traumatic stress disorder, etc.
3. Advanced knowledge and expert skill 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. Ability to coordinate the delivery of specialized psychosocial services and programs. Ability to design system changes based on empirical findings.
4. Ability to provide subject matter consultation to colleagues and students on the psychosocial
treatment of patients treated in the specialty area, rendering professional opinions based on experience and expertise and role modeling effective social work practice skills. Ability to teach and mentor staff and students in the specialty area of practice and to provide supervision for licensure or for specialty certifications.
5. Ability to expand clinical knowledge in the profession, demonstrating innovation in the creation of new models of psychosocial assessment or intervention to identify and address specialized clinical needs. Ability to write policies, procedures, and/or practice guidelines pertaining to the specialty population or specialty treatment program. Assignments. Senior Social Workers are licensed or certified to independently practice social work at an advanced level. Senior Social Workers typically practice in a major specialty treatment program area, such as a Polytrauma Rehabilitation Center or Polytrauma Network Site; a Spinal Cord
Injury Rehabilitation Center, or a national VHA referral center, such as a national Center for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder or a national Transplant Center, or other program areas of equivalent scope and complexity. The Senior Social Worker is assigned administrative responsibility for clinical program development and is accountable for clinical program effectiveness and modification of service patterns. They are also assigned in settings where they have no access to social work supervision, such as CBOCs or satellite outpatient clinics. They may be assigned to work with special patient populations with highly-complex health or mental health problems requiring expert level psychosocial interventions, such as VA/DOD liaisons assigned to Military Treatment Facilities as part of seamless transition or social worker case managers in (ICMHR) programs. References: VA Handbook 5005, Part II Appendix G39 http://vaww.va.gov/ohrm/Directives-Handbooks/Documents/5005.pdf Physical Requirements: Light Lifting (15 lbs and under); Light Carrying (15 lbs and under); Both hands required; Ability for rapid mental and muscular coordination simultaneously; Near vision correctable at 13″ to 16″; Far vision correctable in one eye to 20/20 and to 20/40 in the other; Hearing (aid permitted); emotional and mental stability.
The Senior Social Worker (IRT) position is a non-supervisory position that reports to the Chief of Mental Health. The Senior Clinical Social Worker provides applied advanced clinical skills and case management services in a specialized program.