This Position Is No Longer Available
  1. Overview
  2. Duties
  3. Qualifications & Evaluations
  4. Benefits & Other Info
  5. How to Apply

Job Title:Social Worker (ASPIRE )

Department:Department Of Veterans Affairs

Agency:Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration

Job Announcement Number:VHA-664-13-JMH-919792

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

The contents of the announcement can still be viewed.

SALARY RANGE:

$51,617.00 to $81,184.00 / Per Year

OPEN PERIOD:

Wednesday, July 03, 2013 to Wednesday, July 10, 2013

SERIES & GRADE:

GS-0185-09

POSITION INFORMATION:

Full Time - Excepted Service Permanent

PROMOTION POTENTIAL:

11

DUTY LOCATIONS:

1 vacancy in the following location:
San Diego, CA United StatesView Map

WHO MAY APPLY:

United States Citizens

JOB SUMMARY:

Vacancy Identification Number (VIN): 919792 (Include on all documents) 

The Social Worker position is located in the Social Work Service for the VA San Diego Healthcare System. 

 

 

 

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 range of grades covered by the VA qualifications standard.

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 full performance level of this vacancy is GS -11. The actual grade at which an applicant may be selected for this vacancy may be GS-9 or GS-11.  The Professional Standards Board (a peer-review group) will review the selected candidate’s education and experience and recommend the grade and step at which the candidate will be placed. The salary is based on the grade and step approved for the selected candidate.

VA encourages persons with disabilities to apply.

For more information on the Department of Veterans Affairs, go to http://www.vacareers.va.gov/.

KEY REQUIREMENTS

  • U.S. Citizenship.
  • Must pass pre-employment examination.
  • English language proficiency required.
  • Designated and/or random drug testing may be required.
  • Background/suitability investigation required.
  • Possess a licensure or certification by a state - advanced practice level.

DUTIES:

Back to top

The Social Worker practices within the mental health services of the San Diego ASPIRE Center Residential Rehabilitation Treatment Program (RRTP), of the VA San Diego Healthcare System.    Specific tasks may include: treatment planning/goal setting, referral(s) to service providers and specifically, treatment clinics, resource utilization and development, advocacy, crisis intervention, education and prevention, case management and care coordination, supportive counseling, and administrative responsibilities to their assigned clinic.  The Social Worker may conduct individual and/or group psychotherapy (under clinical supervision, independently if licensed) within the Inpatient unit. 

In this role, the Social Worker is able to coordinate community-based services, including information and referral for additional services from other VA, government, and community agency programs.  This includes independently identifying high-risk patients and provides case management services.  The Social Worker in this role is able to independently work with Veterans and their families who are experiencing a wide range of complicated medical, psychiatric, emotional, behavioral, and psychosocial problems.

As a Social Worker in this role, you also independently provide crisis intervention services, seeking to address the case as well as the presenting complaint, coordinates family conferences, and serves as liaison to family members.  The Social Worker has working knowledge and experience in use of medical and mental health diagnoses, disabilities and treatment procedures; this includes acute, chronic and traumatic illnesses/injuries, common medications and their effects/side effects, and medical terminology. 

 

Relocation expenses will not be reimbursed.


QUALIFICATIONS REQUIRED:

Back to top

                                                                         

 

Qualification Requirements: VA Qualification Standards Handbook 5005, Part II, Appendix G39, Social Worker. Additional information on the qualification requirements is outlined in the VA Handbook 5005. It is available for your review at http://www/va/gov/ohrm/joblistings/VAQualStds.doc

To qualify for this position, applicants must meet all requirements by the closing date of this announcement.

A Copy of your Transcripts and License MUST BE SUMBITTED with your application packet.

The following are requirements for appointment as a Social Worker in the Veterans Health Administration (VHA). These requirements apply to all VHA Social Workers in the General Schedule (GS)-185 series, including those assigned to VA medical centers, Community-Based Outpatient Clinics (CBOCs), Vet Centers, Veterans Integrated Service Network (VISN) offices, and VHA Central Office.

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:

a. 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.)

b. 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 the CSWE website to verify that Social Work degree meets the accreditation standards for a Masters of Social Work.

c. 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. Current state requirements may be found on the OHRM website.

(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 up to the full performance level. For grade levels above the full performance level, the candidate must be licensed or certified.

(a) For grades below or at the full performance 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 3 years of their appointment as a social worker. Most states require 2 years of post-MSW experience as a pre-requisite 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) It is VHA policy that Social Workers 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.

(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. 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. Failure to become licensed or certified within the proscribed amount of time will result in removal from the GS-185 social work 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-185 social work series and may result in termination of employment.

