Social Worker

Wallops Island, Virginia
Feb 07, 2023
Feb 10, 2023
Full Time

The Social Worker is a member of this multidisciplinary treatment team and will participate in all aspects of the behavioral health/substance use disorder programs and is responsible for the delivery of treatment to the Veteran. The Behavioral Health Clinic utilizes a broad range of treatment modalities, and the incumbent will perform a variety of psychotherapy interventions and service assignments which requires specialized knowledge in the nature and impact of behavioral health/substance use on the Veteran and family system. The position requires an individual with comprehensive professional competence and judgment. The clinical objectives and activities to be supported by the incumbent include:
a. Improved behavioral health outpatient treatment.
b. Improved behavioral health assessments and case management.
c. Improved referrals for patients with behavioral health needs.
d. Improved individualization of outpatient treatment.
e. Improved behavioral health patient follow-up and aftercare.

Plans Effective Treatment
Develops appropriate treatment plan. Completes an initial, comprehensive assessment and provides resources and referrals based on this assessment. Independently develops a personalized, treatment plan with measurable objectives. Treatment plan is developed in collaboration with Veteran and guided by VA/DOD Clinical Practice Guidelines to insure best outcome for individual. Provider will include referrals for specialty care (e.g., substance use disorder program, MHICM, suicide prevention), domiciliary programs, intensive outpatient treatment and other appropriate interventions. Of utmost concern will be the safety of the client and assurance of effective outcomes for stabilization.

Implements Treatment
Provides individual and family clinical services. Services consist of evidence-based psychotherapy and evidence-informed therapy with the goal of reducing symptoms and increasing skill development. Utilizes measurement-based care to track patient progress and guide treatment decision making. Appropriately monitors and addresses suicidal and homicidal risk. Implements motivational skills to encourage clients to utilize effective interventions, complete practice assignments between sessions, and attend sessions at recommended frequency. Utilizes professional skills in addressing clients who are unstable or indifferent to treatment and demonstrates empathic engagement skills to assist Veterans in behavioral health and substance use recovery. Utilizes comprehensive case management skills to address all aspects of psychosocial strengths and challenges to assist with barriers to effective care.

Evaluates/Follows Up; Adjusts Treatment as Necessary
Establishes a positive, working relationship with the client. Regularly monitors and evaluates progress towards goals, discusses progress with client, and addresses barriers to treatment. Adjusts treatment plans based on treatment response, change in psychosocial stressor or life circumstance, and change in suicide risk. Follows-up with client after referral or if the client misses a counseling session. Maintains comprehensive case documentation and shows follow-through on plans. Provides psychoeducation to Veteran and family to assist with greater understanding of illness and treatment expectations. Performs other related duties as assigned.

Work Schedule: Monday - Friday, 8:00am - 4:30pm
Telework: Not Available
Virtual: This is a virtual position.
Functional Statement #: 000000
Relocation/Recruitment Incentives: Not Authorized
Permanent Change of Station (PCS): Not Authorized
Financial Disclosure Report: Not required


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 Veterans Health Administration Health Care Personnel (HCP) - See "Additional Information" below for details.


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: Must be proficient in written or spoken English.
  • 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 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 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.
  • May qualify based on being covered by the Grandfathering Provision (only applicable to current VHA employees who are in this occupation and meet the criteria). Please see the Additional Information Section of this announcement for details.
Preferred Experience:
  • At least one year conducting assessment of patients needs in a health care setting.
  • Experience in working with a multidisciplinary treatment team (at least 1 year).
  • At least one year experience in electronic medical record documentation of health and behavioral issues.
  • At least one year experience in working with mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, PTSD.
  • Experience in Evidence Based Psychotherapies (EBPs)
Grade Determinations: In addition to the basic requirements for employment, the following criteria must be met for each grade level.

GS-09:None beyond the basic requirements.
In addition to the experience above, the candidate must demonstrate all of the following Knowledge, Skills and Abilities (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.

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, 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.

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.

References: VA Handbook 5005/120 Part II Appendix G39, September 10, 2019.

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: The work is sedentary. Some work may require movement between offices, hospitals, warehouses, and similar areas for meetings and to conduct work. Work may also require walking/standing, in conjunctions with travel to and attendance at meetings and/or conferences away from the work site. Incumbent may carry and lift light items weighing less than 15 pounds.


IMPORTANT: A transcript must be submitted with your application if you are basing all or part of your qualifications on education. Failure to provide transcript may result in non-referral of your application if your education cannot be verified.

Must 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 to verify that the social work degree meets the accreditation standards for a masters of social work.

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: . 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: .

Note: If your school has changed names, or is no longer in existence, you must provide this information in your application.

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.

Pursuant to VHA Directive 1193.01, VHA health care personnel (HCP) are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 subject to such accommodations as required by law (i.e., medical, religious or pregnancy). VHA HCPs do not include remote workers who only infrequently enter VHA locations. 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 accommodation 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 .