The Outpatient Mental Health Clinical Social Worker provides mental health services to the veteran population enrolled at Salt Lake City VA Medical Center. Services include provision of high quality individual and group therapy, clinical treatment, crisis intervention, case management, advocacy, coordination of care and referrals to other appropriate VA or community service providers/agencies, as needed by the client. To qualify for this position, applicants must meet all requirements by the closing date of this announcement, 12/30/2022. Basic Requirements: United States Citizenship. Education. Possess 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. 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. Licensure. Possess a full and unrestricted license or certification 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. Grade Determinations: GS-9: Basic requirements as described above. In addition, the candidate must demonstrate the following KSAs: Ability to work with Veterans and family members from various socioeconomic, cultural, ethnic, educational, and other diversified backgrounds utilizing counseling skills. Ability to assess the psychosocial functioning and needs of Veterans and their family members, and to formulate and implement a treatment plan, identifying the Veterans problems, strengths, weaknesses, coping skills, and assistance needed. 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 and communicate with clients, staff, and representatives of community agencies. Fundamental 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. GS-11: 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); OR, 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. In addition, the candidate must demonstrate the following KSAs: Knowledge of community resources, how to make appropriate referrals to community and other governmental agencies for services, and ability to coordinate services. 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. 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. 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. 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, Appendix G39. Social Worker Qualification Standard, GS-185. 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: See VA Directive and Handbook 5019, Employee Occupational Health Services ["Screening/Assessment The Social Worker will complete a psychosocial assessment of the veteran in collaboration with the interdisciplinary treatment team, the veteran and family members/significant others. The goal of the psychosocial assessment is to highlight the veteran's strengths, limitations, and internal/external supports and service needs. Social Worker demonstrates an understanding of the range of treatment and skills needed for all adult patients, being sensitive to human growth and development, age-appropriate needs and concerns of the veteran, and be able to provide current and advanced techniques to the treatment of this veteran population. It is the responsibility of the Social Worker, working within the interdisciplinary treatment team, to share responsibility for the development of a treatment plan with the veteran based on this psychosocial assessment. The initial psychosocial assessment will be completed as specified by the policy for the assigned work area. An initial psychosocial assessment is required, along with subsequent reassessments as defined by policy. Treatment Planning/Goal Setting - The Social Worker is responsible for contributing to the development of the treatment plan and setting achievable treatment goals with the veteran, family members/significant others and other Outpatient Mental Health clinical staff. Referral to service providers - 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 veterans needs. Worker is responsible for educating the veteran and family members/significant others of the available services and assisting them in establishing the appropriate referrals. Resource Usage/Development The Social Worker is responsible for using the current Social Work resource file of VA and community social service programs and enhancing the content to the benefit of veterans. The Social Worker will refer the veteran to needed services. Advocacy The Social Worker understands the intimidation of bureaucracy and will act as an advocate when it serves the best interest of the veteran and family members/caregiver. When appropriate and feasible, the Social Worker will educate and encourage the veteran to advocate on his/her own behalf, thus fostering a sense of independence and empowerment. Crisis Intervention The Social Worker is experienced in making rapid assessments and developing crisis management plans for admission to mental health inpatient programs. The Social Worker has access to multiple resource directories in addition to previously developed resources to meet the demands of a crisis. In the event of a medical or psychiatric emergency, staff will follow the protocol of his/her respective mental health unit/program and VA Salt Lake City Health Care System. Education/Health promotion and prevention The Social Worker provides education related to VA and community resources, entitlements, Advance Directives/Living Will and will refer veterans and family members/significant others to the appropriate interdisciplinary team member for identified health education needs. Coordination of non-institutional and institutional services - The Social Worker will review the progress notes from the other providers to accurately determine the strengths and limitations of each veteran. The Social Worker will educate the veteran, their family members/significant other and the team of all the options available to them and will collaborate with the veteran and family members/significant other on the preferred option. Supportive counseling The Social Worker will provide the veterans and their family members/significant other with ongoing supportive counseling. The purpose of such counseling is to deal with the psychosocial impact of coping with severe mental illness(es), chronic/disabling illness(es), onset of a catastrophic illness, etc. Therapy The Social Worker provides individual and group evidence-based therapies (i.e. CPT, PE, etc.) to veterans. Work Schedule: May be required to work some evening hours or on the weekend dependent upon program/agency needs. Compressed/Flexible: may be available based on program/agency needs. To be negotiated with supervisor. Virtual: This is not a virtual position. Functional Statement #: 50746A Relocation/Recruitment Incentives: May Be Authorized Financial 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.