GRADE REQUIREMENTS

a. Creditable Experience:

(1) Knowledge of Current Professional Social Work Practices. To be creditable, the experience must have required the use of knowledge, skills, abilities, and other characteristics associated with current professional social work practice. The experience or education must be post-MSW degree. Experience and education satisfying this requirement must be active professional practice, which is paid/non-paid employment as a professional social worker, as defined by the appropriate state licensing board.

(2) Quality of Experience. Experience is only creditable if it is obtained following graduation with a master's degree in social work and if it includes work as a professional social worker directly related to the position to be filled. Qualifying experience must also be at a level comparable to social work experience at the next lower level.

(3) Advanced Practice Level. Advanced Practice Level is defined as the ability to provide independent and expert clinical psychosocial and case management services in a specialized area of practice to veterans who tend to have serious and severe crises, may lack any familial and community support, may be poor self-monitors, may frequently fail to comply with instructions and treatment, or may have major deficits in coping skills and require continuing professional psychological support. The advanced practice or Senior Social Worker has an increased depth and breadth of practice skills; has expertise in participating in the professional development of colleagues through mentorship and teaching; demonstrates leadership in developing and expanding professional intervention strategies; demonstrates leadership in defining and attending to professional practice issues; and has the ability to expand the conceptual knowledge of the profession. The advanced practice or Senior Social Worker will make independent professional decisions and recommendations for agency action; the consequences to the veteran of these decisions and actions may be quite serious. Work involves intensive social work services requiring the exercise of mature professional judgment and the flexible use of a wide range of complex social work practice skills not typically required in routine social work interventions. The advanced practice or senior social worker has mastered a range of specialized interventions and provides consultation to colleagues, renders professional opinions based on experience and expertise, develops new models of psychosocial assessment or intervention, and incorporates complex multiple causation in differential diagnosis and treatment. The advanced practice or Senior Social Worker utilizes outcome evaluations to further treatment and designs system changes based on empirical findings.

(4) Differentiating Full Performance Level from Advanced Practice Level. This is done based on the differences between independent practice, which is required for all VHA social workers, and advanced practice. A social worker practicing at the independent level has a generalized knowledge of practice, whereas the social worker practicing at the advanced level has specialized knowledge of practice typically related to a particular diagnosis or patient population. The advanced practice social worker can be further differentiated from the independent practice social worker by his/her 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. A social worker with advanced practice skills and personal qualifications that meet the standard for the Senior Social Worker will have passed an advanced generalist or clinical ASWB examination and be assigned to a position that requires use of the advanced practice skills in order to be considered for the senior social worker grade.

(5) Part-Time Experience. Part-time experience as a professional social worker is creditable according to its relationship to the full-time workweek. For example, a social worker employed 20 hours a week, or on a 1/2-time basis, would receive 1 full-time workweek of credit for each 2 weeks of service.

(6) Fellowships or Post-Graduate Training. Fellowship and post-graduate training programs are typically in a specialized area of clinical practice, i.e., group or family practice. Training as a fellow or post-graduate may be substituted for creditable experience on a year-for-year basis.

(7) Practicum in a VA Setting. A VHA practicum experience may not be substituted for experience, as the practicum (field placement) is completed prior to graduation with a master's degree in social work.

b. Grade Determinations. In addition to the basic requirements for employment, the following criteria must be met when determining the grade of candidates.

GS-9 Social Worker

Experience, Education and Licensure. GS-9 is the entry level grade for the GS-185 social work series and is used for social workers with less than one year of post-MSW experience and for social workers who are not yet licensed or certified at the independent practice level. Social workers at the GS-9 level are working toward completion of prerequisites for licensure or certification. In addition, the candidates must demonstrate the KSAs in subparagraph (b).

NOTE: Social workers with more than one year of post-MSW experience may be appointed at an advanced step within the GS-9 grade commensurate with their years of experience.

(b) Demonstrated Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

1. Ability to provide psychosocial treatment to a wide variety of individuals from various socio-economic, cultural, ethnic, educational, and other diversified backgrounds. This requires knowledge of human development and behavior (physical and psychological), and the differential influences of the environment, society, and culture.

2. Ability to work with patients and families who are experiencing a variety of psychiatric, medical, and social problems utilizing individual, group, and family counseling skills. Work with more complex problems is done under close supervision. With guidance from the social work supervisor, ability to assess the psychosocial functioning and needs of patients and their family members, and to formulate and implement a treatment plan, identifying the patient's problems, strengths, weaknesses, coping skills, and assistance needed.

3. Basic knowledge of psychosocial treatment modalities and, under supervision, ability to implement treatment modalities in working with individuals, families, and groups to achieve treatment goals. This requires judgment and skill in utilizing supportive, problem solving, or crisis intervention techniques.

4. Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with clients, staff, and representatives of community agencies. Ability to communicate effectively, both orally and in writing, with people from varied backgrounds.

