Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration Social Worker (HCHV) in Walla Walla, Washington
Summary The incumbent in this position functions as the Outreach Social Worker for Homeless Veterans Programs. The incumbent is responsible for outreach services to homeless veterans in communities and rural areas outside the main Medical Center campus in Walla Walla, WA and will operate separately from the main facility. Responsibilities Duties will vary based on grade. At the GS-11 full performance level for this assignment, the incumbent regularly outreaches to various shelters; walk-ins, soup kitchens, drop-in centers, social service agencies and VA facilities. Incumbent is also responsible for searching for homeless Veterans wherever they may reside outside or in buildings not meant for human habitation. Duties will include: Utilizes various treatment modalities of individual and group work, casework, community organization, and community outreach activities to alleviate or remove problems that interfere with a homeless veteran s ability to achieve independence. Coordinates care including serving as an advocate on behalf of the veterans to ensure comprehensive service delivery, and linking and referring veterans to the VA Medical Center, VA Regional Offices and/or community agencies. Engages in coordination with community agencies, organizations, and groups to learn of services or resources available for homeless veterans as well as provides current information on services and benefits available in the VA's Healthcare for Homeless Veterans Programs. Develops working relationships with various community agencies and other governmental agencies, often serving as the VA liaison or contact person. Has frequent contact with staff from various community agencies and maintains a good relationship with them that fosters interagency collaboration and allows for coordinated care for veterans including making community referrals and developing community resources, as well as conducting outreach to identify new veterans or attend to the needs of homeless veterans. May have contact with family members, police, landlords, judges, attorneys, facility administrators, veteran service officers, community outreach workers, shelter workers, students and university professors. Most contacts are made in the community for the service of the veteran. Serves as the Community Homeless Assessment, Local Education and Networking Groups (CHALENG) point of contact. Actively participates in the Health Care for Homeless Veterans conference calls and attends training offered by the Health Care for Homeless Veterans program. Actively participates in program planning and development, advising the Homeless Program Coordinator of shifting trends with caseloads and identifying the need for and making recommendations on program procedure or policy changes based upon work experiences and provides consultation to other hospital personnel and /or community agencies as needed. Works with community CoC and other vested agencies to establish a coordinated entry system (CES) . The incumbent further works with CoC and other community partners to develop and manage a by-name-list of homeless Veterans in each area. Performs accountability functions: 1) document all contacts with patients/families in the medical chart; 2) completes statistical, administrative, staffing utilizations and other reports in accordance with facility policy and respective professional discipline service policies. Works with facility treatment teams and community agencies to strive for developing more effective and efficient ways of delivering health care services to homeless veterans. Demonstrates acceptance, interest, encouragement and selective use of questioning, explanation, and guidance in working with veterans to help them explore their problems. He/she employs social work methods and techniques to maintain a therapeutic relationship that will help the veteran work towards the best way of dealing with his/her problems. Works to establish rapport and provides information about various resources; address social needs and illnesses; interpret behavior, and motive or influence patients and families from engaging in destructive behavior. Interviews potential clients, confirms eligibility and attempts to complete a psychosocial assessment and make a psychological diagnosis as appropriate, and interprets and explains the VA's treatment and benefit programs. Develops an appropriate treatment plan using known available resources and information from the psychosocial assessment. Will maintain data and statistical compilations to comply with JCAHO, CARF, VA and medical center policy and procedures. Will maintain familiarity and share responsibility for all performance measures relating to VA's Healthcare for Homeless Veterans. Will document social work interventions and activities in patient's clinical record utilizing CPRS and ensure appropriate hand off in transferring of patient care. Work Schedule: Monday-Friday 8:00AM-4:30PM Telework: Not Available Virtual: This is not a virtual position. Relocation/Recruitment Incentives: Not Authorized Permanent Change of Station (PCS): Not Authorized Financial Disclosure Report: Not required Requirements Conditions of Employment You must be a U.S. Citizen to apply for this job. All applicants tentatively selected for VA employment in a testing designated position are subject to urinalysis to screen for illegal drug use prior to appointment. Applicants who refuse to be tested will be denied employment with VA. Selective Service Registration is required for males born after 12/31/1959. Must be proficient in written and spoken English. You may be required to serve a probationary period. Subject to background/security investigation. Selected applicants will be required to complete an online onboarding process. Must pass pre-employment physical examination. Participation in the seasonal influenza vaccination program is a requirement for all Department of Veterans Affairs Health Care Personnel (HCP). Participation in the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccination program is a requirement for all Veterans Health Administration Health Care Personnel (HCP) - See "Additional Information" below for details. Qualifications 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. English Language Proficiency: Candidates must be proficient in spoken and written English to be appointed as authorized by 38 U.S.C. § 7403(f). 