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This Position Is No Longer Available

Job Title:  Social Worker, Associate Chief of Staff for Mental Health
Department:  Department Of Veterans Affairs
Agency:  Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration
Job Announcement Number:  JL-13-2282013

This position is closed and no longer accepting online applications through USAJOBS.

The contents of the announcement can still be viewed.
$109,022.00 to $141,726.00 / Per Year
Friday, March 08, 2013 to Friday, March 22, 2013
Full Time - Excepted Service Permanent
1 vacancy in the following location:
East Orange, NJ United StatesView Map
United States Citizens


Vacancy Identification Number (VIN): 855358

To fulfill President Lincoln's promise – "To care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan" – by serving and honoring the men and women who are America's Veterans. How would you like to become a part of a team providing compassionate care to Veterans?

These vacancies are advertised at the single grade at which this position will be filled above the full performance level.

As a VA professional, your opportunities are endless. With many openings in the multiple functions of VA, you will have a wide range of opportunities at your fingertips. Not only is it the largest, most technologically advanced integrated health care system in the nation, but we also provide many other services to Veterans through the Benefits Administration and National Cemeteries.

NOTE: The Professional Standards Board (a peer-review group) will review the selected candidate’s education and experience and recommend the step at which the candidate will be placed in that specific grade. The salary is based on the grade and step approved for the selected candidate.

Relocation/Recruitment incentive MAY be authorized upon review and approval by management.

Special Employment Consideration: VA encourages persons with disabilities to apply.

This vacancy is a multi-disciplinary announcement.

If you are a Psychiatrist and are interested in applying, please apply here.

If you are a Psychologist and are interested in applying, please apply here.

If you are a Registered Nurse and are interested in applying, please apply here.


  • US citizenship
  • English language proficiency
  • Background/suitability investigation
  • Physical standards - Must pass pre-employment examination
  • Designated and-or Random Drug Testing required


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VA New Jersey Health Care System (VANJHCS) is looking for an Associate Chief of Staff, Mental Health and Behavioral Sciences (ACOS, MHBS) to guide the service in providing recovery-oriented and accessible mental health services to our veterans and to achieve excellence in mental health care, education, and research in a supportive environment.  VANJHCS is an integrated system consisting of two Veterans Health Administration facilities located in East Orange and Lyons, New Jersey and ten Community-Based Outpatient Clinics (CBOCs) located throughout the state.  For fiscal year 2011, VANJHCS treated 58,399 veterans, including 634,329 outpatient visits and 5,281 inpatients.  VANJHCS is affiliated with UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School and Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. 

Mental Health and Behavioral Sciences Service manages over 18,000 mental health patients and provides approximately 198,000 outpatient visits per year.  It employs over 300 mental health professionals and offers a full range of Mental Health Services including: a 52-bed acute inpatient program; outpatient services; emergency services; trauma services and substance abuse specialty services that include a 16-bed residential substance abuse treatment program and an opiate replacement program as well as a wide range of sub-specialty services.   Homeless services include an 86-bed Domicillary, vocational rehabilitation, and transitional housing programs.   

The Associate Chief of Staff, Mental Health and Behavioral Sciences is a position that requires sound leadership, clinical and administrative skills.  This position provides clinical leadership and administrative control over the Mental Health inpatient, outpatient, residential, and social programs and reports directly to the Chief of Staff.  This position will have responsibility for the management of the hospital’s mental health care programs, addressing needs, budget, quality indicators, performance measures, and staffing.  The ACOS, MHBS is responsible for developing, managing, and evaluating policies and standard operating procedures, ensuring that these policies and procedures are in compliance with all state and Federal regulations governing mental health care.  The ACOS, MHBS is a member of the Executive Committee of the Medical Staff, VISN Mental Health Council, Dean’s Committee, and serves on numerous workgroups, other committees, and councils at both the local and VISN level.  The ACOS, MHBS works closely with the ACOS, Education and affiliated health professions to ensure MH practitioners show effectiveness in teaching and comply with necessary trainee supervision requirements.  The ACOS, MHBS is also expected to work closely with the ACOS, Research to help facilitate research grants and expand research opportunities and initiatives.

The ACOS, MHBS is expected to remain privileged and provide clinical services in his/her specialty field.  The ACOS, MHBS is expected to demonstrate knowledge of established and evolving biomedical, clinical, and social sciences, and the application of their knowledge to patient care and the education of others.  The ACOS, MHBS ensures practice-based learning and improvement, and demonstrates the ability to use scientific evidence and methods to investigate, evaluate, and improve patient care.  The successful candidate is expected to demonstrate interpersonal and communication skills and behaviors that reflect a commitment to continuous professional development, ethical practice, understanding, sensitivity to diversity, and a responsible attitude toward their patients and their profession.  The successful candidate demonstrates both an understanding of the contexts and systems in which health care is provided, and the ability to apply knowledge to improve optimizing health care.


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Management Degree: Preferred (Such as MBA, MPH, or MHA).

Research: Academic appointment and research experience with publications in peer-reviewed journals preferred.