5. Knowledge of medical and mental health diagnoses, disabilities, and treatment procedures. This includes acute, chronic, and traumatic illnesses/injuries; common medications and their effects/side effects; and medical terminology.

6. Basic skill in the use of computer software applications for drafting documents, data management, and tracking. Ability to learn and utilize software programs in use by VHA.

(c) Assignments. Individuals assigned as GS-9 social workers are considered to be at the entry level and are closely supervised, as they are not yet functioning at the independent practice level conferred by independent licensure or certification. Social Workers at the GS-9 entry level are typically assigned to VHA program areas that do not require specialized knowledge or experience. Since these social workers are not practicing at an independent level, they should not be assigned to program areas where independent practice is required, such as in a CBOC, unless there is a licensed social worker in the program area who can provide supervision for practice. GS-9 social workers provide psychosocial services in the assigned area under supervision.

GS-11 Social Worker

Experience, Education and Licensure. Promotion to the GS-11 full performance level requires completion of a minimum of 1 year of post-MSW degree experience in the field of health care social work (VA or non-VA experience) and licensure or certification in a state at the independent practice level. NOTE: For appointment licensure or certification at this level please refer to paragraph 2c.

OR,

 

 

In addition to meeting basic requirements, a doctoral degree in social work from a school of social work may be substituted for the required 1 year of professional social work experience in a clinical setting.

 

The Professional Standards Board will seek the following in a best qualfying candidate for the GS-9 level:

 

1. Ability to provide psychosocial treatment to a wide variety of individuals from various socio-economic, cultural, ethnic, educational, and other diversified backgrounds.  This requires knowledge of human development and behavior (physical and psychological), and the differential influences of the environment, society, and culture.  

2. Ability to work with patients and families who are experiencing a variety of psychiatric, medical, and social problems utilizing individual, group, and family counseling skills.  Work with more complex problems is done under close supervision.  With guidance from the social work supervisor, ability to assess the psychosocial functioning and needs of patients and their family members, and to formulate and implement a treatment plan, identifying the patient’s problems, strengths, weaknesses, coping skills, and assistance needed.  

3. Basic knowledge of psychosocial treatment modalities and, under supervision, ability to implement treatment modalities in working with individuals, families, and groups to achieve treatment goals.  This requires judgment and skill in utilizing supportive, problem solving, or crisis intervention techniques.  

4. Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with clients, staff, and representatives of community agencies.  Ability to communicate effectively, both orally and in writing, with people from varied backgrounds.  

5. Knowledge of medical and mental health diagnoses, disabilities, and treatment procedures.  This includes acute, chronic, and traumatic illnesses/injuries; common medications and their effects/side effects; and medical terminology.  

6. Basic skill in the use of computer software applications for drafting documents, data management, and tracking.  Ability to learn and utilize software programs in use by VHA.

 

The Professional Standards Board will seek the following in a best qualfying candidate for the GS-11 level:

 

1. Knowledge of community resources, how to make appropriate referrals to community and other governmental agencies for services, and ability to coordinate services.  

2. Ability to independently assess the psychosocial functioning and needs of patients and their family members and to formulate and implement a treatment plan, identifying the patient’s problems, strengths, weaknesses, coping skills and assistance needed, in collaboration with the patient, family and interdisciplinary treatment team.  

3. Ability to independently conduct psychosocial assessments and provide psychosocial treatment to a wide variety of individuals from various socio-economic, cultural, ethnic, educational and other diversified backgrounds.  This requires knowledge of human development and behavior (physical and psychological) and the differential influences of the environment, society and culture.  

4. Knowledge and experience in the use of medical and mental health diagnoses, disabilities and treatment procedures.  This includes acute, chronic and traumatic illnesses/injuries, common medications and their effects/side effects, and medical terminology.  

5. Knowledge of psychosocial treatment and ability to independently implement treatment modalities in working with individuals, families and groups who are experiencing a variety of psychiatric, medical and social problems to achieve treatment goals.  This requires independent judgment and skill in utilizing supportive, problem solving or crisis intervention techniques.  

6. Ability to independently provide counseling and/or psychotherapy services to individuals, groups and families.  Social workers must practice within the bounds of their license or certification.  For example, some states may require social workers providing psychotherapy to have a clinical level of licensure.  

7. Ability to provide consultation services to other staff about the psychosocial needs of patients and the impact of psychosocial problems on health care and compliance with treatment.  Ability to provide orientation and coaching to new social workers and social work graduate students.  Ability to serve as a field instructor for social work graduate students who are completing VHA field placements.  

8. Knowledge and skill in the use of computer software applications for drafting documents, data management, and tracking, especially those programs in use by the VHA.  

