The Substance Use Disorders (SUD) Social Worker provides expert, independent psychosocial care to eligible Veterans suffering from substance use disorders and delivers specialized interventions for substance use disorders to patients with complex, multi-faceted problems. The case load will be at least 50% moderate-severe SUD specific. 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 meet the following: 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 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. 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. Licensure. Persons hired or reassigned to social worker positions in the GS-0185 series in VHA must be licensed or certified by a state to independently practice social work at the master's degree level. 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). Physical Requirements. See VA Directive and Handbook 5019, Employee Occupational Health Services. English Language Proficiency. Candidates must be proficient in spoken and written English to be appointed as authorized by 38 U.S.C. § 7403(f). Preferred Experience: Advanced practice clinical licensure LCSW preferred GRADE DETERMINATIONS. In addition to the basic requirements for employment, the following criteria must be met when determining the grade of candidates. Social Worker, GS-11 Experience and Licensure. Appointment to the GS-11 grade level requires completion of a minimum of one year of post-MSW experience equivalent to the GS-9 grade level in the field of health care or other social work-related settings, (VA or non-VA experience) and licensure or certification in a state at the independent practice level. Persons hired or reassigned to social worker positions in the GS-0185 series in VHA must be licensed or certified by a state to independently practice social work at the master's degree level. OR Education. In addition to meeting basic requirements, a doctoral degree in social work from a school of social work may be substituted for the required one year of professional social work experience in a clinical setting. Demonstrated Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities. In addition to the experience above, candidates must demonstrate all of the following KSAs:(a) Knowledge of community resources, how to make appropriate referrals to community and other governmental agencies for services, and ability to coordinate services.(b) Skill in independently conducting psychosocial assessments and treatment interventions to a wide variety of individuals from various socio-economic, cultural, ethnic, educational and other diversified backgrounds.(c) Knowledge of medical and mental health diagnoses, disabilities and treatment procedures (i.e. acute, chronic and traumatic illnesses/injuries, common medications and their effects/side effects, and medical terminology) to formulate a treatment plan.(d) Skill in independently implementing different treatment modalities in working with individuals, families, and groups who are experiencing a variety of psychiatric, medical, and social problems to achieve treatment goals.(e) Ability to provide consultation services to new social workers, social work graduate students, and other staff about the psychosocial needs of patients and the impact of psychosocial problems on health care and compliance with treatment. References: VA Handbook 5005/120 PART II APPENDIX G39 ["(1) Interviews patients and conducts psychosocial assessments As part of a comprehensive psychosocial assessment, the SUD Social Worker interviews Veterans and their family members/significant others to establish facts of the Veterans functioning and health. Reviews all available data, subjective and objective, and makes clinical assessment identifying Veteran needs and strengths. She/he effectively uses professional skill, objectivity, insight and experience to interpret data and identify viable treatment options. (2) Makes psychosocial diagnosis Based on the psychosocial assessment, the SUD Social Worker uses professional judgement and practice skills to independently evaluate the Veterans situation and make psychosocial diagnoses within the scope of practice. Through this process, assesses risk factors and develops a preliminary disposition plan involving the Veteran and when available family/Signiant other. (3) Plans effective treatment The SUD Social Worker determines an appropriate level of care and develops psychosocial treatment goals with the veteran. Using available resources and the initial assessment of the Veterans current stage of change, makes initial continuing decisions regarding use of VA and non-VA services and referrals, arrives at a reasoned conclusion as to the preferred course of action and consults with other specialists in planning treatment for Veterans and co-morbidities. Adjusts the psychosocial treatment plan and interventions based on the Veterans changing needs and response to interventions as treatment progresses. She/he initiates and effects changes in methods/interventions to promote efficient practice an improve patient outcomes, effectively using professional skill, objectivity, and insight. In cases of antagonistic, indifferent, or evasive Veterans, he/she deals constructively with both positive and negative reactions and understands disparate values and social/cultural norms and empowers Veterans to actively collaborate on treatment goals and communicates confidence in the Veterans ability and worth. (4) Implements treatment The SUD Social Worker provides individual, family and group psychotherapy to Veterans struggling with substance use disorders, and family members/significant others supporting the Veterans treatment. Assists and encourages Veterans in facing and evaluating problems, considering alternative courses of action, and arriving at plans for using resources to resolve problems. Demonstrates acceptance, interest, encouragement and selective use of questioning, explanation and guidance in working with Veterans to help them explore their problems. She/he exercises professional control/judgement over the therapeutic relationship so the patient may constructively express feelings yet retain maximum use of his/her capacity for responsible self-direction; knowledge of normal and abnormal behaviors in an inherent competency applied in daily interactions with Veterans.\nEstablishes a continuing relationship with the Veteran, evaluating progress toward goals, and adjusting the treatment plan as appropriate; meets with the Veteran to assess accomplishments and re-establish goals; monitors progress, maintains comprehensive documentation, ensures expert diagnosis of treatment of clinical disorders, and shows competent discretion in recommendations, changes to treatment and terminating treatment. Organizes referrals to community services on behalf of Veterans, and maintains a productive network of referral resources both within and without the VA. (5) Serves as resource to others in area of SUD services The SUD Social Worker promotes SUD services as a key component of treatment at the WVANC and represents SUD in contact with other agencies and the public and is responsible for providing consultation services as requested on addictions, publicizing the availability of SUD services and educating Veterans and staff around addictions issues. Work Schedule: Monday - Friday 8:00am to 4:30pm\nTelework: Not available\nVirtual: This is not a virtual position.\nPosition Title/Functional Statement #:Social Worker/000000\nRelocation/Recruitment Incentives: Not authorized\nPermanent Change of Station (PCS): Not authorized\nFinancial Disclosure Report: Not required"]
Providing Health Care for Veterans: The Veterans Health Administration is America’s largest integrated health care system, providing care at 1,255 health care facilities, including 170 medical centers and 1,074 outpatient sites of care of varying complexity (VHA outpatient clinics), serving 9 million enrolled Veterans each year.