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Social Worker

Company: Department of Veterans Affairs
Location: Modesto
Posted on: June 7, 2021

Job Description:

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VA Palo Alto Health Care System (VAPAHCS) is a VA Health Care System located in Northern California which consists of three inpatient facilities (VA Palo Alto Division, VA Menlo Park Division and VA Livermore Division), plus seven outpatient clinics in San Jose, Capitola, Monterey, Stockton, Modesto, Sonora, and Fremont. It is a Level 1a complexity level facility based on the patient population served, clinical services offered, education and research complexity, and administrative complexity.

Learn more about this agency


Services are provided at one of nine Outpatient Mental Health Clinics providing an array of both general and comprehensive services to address a broad spectrum of problems and complex mental health diagnoses encountered in a typical outpatient setting. The Social Worker provides psychosocial assessments and clinical case management services at a basic level to eligible Veterans and their family members to meet biological, psychological, social, and environmental needs. The incumbent is required to interact not only with the patient but also family, significant others, community agencies, and other interdisciplinary staff.

Other services include, but are not limited to, crisis intervention which may entail coordinating inpatient psychiatric admissions, coordinating welfare checks with local law enforcement departments and mandated reporting to community agencies as needed. The incumbent may be trained to support and/or provide direct clinical services using other technologies, such as, Telemental health. Services are timely, comprehensive, and effectively coordinated with services provided by other health professionals.

To provide overall comprehensive, integrated treatment, the incumbent is an integral member of both the core mental health team, as well as, co-located integrated primary care team (iPACT) and has major responsibilities in the areas of providing social work and general mental health services to Veterans and their families. The Integrated Patient Aligned Care Team (iPACT) is a comprehensive integrated team which delivers primary care and mental health care to Veteran patients in a longitudinal rather than episodic fashion and which has its focus in prevention; health promotion, coordination and chronic disease management. The social worker in this Veteran-centric approach may provide targeted, time limited PCMHI services and may function as a care coordinator (or liaison) to ensure access and provision of appropriate stepped-care to needed medical and mental health services, as defined by the Veteran. Incumbent provides individual, group, and family psychotherapy and case management interventions used in the treatment of Veterans with polytrauma injuries, spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, visual impairment, PTSD, substance use and addictions and other serious disorders.

Work Schedule: Monday through Friday, 8:00am to 4:30pm

Financial Disclosure Report: Not required

This position may be eligible for student loan repayment through the VA Education Debt Reduction Program (EDRP). CLICK HERE for more information

Travel Required

Not required

Supervisory status


Promotion Potential


  • Job family (Series)

0185 Social Work

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  • Requirements



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.

To qualify for this position, applicants must meet all requirements by the closing date of this announcement, 09/30/2021.

Basic Requirements:

  1. U.S. citizenship. Non-citizens may be appointed when it is not possible to recruit qualified citizens in accordance with VA Policy.

  2. 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. Verification of the degree can be made by going to the CSWE website to verify if that social work degree meets the accreditation standards for a master of social work.

  3. Licensure. Must be licensed or certified by a state to independently practice social work at the master's degree level. Exception - at the GS-9 level only, this may be waived for people who are otherwise qualified, pending completion of state prerequisites for licensure/certification examinations. 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 three years of their appointment as a social worker. Most states require two years of post-MSW experience as a prerequisite to taking the licensure/certification exam, and VHA gives social workers one additional year to pass the licensure/certification exam. In states such as California, Washington, and others where the prerequisites for licensure exceed two years, social workers must become licensed at the independent, master's level within one year of meeting the full state prerequisites for licensure. Social workers must actively pursue meeting state prerequisites for licensure or certification starting from the date of their appointment. Failure to become licensed or certified within the prescribed amount of time will result in removal from the GS-0185 social worker series and may result in termination of employment.

Grade Determinations:

GS-9 Social Worker: In addition to meeting basic requirements, the candidate must demonstrate the following KSAs:

  1. Ability to work with Veterans and family members from various socioeconomic, cultural, ethnic, educational, and other diversified backgrounds utilizing counseling skills.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships and communicate with clients, staff, and representatives of community agencies.

  5. 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 Social Worker: 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.


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.

In addition to meeting the GS-11 requirements, the candidate must demonstrate the following KSAs:

  1. Knowledge of community resources, how to make appropriate referrals to community and other governmental agencies for services, and ability to coordinate services.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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 VA Qualification Standard, Social Worker, GS-0185 Series, 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-09 to GS-11.

Physical Requirements: The physical demands of this position involve primarily walking, sitting, talking, driving, use of the telephone, etc. Strenuous physical activity is not required although the incumbent is expected to withstand pressure and stress as part of their day-to-day activities. There is ongoing exposure to individuals having psychiatric and physical illness and disabilities. These include violent or aggressive behavior and chronic psychiatric and medical problems. Light lifting, under 15 pounds, Light carrying, under 15 pounds, Hearing (aid permitted).


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: 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:

Keywords: Department of Veterans Affairs, Modesto , Social Worker, Other , Modesto, California

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