  • U.S. citizenship.
  • Master's degree in social work (MSW) from a school of social work fully accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).  
  • License or certification by a state to independently practice social work at the master's degree level. 


NOTE:  Grades for Assistant Service Chief, Chief Social Work Service and Social Work Executives in this section are determined by the scope of responsibility, assignment, number of social workers in the facility, and the complexity level of the facility.


Assistant Service Chief, Chief Social Work Service, and Social Work Executive 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-master's 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 below:


  1. Knowledge and skill in management/administration, which includes supervision, consultation, negotiation, and monitoring.
  2. Knowledge of legal, ethical, and professional standards applicable to social work practice.
  3. Ability to develop, maintain, and oversee social work programs in all settings.  This includes identifying needs for social work assessment, evaluation, and treatment; determining priority needs for social work services; and recommending adjustments to staffing levels accordingly.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Ability to provide supervision for social work licensure and practice supervision for facility social workers.



References:  VA Handbook 5005/23, Part II, Appendix F7, SOCIAL WORKER QUALIFICATION STANDARD , dated February 2009,  and OPM Group Coverage Qualification Standard for Professional and Scientific Positions at  

PHYSICAL REQUIREMENTS: See VA Directive and Handbook 5019

APPLICANTS PLEASE NOTE: Education must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education in order for it to be credited towards qualifications (particularly positions with a positive education requirement.) Therefore, applicants must report only attendance and/or degrees from schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. Applicants can verify accreditation at the following website:
All education claimed by applicants will be verified by the appointing agency accordingly. If you are using foreign education to meet qualification requirements, you must send a Certificate of Foreign Equivalency with your transcript in order to receive credit for that education.

Veteran's Preference:

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.  For more information on Veterans' Preference, please visit .


Your application, résumé and/or supporting documentation will be verified. Please follow all instructions carefully. Errors or omissions may affect consideration for employment. You may also be evaluated based upon the question responses you provide during a structured interview. In responding to structured interview questions you should be sure to cite specific examples of experience, explain exactly what you did, and the outcome.


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Working for the Department of Veterans Affairs offers a comprehensive benefits package that includes, in part, paid vacation, sick leave, holidays, life insurance, health benefits, thrift savings plan, and participation in the Federal Employees Retirement System. In addition to traditional "dollars and cents" benefits, we offer a range of benefits to help balance work and life. For more information please visit us at


This position is in the Excepted Service and does not confer competitive status.

This job opportunity announcement may be used to fill additional vacancies.


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To begin the process, click the Apply Online button at the right side of this screen to create an account or log in to your existing USAJOBS account. Follow the prompts to complete the occupational questionnaire. Please ensure you click the Submit My Answers button at the end of the process.

YOU MUST INCLUDE VA FORM 10-2850c IN YOUR APPLICATION PACKAGE TO BE CONSIDERED FOR THIS VACANCY.  You may upload the completed form to your USAJOBS or Application Manager account if you apply online. Then you can use the uploaded form again and again when applying for future vacancies.  Please see this guide ( ) for more information on uploading and re-using the form in your applications.  Other required forms and documents can also be saved in your account and used the same way.  Applicants are urged to apply online; this process is much easier and faster.

Note: To return to a previously Saved or Incomplete application, just reapply through your account in USAJOBS.  Check your account ( ) to see the status of your application after applying, including any messages that may have been sent to you.

If you cannot apply online:

1.     Click the following link to view and print the occupational questionnaire: View Occupational Questionnaire

2.     Print this 1203FX form to provide your response to the occupational questionnaire: ttp:// .

3.     Fax the completed 1203FX form along with all supporting documents to (478)757-3144.  Your 1203FX form must be placed on top of all materials being faxed and will serve as a cover page for your fax transmission.

4.     Keep a copy of your fax receipt in case verification is needed.

To fax supporting documents you are unable to upload:

1.     Complete this cover page using the following Vacancy ID: 855358.  You must use this fax cover sheet in order for your documents to be matched with your online application.

2.     Fax your documents to (478)757-3144.

The complete Application Package must be submitted by 11:59 PM (EST) on Friday, March 22, 2013.


To apply for this position, you must provide a complete Application Package which includes:

  1. CV or Resume 
  2. VA Form 10-2850c - Application For Associated Health Occupations -  Available at (required).
  3. Occupational Questionnaire 
  4. If prior military service, include all copies of your DD Forms 214 or proof of service (required). Applicants claiming preference based on service-connected disability, or based on being the spouse or mother of a disabled or deceased Veteran, must also complete and submit an SF 15, Application for 10-Point Veteran Preference (available at
  5. If currently employed in the VA system, include latest SF-50 - Notification of Personnel Action. (required).


Maria Tola
Phone: (908)647-0180x5044
Agency Information:
VHA New Jersey HCS
151 Knollcroft Road
Lyons, NJ


After we receive your complete application package (including any required documents), your qualifications will be reviewed to decide if you meet the basic requirements. You will be notified when this decision is made.

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