Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration Social Worker - SUD/PTSD in Buffalo, New York
Summary This position is located at the VA Western New York Healthcare System - Buffalo location, Behavioral Health Substance Abuse Treatment Services (SATS). The incumbent will work primarily with the Residential Program, with responsibilities to provide a high level of direct care and clinical skill in assessing and treating the complicated psychosocial problems of veterans including assessment, diagnosis, treatment planning and psychotherapy with individual groups, and families. Responsibilities - Screening/Assessment- The social worker will independently complete an assessment of the veteran in collaboration with the interdisciplinary treatment team, the veteran, family members and significant others. The goal of the assessment is to identify needs and formulate a plan to meet those needs. The incumbent demonstrates an understanding of the range of treatment and skills needed for all adult patients, including geriatric patients, related to their physical limitations, psychological needs and age associated illnesses and conditions. The incumbent takes into consideration the various socioeconomic, cultural, ethnic, and educational background of the veteran in order to make appropriate assessments. It is the responsibility of the Social Worker, working within the interdisciplinary treatment team, to share in the development of a treatment plan with the veteran based on this assessment. - Treatment Planning/Goa/ Setting - The Social Worker is responsible for contributing to the development of the treatment plan and setting achievable treatment goals with the veteran and family members/caregiver. The incumbent must have a fundamental knowledge of medical and mental health diagnoses, disabilities, and treatment procedures in order to properly develop a treatment plan. This includes acute, chronic, and traumatic illnesses/injuries; common medications and their effects/side effects; and medical terminology. - Referral to service providers - Throughout the course of treatment, the Social Worker is the subject matter expert on VA, other government agencies, and/or community resources. The Social Worker will collaborate with other service providers in reassessing the veteran's needs. The Social Worker is responsible for educating the veteran and family members/caregivers of the available services and assisting them in establishing the appropriate referrals based on the veteran's preference or that of his surrogate decision-maker. - 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. 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 clinic and the facility at Tuscaloosa VA Medical Center. - 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/caregiver to the appropriate interdisciplinary team member for identified health education needs. - Supportive counseling -The Social Worker will provide the veterans and their family members/caregiver with ongoing supportive counseling. The purpose of such counseling is to deal with the psychosocial impact of coping with grief, chronic/disabling illness (es), onset of a catastrophic illness mental illness(es), etc. - Administrative responsibilities - The Social Worker will enter all veteran/family contacts in the electronic record using appropriate formats and templates. This information will be entered in a complete, confidential and professional manner to ensure information on the patient is shared with other VA staff. The Social Worker will 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. Perform other duties as assigned. Preferred experience: At least one year experience working with individuals/Veterans who are diagnosed with substance use disorders. In addition, must be certified in one evidence based practice (EBP), such as CPT or PE. Work Schedule: Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday 8:00am - 4:30pm; Wednesday 11:00am - 7:30pm Telework: Not Available Virtual: This is not a virtual position. Functional Statement #:23670-A 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. 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 Department of Veterans Affairs Personnel. Qualifications Basic Requirements: Citizenship. Be a citizen of the United States. (Non-citizens may be appointed when it is not possible to recruit qualified citizens in accordance with chapter 3, section A, paragraph 3g this part). 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. c. 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/. 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. Physical Requirements. See VA Directive and Handbook 5019, Employee Occupational Health Services. English Language Proficiency. Candidates must be proficient in spoken and written English to be appointed as authorized by 38 U.S.C. § 7403(f). Grade Determinations: Social Worker, GS-11 (Full Performance) (1) 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. NOTE: For appointment licensure or certification at this level please refer to paragraph 3c. OR (2) 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. (3) Demonstrated Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities. In addition to the experience above, candidates must demonstrate all of the following KSAs: (a) Knowledge of community resources, how to make appropriate referrals to community and other governmental agencies for services, and ability to coordinate services. (b) 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. (c) 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. (d) 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. (e) 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. (4) [Full Performance Level] Assignments. This is the full performance level. Social workers at this level are licensed or certified to independently practice social work. Incumbents are assigned to all program areas, including but not limited to: inpatient or outpatient medicine, surgery, mental health, neurology, rehabilitation medicine, and geriatrics. Employees provide professional, independent social work services in the assigned area. Duties include but are not limited to: assessing and documenting identified behaviors or symptoms of abuse, neglect, exploitation and/or intimate partner violence; use of clinical social work skills and knowledge to maintain Veteran privacy and confidentiality per policies, handbooks or directives; and acts as an advocate with appropriate VA and community service providers and agencies when it serves the best interest of the Veteran and family members/caregiver. Incumbent independently assesses the psychosocial functioning and needs of Veterans and their family members, identifying the Veteran's strengths, weaknesses, coping skills, and psychosocial acuity. In collaboration with the Veteran, family/caregiver, and interdisciplinary treatment team, the social worker facilitates the delivery of health care services. The social worker identifies family/caregiver stressors, conducts assessment and provides specific interventions. The incumbent provides case management and care coordination to facilitate appropriate delivery of health care services, incorporates complex multiple causation in differential diagnosis and treatment of Veterans, including making psychosocial and psychiatric diagnoses within approved clinical privileges or scope of practice. The social worker links the Veteran with services, resources, and opportunities, in order to maximize the Veteran's independence, health, and well-being. The social worker conducts timely assessment of at-risk Veterans in crisis to identify immediate needs, evaluate risk, and initiate safety plan as appropriate. The social worker provides interventions independently with Veterans and their families/caregivers who are experiencing a wide range of complicated medical, behavioral health, financial, legal, and psychosocial problems. They provide a range of interventions and treatment modalities which may include individual, group, and/or family counseling or psychotherapy. They independently formulate and implement a treatment plan including measurable, achievable goals identifying the Veterans' needs, strengths, weaknesses, coping skills, and psychosocial acuity. Social workers serve on committees, work groups, and task forces at the facility and VISN level or in the community. They provide subject matter consultation to colleagues and students on the psychosocial treatment of Veterans offering professional opinions based on experience, expertise and role modeling effective social work practice skills. The social worker establishes and maintains ongoing education programs for Veterans, community agencies, students, and staff, to facilitate understanding of social work interventions specific to the Veteran/Military population. Preferred experience: At least one year experience working with individuals/Veterans who are diagnosed with substance use disorders. In addition, must be certified in one evidence based practice (EBP), such as CPT or PE. References: VA Handbook 5005/120 Part II Appendix G39 Social Worker Qualification Standard Physical Requirements: See VA Directive and Handbook 5019, Employee Occupational Health Services. Education 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: 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 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.