The Patient Aligned Care Team (PACT) Social Worker participates in the Primary Care Clinic at the VA Medical Center and at Community Based Outpatient Clinics (CBOC). The PACT is a comprehensive team which delivers primary care to Veteran patients in a longitudinal rather than episodic fashion and which has as its focus: prevention; health promotion, coordination and chronic disease management. 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 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. 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. (a) 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. (b) 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. (c) Different states have different levels of licensure or certification, making it difficult for VHA staff to determine the independent practice level. Each state, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia completed surveys identifying the level of licensure or certification allowing independent practice. Copies of the surveys are on file in the VHA Office of Care Management and Social Work Services, and a summary spreadsheet of the levels of licensure or certification is available to social work professional standards board members for purposes of determining whether the social worker's level of licensure or certification meets the VHA qualification standards. All states except California use a series of licensure exams administered by the ASWB. Information can be found at https://www.aswb.org/. The ASWB is the association of boards that regulates social work. ASWB develops and maintains the social work licensing examination used across the country and is a central resource for information on the legal regulation of social work. The ASWB offers three examinations. The master's examination is generally used by states for the independent practice level of licensure or certification, while the advanced generalist and the clinical examinations are used for the advanced practice level of licensure or certification. Differences between the master's and the advanced exams demonstrate the expectation that advanced practice social workers will have a more sophisticated knowledge of practice theory and its application. English Language Proficiency. Candidates must be proficient in spoken and written English to be appointed as authorized by 38 U.S.C. § 7403(f). 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: Social Worker, GS-9: 1. Experience, Education, and Licensure. None beyond the basic requirements. 2. Demonstrated Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities. In addition to the experience above, the candidate must demonstrate all of the following KSAs: (a) Ability to work with Veterans and family members from various socioeconomic, cultural, ethnic, educational, and other diversified backgrounds utilizing counseling skills. (b) 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. (c) 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. (d) Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships and communicate with clients, staff, and representatives of community agencies. (e) 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. Social Worker, GS-11 (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. 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. ["VA Careers - Social Work: https://youtube.com/embed/enRhz_ua_UU Screening/Assessment-The Patient Aligned Care Team (PACT) Social Worker will conduct psychosocial assessments in collaboration with the interdisciplinary treatment team, the Veteran patient, family members and significant others; interviewing Veterans and family members/significant others and writing the psychosocial assessment. The goal of the assessment is to highlight the Veteran's strengths, limitations, and internal/external supports and service needs in order to optimize the Veteran's functional status. Incumbent demonstrates an understanding of the range of treatment and possesses skills needed for all adult patients including geriatric patients, and is able to address issues related to their physical limitations, psychological needs and age-associated illnesses and conditions. Incumbent must have an understanding of the problems of advancing age and respect for the diversification of the aging Veteran population, being sensitive to human growth and development, age-appropriate needs and concerns of the geriatric Veteran, and be able to provide current and advanced techniques to the treatment of this Veteran population. Incumbent is responsible for working within the interdisciplinary treatment team to develop a treatment plan with the Veteran, based on this assessment. Participation in the Patient Aligned Care Team (PACT)-The Patient Aligned Care Team (PACT) Social Worker participates as a medical Social Worker with the PACT. The Primary Care PACT is a comprehensive team which delivers primary care to Veteran patients in a longitudinal rather than episodic fashion and which has as its focus: prevention; health promotion, coordination and chronic disease management. Treatment Planning/Goal Setting-The Patient Aligned Care Team (PACT) Social Worker is responsible for developing the psychosocial treatment plan, and setting achievable treatment goals with the Veteran/family, independently establishing this plan and following up as needed. Referral to Service Providers -Incumbent acts as the subject matter expert on VA 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/or caregiver-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. Community Liaison and Resource Usage-Incumbent 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 serve as a liaison with community agencies, assist Veterans with referrals for services from community and government agencies, and help coordinate these services. Advocacy-Incumbent understands the intimidation of bureaucracy and will act as an advocate within the VA system when it serves the best interest of the Veteran/family. Crisis Intervention-Incumbent is experienced in making rapid assessments and developing crisis management plans for admission to mental health inpatient programs. Social Worker has access to multiple resource directories in addition to previously developed resources to meet the demands of a crisis. Education/Health Promotion and Prevention- Incumbent provides education related to VA and community resources, entitlements/benefits, Advance Directives/Living Will and will refer Veterans/families to the appropriate interdisciplinary team member for identified health education needs. Coordination of Non-Institutional and Institutional Services- Incumbent will review progress notes from the other providers to accurately determine and assess the strengths and limitations of each Veteran being referred for mental health services. Incumbent will manage, coordinate, and authorize/renew community medical needs through contracted Home Health Referrals and contracted Community Nursing Homes. Supportive Counseling- Incumbent will provide Veterans and their caregivers with brief supportive counseling. Administrative Responsibilities - Incumbent will enter all Veteran/family contacts in the electronic record using appropriate formats and templates. This information will be entered, in accordance with station policies and bylaws, in a complete, confidential, and professional manner to insure information on the patient is shared with other VA staff. Incumbent willingly accepts additional duties and special assignments that are necessary to meet program goals or customer needs. Work Schedule: Monday- Friday, 8:00am- 4:30pm Telework: Available Virtual: This is not a virtual position. Functional Statement #: 51687-0, 51688-0 Relocation/Recruitment Incentives: Authorized Permanent Change of Station (PCS): Not Authorized Financial Disclosure Report: Not required"]
About Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration
Providing Health Care for Veterans: The Veterans Health Administration is America’s largest integrated health care system, providing care at 1,255 health care facilities, including 170 medical centers and 1,074 outpatient sites of care of varying complexity (VHA outpatient clinics), serving 9 million enrolled Veterans each year.