The social worker provides psychosocial clinical care to Veterans participating in the Mental Health Intensive Case Management (MHICM) program. The social worker serves as the primary contact and liaison for Veterans directly assigned to them for care within the community. The social worker is responsible for having working knowledge of all Veterans participating in the MHICM program so that cross-coverage can be provided whenever required through the use of a shared caseload model.
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- The social worker will complete a psychosocial assessment of the Veteran, family, economic, community, and psychosocial support systems within 30 days upon entering the MHICM program. The assessments must reflect a high level of skill in gathering, analyzing, interpreting, and documenting data that is pertinent and directly related to patient health care planning, treatment, education and case management. The Veteran, family members and significant others are involved in this process, whenever possible. The goal of the assessment is to highlight the Veteran's strengths, limitations, and internal/external supports and service needs in order to optimize the Veteran's functional status and to help ensure that the Veteran is able to safely live in the least restrictive environment possible. The social worker will update the psychosocial assessment annually or as clinically warranted.
- The social worker will function as a case manager for Veterans in the MHICM program performing duties to facilitate independent community living by coordinating mental health and community care. The social worker will also provide oversight of continuity of care/healthcare appointments to ensure sustainability of independent living.
- The social worker will respond to consults as determined by the program coordinator by utilizing a screening tool and other measurement devices while assessing the Veteran's emotional, functional, and psychological condition. The social worker may present the findings to the MHICM team and program coordinator to determine rejection or acceptance into the program.
- The social worker is responsible for contributing to the treatment plan, and setting achievable treatment goals with the Veteran/family in collaboration with the MHICM interdisciplinary treatment team members. The social worker will include psychosocial problems in the treatment plan and will attend interdisciplinary care planning meetings. Ongoing assessments and updating treatment plans are done when necessary or on a quarterly basis given the changing needs as health status changes. The social worker also assists Veterans in completing measurement based care screenings to inform the treatment planning process. The social worker assists Veterans to (1) adjust to current living situation, (2) explore areas of deficit in activities of daily living, (3) provide and/or arrange skill building educational activities (4) explore potential areas of healing for psychosocial conflicts or trauma by using a "Recovery Model" based approach.
- Throughout the course of treatment, the social worker is the subject matter expert on VA and/or community resources. The social worker will collaborate with other service providers in reassessing the Veteran's needs for additional resources in support of the Veteran's recovery.
- The social worker will act as an advocate when it serves the best interest of the Veteran/family. When appropriate and feasible, social worker will educate and encourage the Veteran/family to advocate for themselves, thus fostering a sense of independence and empowerment. The social worker will assist MHICM Veterans in the preparation of materials needed for applications to various agencies for entitlements, and then follow the process of the application until a determination has been made.
- The social worker is experienced in making rapid assessments and developing crisis management or suicide prevention safety plans. The social worker routinely completes mental health triage, safety plans and suicide risk evaluations annually or as clinically indicated.
- The social worker will provide education related to VA and community resources, entitlements, Advance Directives/Living Will and will refer Veterans/families to the appropriate interdisciplinary team member for identified health education needs.
- The social worker serves as the discharge coordinator for Veterans participating in the MHICM program, and will serve as a liaison with inpatient or residential treatment teams to ensure seamless reintegration back into the community. The social worker will continuously assess the acuity and need for intensive case management services and utilize appropriate discharge options as clinically indicated.
- The social worker will enter all Veteran/family contacts in the electronic record using appropriate templates, encounter forms, clinics and social work approved CPT codes. This information will be entered in a complete, confidential, and professional manner to insure information on the patient is shared with other VA staff. The incumbent completes clinical reminders and facilitates further intervention for positive clinical screens. The incumbent completes all required NEPEC data forms as required by policy.
- Other duties as assigned
Work Schedule: Monday - Friday, 8:00 am - 4:30 pm
Financial Disclosure Report: Not required
76% or greater - You may be expected to travel for this position.
0185 Social Work
Conditions of Employment
- You must be a U.S. Citizen to apply for this job
- Designated and/or random drug testing may be required
- Selective Service Registration is required for males born after 12/31/1959
- You may be required to serve a probationary period
- Subject to a background/security investigation
- Must be proficient in written and spoken English
- Selected applicants will be required to complete an online onboarding process
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.
- 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 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.
- 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.
May qualify based on being covered by the Grandfathering Provision as described in the VA Qualification Standard for this occupation (only applicable to current VHA employees who are in this occupation and meet the criteria).
Preferred Experience: Working with individuals (Veterans) with substance use disorder
Grade Determinations: In addition to the basic requires 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.
Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities (KSAs): In addition, the candidates must demonstrate the KSAs below.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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.
Social Worker (Full Performance) 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. 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.
Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities (KSAs): In addition, the candidates must demonstrate the KSAs below.
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 patient's 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.9. Knowledge and skill in the use of computer software applications for drafting documents, data management, and tracking, especially those programs in use by VHA.
References: VA Handbook 5005, Part II, Appendix G39, Qualification Standards for Social Workers. This can be found in the local Human Resources Office.
The full performance level of this vacancy is GS-11. The actual grade at which an applicant may be selected for this vacancy is in the range of GS-9 to GS-11.
Physical Requirements: The work comprises both sedentary and physical components, such as walking long distances, lifting, carrying or moving small weighted objects. The work may require using appropriate technique to physically restrain clients who present a danger to self or others. Specific vision abilities required by this job include, but are not limited to, close vision, distance vision, peripheral vision, depth perception, and ability to adjust focus. Employee is required to be able to pass a physical examination clearing them to be able to drive a government vehicle and carry the designation of incidental driver.
IMPORTANT: A transcript must be submitted with your application if you are basing all or part of your qualifications on education.
Note: Only education or degrees recognized by the U.S. Department of Education from accredited colleges, universities, schools, or institutions may be used to qualify for Federal employment. You can verify your education here: http://ope.ed.gov/accreditation/. 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. For further information, visit: http://www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ous/international/usnei/us/edlite-visitus-forrecog.html .