Rehabilitation Counselors in the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) work with persons who experience functional impairments and disabilities associated with mental health, physical, and/or psychosocial challenges affecting employment, independent living, or personal adjustment. 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. Basic Requirements: United States Citizenship: Non-citizens may only be appointed when it is not possible to recruit qualified citizens in accordance with VA Policy. Education: A master's degree in rehabilitation counseling or clinical rehabilitation counseling from a rehabilitation counseling program accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). If the applicant's degree was granted prior to July 1, 2017, the program must be accredited by the Council on Rehabilitation Education. OR A master's degree in counseling or clinical rehabilitation counseling from a college or university accredited by a national or regional accrediting body accredited by Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). OR A master's or doctoral degree in a related field of study with course content that emphasized rehabilitation, counseling, disability, therapy, health, employment, wellness, or human development from a college or university accredited by a national or regional accrediting body accredited by CHEA. OR Foreign graduates with a degree acceptable by the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification (CRCC). Certification: Current, full and unrestricted certification as a certified rehabilitation counselor (CRC) from the CRCC to practice vocational rehabilitation counseling. Exceptions for Graduate RCs: RC graduates from an approved counseling or rehabilitation counseling program who otherwise meet the basic qualification requirements and the additional degree requirements for CRC certification by the CRCC, but do not possess the required certification, may be appointed, pending certification, as a graduate RC on a full-time temporary appointment not-to-exceed two years under the authority of 38 U.S.C. § 7405(a)(1)(D). Graduate RCs may only be appointed at the entry grade level and may not be promoted/converted until certification is obtained. Temporary graduate RC appointments may not be extended beyond two years or converted to a new temporary appointment. Failure to Obtain Certification: In all cases, RCs must actively pursue meeting prerequisites for certification starting from the date of their appointment. This includes working towards completion of CRCC's required acceptable employment experience and completing required CRCC documentation to verify employment experience and supervision by a CRC. At the time of appointment, the RC supervisor will provide the RC with the written requirements for certification, including the time by which the certification must be obtained and the consequences for not becoming certified by the deadline. Failure to become certified within the prescribed amount of time will result in removal from the GS-0101 RC series and may result in termination of employment. Loss of Certification: An employee in this occupation who fails to maintain the required certification must be removed from the occupation, which may also result in termination of employment. 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). Grade Determinations Rehabilitation Counselor, GS-09 Experience. None beyond the basic requirements. Demonstrated Knowledge, Skills and Abilities (KSAs). In addition to meeting the experience or educational requirements for this grade level, the candidate must demonstrate all of the following KSAs: Knowledge of human development and behavior, medical, psychosocial, and vocational aspects of disability and differential influences of environmental and cultural factors to assist persons with disabilities in determining suitable vocational goals. Knowledge of history, philosophy and disability rights legislation in the field of rehabilitation to apply in the practice of rehabilitation counseling. Ability to synthesize assessment and diagnosis information in conjunction with labor market trends and community/educational resources to develop an effective individual service delivery plan. Knowledge of caseload management strategies to maximize an individual's independent functioning from assessment through provision of post-employment services. Ability to employ person-centered job development strategies to facilitate successful job placement. Knowledge of assessment tools and methods, functional capacity evaluations and specific vocational preparation to evaluate transferrable skills, residual capacities and needs for accommodations and assistive technology. Rehabilitation Counselor, GS-11 Experience. Completion of one year of professional experience equivalent to the next lower grade level directly related to the position being filled. OR Education. A doctoral degree in rehabilitation counselor education or related field (e.g. rehabilitation psychology) from a CACREP accredited institution or from an institution accredited by a national or regional accrediting body accredited by CHEA. Demonstrated Knowledge, Skills and Abilities (KSAs). In addition to meeting the experience or educational requirements for this grade level, the candidate must demonstrate all of the following KSAs: Knowledge of physical and psychological disabilities, appropriate accommodations and assistive technology principles to mitigate and reduce or eliminate barriers to integrate into the community. Knowledge of counseling theory, medical and psychiatric terminology and signs and symptomology of suicidal and homicidal ideations, to communicate appropriately with community health care professionals to provide useful input to other team members and employers in relation to the Veteran and/or his/her family's psychosocial needs and to recommend and help implement suitable treatment plans. Ability to use evidence-based and evidence informed vocational and professional counseling practices to include individual placement and support (IPS), customized employment and supported employment models and motivational interviewing skills to promote self-awareness, adjustment to disability, enhanced job retention and successful integration to the community. Knowledge of career development processes and job