Senior Social Worker (Caregiver Support Program) CEAT

Washington, D.C
Sep 24, 2020
Sep 25, 2020
Full Time


The Caregiver Support Program (CSP) is one of the Veterans Health Administration's (VHA) most rapidly growing service areas, as a result of infrastructure modernization, programming innovation, and expansion of population-served by the Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers (PCAFC) under MISSION Act. CSP expansion puts the VHA out front of the healthcare industry as a healthcare systems pioneer caring for the caregiver.
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The VISN CEAT Social Worker will have dedicated time for clinical practice at the nearest VAMC. The anticipated distribution of duties is 80% of time dedicated to the VISN CEAT and 20% of time dedicated to clinical care.


Executes position responsibilities that demonstrate leadership, experience, and creative approaches to management of complex patient level of care determinations including:
  • Completing all reports, data, and maintain reporting requirements with outcomes related to the CSP Program.
  • Keeping supervisor apprised of problems and recommended solutions to problems encountered in the incumbent's area of responsibility.
  • Providing assistance with the orientation and learning of less experienced social workers and, if interested, to serve as a field instructor for graduate level social work students.
  • Demonstrating knowledge and skill in the use of software applications for drafting documents and data management as well as other computer systems in use by the VHA.
  • Maintaining a level of productivity and quality consistent with the complexity of the assignment and consistent with Social Work standards, Joint Commission standards, and VISN standards.
  • Modifying tour of duty as necessary to accommodate the needs of Veteran and/or caregiver.
  • Engaging in coordination with the VA and community agencies, organizations, and groups as to learn of current services, resources and/or benefits available for caregivers.
  • Actively participating in CSP and CEAT conference calls and participating in other relevant conference calls and/or meetings as assigned.
  • Using knowledge of the CSP to matrix Veteran level of functioning with the appropriate CSP services (i.e., Program of General Caregiver Support Services [PGCSS]; PCAFC; and/or Veteran entitlements and benefits) in order to ensure patient safety, recovery, and program stewardship. and organizing delivery of care to assure continuity of care and peer accountability for practice, including access to care and discharge planning.
  • Applying advanced clinical knowledge/judgment to promote staff involvement in planning, decision-making, and evaluating PCAFC eligibility.
  • Functioning as a technical expert in clinical practice and/or CSP related to then assigned roles and responsibilities.
  • Using professional standards of care, scientific evidence, and practice to evaluate programs and/or service activities and implementing broad-reaching evidence-based change. (VA Handbook 5005, Part II, Appendix G39).
  • Leading and organizing practice and process evaluation to assure continuity and peer accountability.
  • Working with inter professional team members at regional, VISN and facility levels to ensure PCAFC eligibility determinations PCAFC are delivered objectively with strong, consistent inter-rater reliability with documentation and communication of outcomes in a direct and coordinated manner.
  • Coordinating with other Regional CEATs and VACO CSP to develop and implement strategies for PCAFC eligibility, tier level, discharge, and appeals process and performance improvement.
  • Conducting comprehensive clinical review of patient records to identify the presence of Veteran level of functioning and corresponding need for assistance with personal care services and/or supervision or protection needs on a daily basis.
  • Maintaining understanding of eligibility associated with VA service connection and conducts review of eligibility documents, as needed, to determine whether service-connected condition meets eligibility requirement.
  • Analyzing data obtained in record review for use in determining clinical eligibility for PCAFC.
  • Documenting information utilized in clinical eligibility determination and eligibility assessment tools.
  • Conducting Peer Reviews and other assigned audits to aide in achieving consistency nationally.
  • Collaborating with and contributing knowledge to a community of practice across and regions CEAT members.
  • Utilizing knowledge of PCAFC clinical eligibility to coordinate with other regional CEATs the transfer of appeals for inter-VISN evaluation.
  • Assisting the VISN with MISSION Act implementation, as it relates to CSP and PCAFC expansion.
  • Receiving, reviewing, and providing dispositions of PCAFC initial eligibility decisions; reassessments; and appeal decisions for clinical eligibly determinations.
WORK SCHEDULE: Full-Time, Monday - Friday: 8:00 am - 4:30 pm (ofc hrs schedule to change based on site location requirements)
TELEWORK: Available (According to agency policy)
POSITION DESCRIPTION TITLE /PD#: Senior Social Worker, GS-185-12
VIRTUAL: This is not a virtual position.
PHYSICAL REQUIREMENTS: The work is sedentary with occasionally moderate physical demands, exercise patience, and control emotions, with reasonable accommodation if necessary.