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 http://www.cswe.org/Accreditation to verify that the social work degree meets the accreditation standards for a masters of social work. 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. Current state requirements may be found by going to http://vaww.va.gov/OHRM/T38Hybrid/. Exception: VHA may waive the licensure or certification requirement for persons who are otherwise qualified, pending completion of state prerequisites for licensure/certification examinations. This exception only applies at the GS-9 grade level. For the GS-11 grade level and above, the candidate must be licensed or certified. At the time of appointment, the supervisor, chief social work or social work executive will provide the unlicensed/uncertified social worker with the written requirements for licensure or certification, including the time by which the license or certification must be obtained and the consequences for not becoming licensed or certified by the deadline. For appointments at the GS-9 grade 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 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. A social worker who does not yet have a license that allows independent practice must be supervised by a licensed independent practitioner of the same discipline who is a VA staff member and who has access to the electronic health record. Failure to Obtain License or Certification. In all cases, 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. Loss of Licensure or Certification. Once licensed or certified, social workers must maintain a full, valid, and unrestricted independent license or certification to remain qualified for employment. Loss of licensure or certification will result in removal from the GS-0185 social worker series and may 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: GS-9: Experience, Education, and Licensure: None beyond the basic requirements. Demonstrated Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities: In addition to the experience above, the candidate must demonstrate all of 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: 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. 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: 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. Preferred Experience: None References: VHA Handbook 5005, Part II, Appendix G39 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: Light lifting and carrying (under 15 lbs), use of fingers, walking (2 hours), standing (2 hours), operation of a crane/truck/ or motor vehicle, far vision correctable in one eye to 20/20 and to 20/40 in the other, hearing (aid may be permitted), emotional and mental stability, outside and inside, excessive cold, dry atmospheric conditions, electrical energy, slippery or uneven walking surfaces, working closely with others, working alone. Education IMPORTANT: A transcript with confer date 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: 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. For further information, visit: http://www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ous/international/usnei/us/edlite-visitus-forrecog.html. Additional Information Receiving Service Credit or Earning Annual (Vacation) Leave: Federal Employees earn annual leave at a rate (4, 6 or 8 hours per pay period) which is based on the number of years they have served as a Federal employee. VA may offer newly-appointed Federal employee's credit for their job-related non-federal experience or active duty uniformed military service. This credited service can be used in determining the rate at which they earn annual leave. Such credit must be requested and approved prior to the appointment date and is not guaranteed. This job opportunity announcement may be used to fill additional vacancies. This position is in the Excepted Service and does not confer competitive status. VA encourages persons with disabilities to apply. The health-related positions in VA are covered by Title 38, and are not covered by the Schedule A excepted appointment authority. As required by Executive Order 14043, Federal employees are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 regardless of the employee's duty location or work arrangement (e.g., telework, remote work, etc.), subject to such exceptions as required by law. If selected, you will be required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and submit documentation of proof of vaccination before your start date. The agency will provide additional information regarding what information or documentation will be needed and how you can request a legally required exception from this requirement using the reasonable accommodation process. If you are unable to apply online or need to fax a document you do not have in electronic form, view the following link for information regarding an Alternate Application.