This is an OPEN CONTINUOUS ANNOUNCEMENT in support of critical
hiring shortages in the VA. The initial cut-off date for referral
of eligible applications will beJune 7, 2021 and applicants will be
referred on an 'as needed' basis.
NOTE: Announcement will remain open until no longer needed, but
no later than August 23, 2021 .
Learn more about this agency
Social Workers will be assigned to interested facilities
throughout VHA and may be permanently or temporarily (not to exceed
1-year) appointed on intermittent, part-time, or full-time schedule
in support of the VA facilities across the Nation. Duties include
but may not be limited to:
- Performs case finding functions and outreach, identifying and
screening patients for psychosocial needs.
- Implements treatment modalities.
- Provides counseling or psychotherapy for individuals, families
- Conducts psychosocial assessments.
- Develops treatment plans in collaboration with the Veteran,
their families and caregiver and with the interdisciplinary
- Offers psychosocial interventions and measures outcomes to
- Coordinates community-based services, including information and
referral for additional services from other VA programs, other
government programs and community agency programs.
- Identifies high-risk patients and provides case management
- Establishes and maintains effective therapeutic relationships
with Veterans and their families.
- Works with patients and families who are experiencing a variety
of psychiatric, medical and social problems utilizing individual,
group and family counseling and therapy skills.
- Provides consultation services to other staff regarding the
psychosocial needs of Veterans and the impact of psychosocial
problems on health care and adherence to treatment plan.
- Provides customers with consistent information according to
established policies and procedures.
- Handles conflict and problems in dealing with the consumer
constructively and appropriately.
Work Schedule: A variety of work schedules are available; Work
schedule will be determined upon selection. NOTE: May be expected
to work rotating weekends and holidays.
Pay Schedule: The salary range listed in this announcement is a
Base-Line Salary for a full-time work schedule. Starting salary
will be set based on locality (which may include a special pay rate
depending upon location), as well as FT, PT or Intermittent
PCS Expenses: Not Available.
Financial Disclosure Report: Not required
Pay: Competitive salary, annual performance bonus, regular
Paid Time Off: Depending on your leave tier, receive 13 to 26
days paid time off per year, including 10 paid federal holidays; 13
sick days annual with no limitation on accumulation.
Retirement: Traditional federal pension (5 years' vesting) and
federal 401K with up to 5% in contributions by VA.
Insurance: Federal health/vision/dental/term life/long-term care
(many federal insurance programs can be carried into
For More Information on Benefits: https://www.vacareers.va.gov/Benefits/EmploymentBenefits
0185 Social Work
Conditions of Employment
- You must be a U.S. Citizen to apply for this job
- 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
are met. NOTE: This applies to the past, current, and upcoming VA
Health Professional Trainees (HPT) only. HPT is an individual
appointed to temporary positions in one or more VHA medical
facilities performing clinical or research training experiences to
satisfy program or degree requirements or receiving VA Health
Professional Scholarship Program. HPTs can be either VA-paid or
Without Compensation (WOC)
- United States Citizenship: Non-citizens may only be appointed
when it is not possible to recruit qualified citizens in accordance
with VA Policy.
- Education: Requires 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: 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.
- English Language Proficiency: Must be proficient in spoken and
written English to be appointed as authorized by 38 U.S.C.
Grandfathering: 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).
(1) All persons employed in VHA in this occupation on the
effective date of this qualification standard (September 10, 2019)
are considered to have met all qualification requirements for the
title, series and grade held, including positive education and
licensure or certification that are part of the basic requirements
of the occupation.
For employees who do not meet all of the basic requirements in
this standard, but who met the qualifications applicable to the
position at the time they were appointed to it, the following
(2) Such employees in an occupation that requires a licensure or
certification, may be reassigned, promoted up to and including the
full performance (journey) level, or changed to lower grade within
the occupation, but may not be promoted beyond the journey level or
placed in supervisory or managerial positions.
(3) Employees who are appointed on a temporary basis prior to
the effective date of the qualification standard may not have their
temporary appointment extended or be reappointed, on a temporary or
permanent basis, until they fully meet the basic requirements of
(4) Employees initially grandfathered into this occupation, who
subsequently obtain additional education and/or
licensure/certification/registration that meet all of the basic
requirements of this qualification standard must maintain the
required credentials as a condition of employment in the
(5) If an employee who was retained in an occupation listed in
38 U.S.C. 7401(3) under this provision leaves that occupation, the
employee loses protected status and must meet the full VA
qualification standard requirements in effect at the time of
reentry to the occupation.
NOTE: If social workers covered under the grandfathering
provision of the 1991 Federal law regarding licensure or
certification of VHA social workers leave the GS0185 social work
series, they lose the grandfathering protection. If they choose to
return at a later date to the GS-0185 series, they must be licensed
or certified to qualify for employment as a social worker.
Grade Determinations: In addition to the basic requirements for
employment, the following criteria must be met when determining the
grade of candidates.
Social Worker, 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
(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
Social Worker, 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
(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
(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
(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.
References: VA Handbook 5005, Appendix G39. Social Worker
Qualification Standard GS-0185
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: Day-to-day work involves sitting,
walking, standing and carrying light objects, such as medical
records. Work is typically performed in a clinical setting that
exposes the incumbent to the communicable disease common of the
IMPORTANT: A transcript must be submitted with your application
if you are basing all or part of your qualifications on
VA Health Professional Trainees (HPT) 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.
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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