Travel Required

Occasional travel - The position requires that the GS-12 Senior Social Worker must possess a valid state driver's license.

Supervisory status

Promotion Potential


Conditions of Employment

  • You must be a U.S. Citizen to apply for this job
  • Designated and/or random drug testing may be required
  • Selective Service Registration is required for males born after 12/31/1959
  • You may be required to serve a probationary period
  • Subject to a background/security investigation
  • Selected applicants will be required to complete an online onboarding process
  • Must be proficient in written and spoken English.


To qualify for this position, applicants must meet all requirements by the closing date of this announcement, 09/24/2020.

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.
  • Experience/Education: The candidate must have at least two years of experience post advanced practice clinical licensure and should be in a specialized area of social work practice of which, one year must be equivalent to the GS-11 grade level. Master's degree in social work from a school of social work fully accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), is required. 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.
    • Senior Social Workers have experience that demonstrates possession of advanced practice skills and judgment. Senior social workers are experts in their specialized area of practice. Senior social workers may have certification or other post-masters training from a nationally recognized professional organization or university that includes a defined curriculum/course of study and internship or equivalent supervised professional experience in a specialty.
  • Licensure/Certification: Senior social workers must be licensed or certified by a state at the advanced practice level which included an advanced generalist or clinical examination, unless they are grandfathered by the state in which they are licensed to practice at the advanced practice level (except for licenses issued in California, which administers its own clinical examination for advanced practice) and they must be able to provide supervision for licensure.
  • 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).

Minimum Requirements:
Education: A GS-12 social worker has a master's degree in Social Work granted by a graduate program fully accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).

Grade Determinations:
Experience/Education. The candidate must have at least two years of experience post advanced practice clinical licensure and should be in a specialized area of social work practice of which, one year must be equivalent to the GS-11 grade level. Senior social workers have experience that demonstrates possession of advanced practice skills and judgment. Senior social workers are experts in their specialized area of practice. Senior social workers may have certification or other post-masters training from a nationally recognized professional organization or university that includes a defined curriculum/course of study and internship or equivalent supervised professional experience in a specialty.

Demonstrated Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities. In addition to the experience above, candidates must demonstrate all of the following KSAs:

(a) Skill in a range of specialized interventions and treatment modalities used in specialty treatment programs or with special patient populations. This includes individual, group, and/or family counseling or psychotherapy and advanced level psychosocial and/or case management.
(b) Ability to incorporate complex multiple causation in differential diagnosis and treatment within approved clinical privileges or scope of practice.
(c) Knowledge in developing and implementing methods for measuring effectiveness of social work practice and services in the specialty area, utilizing outcome evaluations to improve treatment services and to design system changes.
(d) Ability to provide specialized consultation to colleagues and students on the psychosocial treatment of patients in the service delivery area, as well as role modeling effective social work practice skills.
(e) Ability to expand clinical knowledge in the social work profession, and to write policies, procedures, and/or practice guidelines pertaining to the service delivery area.