analysis methodology to determine essential functions of jobs, worksite modifications and/or alternative vocational goals given the work history and residual functional capacities of individuals with disabilities. Ability to administer and interpret a wide variety of assessment methods including transferrable skills and labor market analyses to evaluate for individual interests, aptitudes and abilities and to identify suitable vocational goals for the development of an effective individual service delivery plan. Knowledge of marketing strategies to develop collaborative partnerships/Memorandums of Agreement within VA and local business community to enhance employment and/or work opportunities. Knowledge of military culture and specific factors and dynamics associated with Veterans, particularly combat Veterans, to assist those who are returning to community and community based-work. Preferred Experience: Experience with Substance Use Disorder population. References: VA Handbook 5005, Part II, Appendix G62 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 Service. Work is primarily sedentary. May require prolonged standing, moderate walking, and manual dexterity. Requires carrying light items such as books, files, or laptop computer. ["Work Schedule: Monday through Friday, 8:00am to 4:30pm Telework: Available Virtual: This is not a virtual position. Functional Statement #: 000000 Relocation/Recruitment Incentives: Not Authorized Permanent Change of Station (PCS): Not Authorized Financial Disclosure Report: Not required Rehabilitation Counselors utilize various professional counseling and clinical modalities to promote and support optimal functioning, independence, personal adjustment, adaptation to disability, community reintegration, and recovery. Rehabilitation Counselors work with an interdisciplinary team to provide and coordinate a wide range of rehabilitation counseling services to Veterans with disabilities, including assessment, counseling and case management services, development of rehabilitation plans, and assistance in attaining and maintaining employment, independent living, and attaining personal goals. Rehabilitation Counselors are nationally certified as Certified Rehabilitation Counselors (CRC) and may be State licensed as Licensed Professional Counselors. Rehabilitation Counselors may be designated as a Licensed Independent Provider (LIP) when they hold State licensure and are included as a LIP in their VA medical center bylaws. Duties of the position include, but are not limited to: Provide a variety of professional rehabilitation counseling services such as personal adjustment counseling, therapeutic rehabilitation interventions and case coordination services, utilizing evidence-informed and evidence-based modalities and professional counseling practices to aid Veterans with sever disabilities in achieving competitive employment and education and independent living goals. Uses effective counseling skills to promote self-awareness, adjustment to disability, enhanced job retention, and successful integration to the community. Conduct biopsychosocial assessments using medical records, pertinent disability documentation, observation and interviews with Veterans and their support systems to generate personal, vocational, and educational histories. Administers, and interprets vocational and other psychometric instruments to evaluate abilities, transferrable skills, functional capacity, labor market analyses, aptitudes, interests, values, preferences, and overall work resilience and synthesize into an interpretive data report. Customizes vocational exploration activities to identify self-determined rehabilitation needs and goals. Administers Measurement Based Care instrument to track progress throughout treatment and adjust goals and services as needed. Procures and manages transitional work agreements from community, state, and federal agencies. Monitors worksite compliance with agreements to ensure Veterans are appropriately trained and evaluated consistent with industry standards. Devises solutions to reduce and/or eliminate barriers and meet Veterans' placement needs which may require substantial modification to environmental or functional demands within a work setting. Provide psychoeducational and/or psychotherapeutic groups to facilitate effective job search skills, employer-desired soft skills, work and life skills fostering independence and recovery. Provide disability education and program-specific training to staff and stakeholders. Communicates appropriately with community health care professionals to provide useful input to other team members and employers concerning the Veteran and the family's psychosocial needs. Provides supervision to graduate level rehabilitation counseling students from an accredited affiliated educational institution, including educational experiences, and in-service education for trainees, rehabilitation staff, and other disciplines. Uses rehabilitation counseling theory, medical and psychiatric terminology, and symptomology and signs of suicidal and homicidal ideations to provide effective services. Provides professional recommendations and guidance regarding the career development processes and job analysis methodology to determine essential functions of jobs, worksite modifications and/or alternative vocational goals given the work history and residual functional capacities of individuals with disabilities. Utilizes knowledge of the military culture, military transition to civilian occupations, and specific factors and dynamics associated with Veterans, particularly combat Veterans, to advise those who are returning to the community, and community-based work. Adheres to the professional rehabilitation standards of the Joint Commission and CARF. Serves or chairs task groups or administrative committees on behalf of VHA Vocational Rehabilitation Service. Participates in professional peer review and individual case review and that of other professional disciplines as appropriate. Other duties as assigned by management."]
The Veterans Health Administration is America’s largest integrated health care system, providing care at 1,298 health care facilities, including 171 medical centers and 1,113 outpatient sites of care of varying complexity (VHA outpatient clinics), serving 9 million enrolled Veterans each year.