GS-11: In addition to meeting all basic requirements, 1 year of professional social work experience, equivalent to the next lower grade level, under qualified social work supervision. This experience must have been in a clinical setting and must have demonstrated the potential to perform advanced assignments independently.
In addition to meeting basic requirements, a doctoral degree in social work from a school of social work. 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.
Applicant must be licensed or certified at the Master's level to independently practice social work to be eligible for a GS-11.
In addition, the candidate must demonstrate the following knowledge, skills, and abilities:
- Knowledge of community resources, how to make appropriate referrals to community and other governmental agencies for services, and ability to coordinate services.
- 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 patients problems, strengths, weaknesses, coping skills and assistance needed, in collaboration with the patient, family and interdisciplinary treatment team.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Ability to independently evaluate his/her own practice through participation in professional peer review case conferences, research studies, or other organized means.
- Knowledge and skill in the use of computer software applications for drafting documents, data management, and tracking, especially those programs in use by VHA.
Non-Qualifying Experience: Clinical social work experience obtained prior to completion of the requirements for a Master's Degree in Social Work does not satisfy this requirement. NOTE: A clinical setting is a medical center, clinic (medical or psychiatric), a residential treatment center, or any other type of facility where social work participates in collaborative treatment and is identified with the medical profession.
Note: The full performance level of this vacancy is 11. The Professional Standards Board (a peer-review group) will review the selected candidates 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.
IN DESCRIBING YOUR EXPERIENCE, PLEASE BE CLEAR AND SPECIFIC. WE MAY NOT MAKE ASSUMPTIONS REGARDING YOUR EXPERIENCE.
Current Valid and unrestricted driver's license: The incumbent will need to possess and maintain a current valid and unrestricted driver's license. The work is generally sedentary in nature with daily intermittent walking, standing, bending, stooping, reaching, and carrying of lightweight items required. Periods of time may be moderately demanding to include increased driving, or assisting Veterans with impaired mobility while making visits to alternative living situations or other community agencies. Driving will be required. Intermittent complicated issues with Veteran or Caregiver may periodically become stressful. Verbal communication used frequently in contact with Veterans/family/significant others. Documentation in electronic medical record is required for position necessitating good hand/eye coordination. Rare lifting, moving, or transporting of Veterans possessions weighing up to 40 lbs. may occur. Work is typically performed in a clinical setting that exposes the incumbent to the communicable diseases common of the client population. Some work is performed outside the medical center/CBOC campus, where the environment cannot be controlled. The social worker practices, using professional judgment and expertise to make decisions about services and treatment provided to Veterans and their significant others/family members. The social worker is given authority to make their own work assignments within the program area to which assigned.
References: VA Handbook 5005/23, Part II, Appendix G39, SOCIAL WORKER QUALIFICATION STANDARDS, QUALIFICATION STANDARD , dated February 29, 2012.
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: 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 or other proof prior to appointment to document entitlement to preference. For more information on Veterans' Preference, please visit http://www.fedshirevets.gov/job/veterans.aspx.
HOW YOU WILL BE EVALUATED:
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.
INCOMPLETE APPLICATIONS will not be considered for applicants who fail to submit a complete application package. We cannot be held responsible for incompatible software, fax transmissions errors, or any other delays. You will not be contacted for missing, incomplete or clarification of information relating to your application materials.
CONDITIONS OF EMPLOYMENT: (Failure to comply may be grounds for withdrawal of an offer of employment or dismissal after appointment)
- Applicant is subject to a pre-employment physical examination.
- New Appointees will be subject to a background investigation to determine suitability.
- Male applicants born after December 31, 1959, must certify at the time of appointment that they have registered with the Selective Service system or are exempt for having to do so under Selective Service law.
- Applicants must not be listed on the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Office of Inspector General Sanctions database.
- Applicants selected for positions through this announcement will be subject to a one year probationary period.