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 masters 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 masters degree in 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 masters degree level. Current state requirements may be found on the OHRM website.
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 up to the full performance level. For grade levels above the full performance level, the candidate must be licensed or certified.
Physical Requirements: See VA Directive and Handbook 5019.
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, this part.
Specialized Experience: Applicants must currently have experience at the full performance level for social workers which is at the GS-11 grade, who are licensed or certified to independently practice social work. They are assigned to all program areas, including inpatient or outpatient medicine, surgery, mental health, neurology, rehabilitation medicine, and geriatrics. Employees provide professional, independent social work services in the assigned area.
In addition to meeting all the Basic Requirements above, Specialized Experience is required for each level of consideration. Because this position's grade level is determined by a Professional Standards Board, based on the candidates licensure, registration and/or certifications, education, and experience, listed below are the three grade levels possible for this position.
Chief of Mental Health Services (CMHS)
-Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)
Additional Specialized Experience: Applicant must meet the one (1) year specialized experience at the next lower grade level for consideration at the GS-12, GS-13, or GS-14 level of this position. See Experience, Education and Licensure, and Demonstated Knowledge, Skills and Abilities below for the type of specialized experience required.
In facilities that may have a Social Work Department, individuals assigned as Chief of Mental Health Services have full responsibility for managing and supervising all aspects of Mental Health Service operations.
Grades for positions in this section are determined by the scope of responsibility, assignment, number of interdiciplinary mental health workers in the facility, and the complexity level of the facility.
Experience, Education and Licensure. The LCSW must evidence possession of supervisory and management skills, must be licensed or certified at the advanced practice level, and must be able to provide supervision for licensure. Their experience must demonstrate possession of advanced practice skills in administration, demonstrating progressively more professional competency skills and judgment. They may have certification or other post-masters degree 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 addition, they must demonstrate the professional KSAs in below.
Demonstrated Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities
a. Knowledge and skill in management/administration, which includes supervision, consultation, negotiation, and monitoring.
b. Knowledge of legal, ethical, and professional standards applicable to social work practice.
c. Ability to develop, maintain, and oversee social work programs in all settings. This includes identifying needs for assessment, evaluation, and treatment; determining priority needs for social work services; and recommending adjustments to staffing levels accordingly.
d. Demonstrated global knowledge of social work practice in health care and mental health settings including resources, and the policies and procedures pertaining to home and community based care, acute care, ambulatory care, long term care, performance measures, and clinical guidelines.
e. Ability to provide consultation to care line managers and other staff on social work qualification standards, social work practice, social work competency, social work productivity, and social work continuing education.
f. Ability to provide supervision for social work licensure and practice supervision for facility social workers.
GS-12 Chief of Mental Health Services. At the GS-l2 grade, individuals are typically assigned as chiefs of a small, minimally complex Service that offers basic social work services at Complexity Level 3 (Low Complexity) VHA facilities with one division. The chief has full management and supervisory responsibility for clinical practice, program management, education, human resource management and supervision, and organizational stewardship for the social work program. Such facilities may offer specialty care and services and may be affiliated with academic institutions. Typically, there are no subordinate supervisory social workers at the facility.
GS-13 Chief of Mental Health Services. At the GS-l3 grade, individuals are typically assigned as chiefs of a moderate to large, complex Service that offers basic and specialized mental health services in Complexity Level 2 (Medium Complexity) VHA facilities. The service normally has more than 25 social workers on staff and may include one or more subordinate supervisory social workers. The chief has full responsibility for clinical practice, program management, education, human resource management and supervision, and organizational stewardship for a social work program.
GS-14 Chief of Mental Health Service. GS-14 LCSW-CMHS is typically assigned to Complexity Level 1 (High Complexity) VHA facilities. They typically have full responsibility for provision of complex social work services requiring advanced practice skills. The service normally has more than 35 social workers on staff, including subordinate supervisory social workers. They have full responsibility for clinical practice, program management, education, human resource management and supervision, and organizational stewardship for social worker programs.
This position is in the Excepted
Service. Initial appointment to this position is subject to the recommendation
of the Social Work Professional Standards Board and approval by the Medical Center
Director. Grade and salary is recommended by the professional standards board
and will be based on the personal qualification of the candidate selected (i.e.
education, certifications, experience, etc.)
It is the policy of the Department of
Veterans Affairs that all health care professionals who claim licensure,
certification, or registration must be credentialed in the VetPro system.
VetPro is an internet enabled data bank that facilitates primary source review
of all credentials related to employment. The VetPro process must be completed
prior to appointment to this position.
This position is designated for random
drug screening. All applicants tentatively selected for VA employment in a
testing designated position are subject to urinalysis to screen for illegal
drug use prior to appointment. Applicants who refuse to be tested will be denied
employment with the VA.
This position has been determined to
one with direct patient care responsibilities and, as such, comes under the
provisions of Public Law 95-201, as amended. Person selected under this
announcement must be proficient in spoken and written English.
When applying for Federal Jobs,
eligible Veterans should claim preference on their application or résumé.
Applicants claiming preference based on service-connected disability, or based
on being the spouse or mother of a disabled or deceased Veteran, must complete
an SF 15, Application for 10-Point Veteran Preference. Veterans who are still
in the service may be granted tentative preference on the basis of information
contained in their applications, but they must produce a DD Form 214 or other
proof prior to appointment to document entitlement to preference. To receive
preference during the application process you must submit the required
documentation with your application packet. For more information on Veterans'
Preference, visit http://www.fedshirevets.gov/job/veterans.aspx.
Candidate selected will be required to
have a background investigation completed.
Although this position is
administrative in nature, candidate selected must meet physical standards in VA
Directive and Handbook 5019. Candidate selected will be required to
successfully complete a pre-employment physical.