9. Ability to independently evaluate his/her own practice through participation in professional peer review case conferences, research studies, or other organized mean

IN DESCRIBING YOUR EXPERIENCE, PLEASE BE CLEAR AND SPECIFIC. WE MAY NOT MAKE ASSUMPTIONS REGARDING YOUR EXPERIENCE. 

References: VA Handbook 5005/23, Part II, Appendix F7, SOCIAL WORKER QUALIFICATION STANDARD, dated February 2009.


APPLICANTS PLEASE NOTE: You MUST attach a copy of your transcripts to be considered for this position; unofficial are sufficient; however, if selected, you WILL be required to provide official.  Those applications without transcripts will not be eligible for consideration. 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: http://www.ed.gov/admins/finaid/accred/index.html 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. ***

Veterans 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 (member-4 copy) displaying the type of discharge, i.e., Honorable) or other proof prior to appointment to document entitlement to preference. 

For more information on Veterans' Preference, please visit http://www.fedshirevets.gov/job/vetpref/index.aspx. 

HOW YOU WILL BE EVALUATED:

When the application process is complete, your application will be reviewed to determine if you meet the hiring eligibility and qualification requirements listed in this announcement.  You will be rated based on the information provided in your resume and responses to the questionnaire, along with your supporting documentation to determine your level of knowledge, skill and ability related to the job requirements.  

 

If, after reviewing your resume and supporting documentation, a determination is made that you inflated your qualifications and/or experience you may be found ineligible/not qualified.

 


BENEFITS:

Back to top
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, 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 http://www4.va.gov/jobs/job_benefits/benefits.asp.

OTHER INFORMATION:

This position will be filled on a full-time permanent basis. Upon completing any required probationary period, the position will be permanent.

 

PHYSICAL REQUIREMENTS: Must satisfactorily complete a pre-employment physical involving light lifting and carrying (under 15 pounds), walking and standing with the ability for rapid mental and muscular coordination simultaneously, near and far vision including hearing . (See VA Directive and Handbook)

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

Receiving Service Credit for Earning Annual (Vacation) Leave: Federal Employees earn annual leave at a rate (4, 6 or 8 hours per pay period) which is based on the number of years they have served as a Federal employee. VA may offer newly-appointed Federal employees credit for their job-related non-federal experience or active duty uniformed military service. This credited service can be used in determining the rate at which they earn annual leave.

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



HOW TO APPLY:

Back to top

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 (http://www4.va.gov/OHRM/joblistings/uploading-and-using-documents-online.doc) 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 ( https://my.usajobs.gov/Login.aspx ) to see the status of your application after applying, including any messages that may have been sent to you.

Applicants are urged to apply online; this process is much easier and faster; however, if you cannot apply online you may mail, drop off, or fax your application package as follows:

1. You may fax:

Click the following link to view and print the occupational questionnaire:View Occupational Questionnaire; print this 1203FX form to provide your response to the occupational questionnaire: http://www.opm.gov./forms/pdf_fill/OPM1203fx.pdf. 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. Keep a copy of your fax receipt in case verification is needed.

2. You may drop off in person at the VA San Diego Healthcare System Human Resources Office located at: 3350 La Jolla Village Drive, San Diego, CA 92161.  Ensure to include the VIN on the top right corner of each document. 

3. You may mail applications to: VA San Diego Healthcare System, Human Resources Office (05), Announcement Number, 5120 Shoreham Place, Suite 100, San Diego, CA 92122. Ensure to include the VIN on the top right corner of each document. 

To fax supporting documents you are unable to upload:

  1. Complete this cover page  http://staffing.opm.gov/pdf/usascover.pdf using the following Vacancy ID: 501588.  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 Wednesday, July 10, 2013.



REQUIRED DOCUMENTS:

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

  1. Resume (required).
  2. VA Form 10-2850c - Application for Associated Health Occupations (Available at  http://www.va.gov/vaforms/medical/pdf/vha-10-2850c-fill.pdf) (required).
  3. Transcripts - Unofficial (required).
  4. Online Questionnaire.
  5. Optional Form 306 - Declaration for Federal Employment (Available at http://www.opm.gov/forms/pdf_fill/of612.pdf).  This is a required form and must be submitted with your application (required).
  6. If prior military service, include all copies of your DD Forms 214 (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 http://www.opm.gov/forms/pdf_fill/SF15.pdf).
  7. If currently employed in the VA system, include latest SF-50 - Notification of Personnel Action. (required). 

AGENCY CONTACT INFO:

VASDHS Human Resources
Phone: (858)552-8585x3401
Email: VASDHSJOBS@VA.GOV
Agency Information:
VHA San Diego HCS
Human Resources
San Diego, CA
92122

WHAT TO EXPECT NEXT:

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.

Back to top
Dock
Print Preview

Job Announcement Number:

VHA-664-13-JMH-919792

Control Number:

346990100