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
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
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
- 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
Applicants pending the completion of educational or
certification/licensure requirements may be referred and
tentatively selected but may not be hired until all requirements
To qualify for this position, applicants must meet all
requirements by the closing date of this announcement,
U.S. citizenship. Non-citizens may be appointed when it is not
possible to recruit qualified citizens in accordance with VA
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.
- 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.
GS-9 Social Worker: In addition to meeting basic requirements,
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 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:
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
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
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 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
IMPORTANT: A transcript must be submitted with your application
if you are basing all or part of your qualifications on
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.
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