Advanced Practice Level. For all assignments above the full performance (journey) level, the higher-level duties must consist of significant scope, complexity (difficulty), and variety and be performed by the incumbent at least 25% of the time. Advanced Practice Level is defined as the ability to provide independent and expert clinical psychosocial and case management services in a specialized area of practice to Veterans who tend to have serious and severe crises, may lack any familial and community support, may be poor self-monitors, may frequently fail to comply with instructions and treatment, or may have major deficits in coping skills and require continuing professional psychological support. The advanced practice or senior social worker has an increased depth and breadth of practice skills; has expertise in participating in the professional development of colleagues through mentorship and teaching; demonstrates leadership in developing and expanding professional intervention strategies; demonstrates leadership in defining and attending to professional practice issues; and has the ability to expand the conceptual knowledge of the profession. The advanced practice or senior social worker will make independent professional decisions and recommendations for agency action; the consequences to the Veteran of these decisions and actions may be quite serious. Work involves intensive social work services requiring the exercise of mature professional judgment and the flexible use of a wide range of complex social work practice skills not typically required in routine social work interventions. The advanced practice or senior social worker has mastered a range of specialized interventions and provides consultation to colleagues, renders professional opinions based on experience and expertise, develops new models of psychosocial assessment or intervention, and incorporates complex multiple causation in differential diagnosis and treatment. The advanced practice or senior social worker utilizes outcome evaluations to further treatment and designs system changes based on empirical findings.

References: VA Handbook 5005/50, Part II, Appendix G39. Social Worker Qualification Standard GS-185 Veterans Health Administration.
The full performance level of this vacancy is GS-12.

Physical Requirements: Must be in overall good health, able to sit at a desk working at a computer, engage in light to moderate physical activity including sitting, walking, bending, and carrying supplies. Applicants must be able to perform primarily light and sedentary duties with
occasionally moderate physical demands, exercise patience, and control emotions, with reasonable accommodation if necessary, without endangering the health and safety of the applicant or others. Position requires walking throughout the clinic and the Medical Center, standing for
extended periods of time, and involves sitting at a computer and in counsel and consultation with Veterans and interdisciplinary teams.
Position may require minimal travel into the community to meet with community agencies and partners who assist and support to the Caregiver Support program, its Veterans and caregivers.

This position also requires close visual acuity to perform an activity such as: preparing and analyzing data and figures; transcribing; viewing a computer terminal; extensive reading; and repetitive motions of the wrists, hands, and/or fingers.


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: .

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: .

Additional information

It is the policy of the VA to not deny employment to those that have faced financial hardships or periods of unemployment.

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.

Veterans and Transitioning Service Members: Please visit the VA for Vets site for career-search tools for Veterans seeking employment at VA, career development services for our existing Veterans, and coaching and reintegration support for military service members.

If you are unable to apply online view the following link for information regarding an Alternate Application .

How You Will Be Evaluated

You will be evaluated for this job based on how well you meet the qualifications above.

IN DESCRIBING YOUR EXPERIENCE, PLEASE BE CLEAR AND SPECIFIC. WE MAY NOT MAKE ASSUMPTIONS REGARDING YOUR EXPERIENCE. Your application, résumé, C.V., and/or supporting documentation will be verified. Please follow all instructions carefully. Errors or omissions may affect consideration for employment.

Background checks and security clearance

Security clearance

Drug test required

Position sensitivity and risk
Non-sensitive (NS)/Low Risk

Trust determination process

Required Documents

To apply for this position, you must provide a complete Application Package which includes:
Required Documents:
License, Resume, SF-50/ Notification of Personnel Action, and Transcript
Accepted Documents:
Cover Letter, License, Other (1), Professional Certification, Resume, Separation Notice (RIF), SF-50/ Notification of Personnel Action, and Transcript
Please review the above list(s) to ensure you have included all necessary documents required for your application. Please use this checklist to ensure you have included all supporting documentation for your application. Not every applicant will require the same documents, therefore it is the applicants responsibility to ensure that their application package includes all necessary documents to determine qualifications and eligibility for appointment, such as a copy of your SF-50, unofficial/ official transcripts, ICTAP/CTAP documentation (for displaced Federal employees).

If you are relying on your education to meet qualification requirements:

Education must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education in order for it to be credited towards qualifications. Therefore, provide only the attendance and/or degrees from schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education .

Failure to provide all of the required information as stated in this vacancy announcement may result in an ineligible rating or may affect the overall rating.

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