Senior Social Worker- Acceptance & Commitment Treatment Program (ACT)

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Baltimore, Maryland
Jun 10, 2021
Jun 18, 2021
Full Time


The Senior Social Worker for the Acceptance and Commitment Treatment Program (ACT) and General Outpatient Substance Abuse Treatment Program (SATP) provides advanced practice treatment to a highly complex population. This population consists of individuals with chronic substance use disorders, mental illness (particularly anxiety, mood disorders, and PTSD), chronic health conditions (i.e., cirrhosis, HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis), Traumatic Brain Injury, and homelessness.
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The Senior Social Worker:
  • Is mapped at 50% clinical time to ACT and 50% General Outpatient.
  • Provides case management, individual, family, and group psychotherapy to a complex patient population. Many patients who are admitted to the Acceptance and Commitment Treatment Program and General Outpatient Treatment Programs have multiple co-occurring disorders many of which are life threatening and exacerbated by continued substance use.
  • Provides specialized Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and Mindfulness Based Relapse Prevention (MBRP) within individual, couple, family, and group settings. In addition:
  • Provides current Evidence Based Therapies that may include but are not limited to: Motivational Interviewing, Motivational Enhancement, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), as well as training in Relapse Prevention, 12-Step Facilitation and other treatment modalities.
  • Collaborates with interdisciplinary treatment teams that consists of psychiatrists, psychologists, peer support specialists, and addiction therapists.
  • Must be trained in, and is required to assess for, intoxication and the potential for withdrawal syndrome and refer as necessary.
  • Maintains professional development in the area of new treatment options available by reviewing literature pertaining to addictions (CSAT treatment tips, other related articles.), develops/maintains treatment plans specific to individual patient needs. The Social Worker monitors treatment progress and document such in CPRS.
  • Has clinical expertise in the area of the recovery process and relapse prevention in order to educate patients about this process.
  • Facilitates discharge planning and coordinates aftercare services.
  • In addition to working in the Programs, will provide EAP services to VA employees. This involves providing short-term therapy, knowledge of community resources, and collaboration with referral resources.
  • Is responsible for completing psychosocial assessments, clinical diagnosing and treatment recommendations.
  • May assist Veterans in obtaining concrete resources such as food, shelter, housing or transportation through referral as well as assistance with benefits within the VA, local, State, or National or level.
  • Assesses for suicidality and risk for self-harm according to policy and through clinical assessment completes suicide risk assessments, evaluations and safety plans.
  • Educates Veterans on, and completes, Advanced Directives and Psychiatric Advance Directives when indicated.
  • Contributes to the teaching and mission of the VA and instructs and mentors other social workers, medical staff and psychiatric residents and may supervise MSW interns.
The Senior Social Worker may have other duties as assigned or required.

Work Schedule: Monday - Friday 8:00am to4:30pm
Telework: Yes, however this is not a 100% virtual position.
Financial Disclosure Report: Not required

Travel Required

Occasional travel - VAMHCS facilities for trainings, as indicated.

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
  • Must be proficient in written and spoken English
  • Selected applicants will be required to complete an online onboarding process


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.
  • Education: Have a master's degree in social work (MSW) 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.
  • Licensure: Persons hired or reassigned to social worker positions in the GS-185 series in VHA must be licensed or certified by a state to independently practice social work at the master's degree level. For this grade level, applicants must be licensed at the advanced practice level.
  • English Language Proficiency: Social workers must be proficient in spoke and written English in accordance with VA Handbook 5005, Part II, chapter 3, section A, paragraph 3j.
Grade Determinations: Senior Social Workers have experience that demonstrates possession of advanced practice skills and judgment. At least two years should be in an area of specialized social work practice. Senior social workers must be licensed or certified by a state at the advanced practice level which included an ASWB 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). 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.

In addition, the candidate must demonstrate the professional KSAs listed below:

1. 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.

2. Ability to incorporate complex multiple causation in differential diagnosis and treatment within approved clinical privileges or scope of practice.

3. 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.

4. 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.

5. 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.

References: VA Handbook 5005/23, Part II, Appendix G39

The full performance level of this vacancy is GS-12.

Physical Requirements: Light lifting (under 15 lbs.); light carrying (under 15 lbs.); reaching above shoulder; use of fingers; walking (intermittent); standing (intermittent); hearing (aid permitted); clear speech. The work is sedentary. Typically, the employee may sit comfortably to do the work. However, there may be some walking, standing, bending and carrying of light items like papers or books. No special physical demands are required to perform the work.


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

This job opportunity announcement may be used to fill additional vacancies.

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.

Experience refers to paid and unpaid experience, including volunteer work done through National Service programs (e.g., Peace Corps, AmeriCorps) and other organizations (e.g., professional; philanthropic; religions; spiritual; community; student; social). Volunteer work helps build critical competencies, knowledge, and skills and can provide valuable training and experience that translates directly to paid employment. You will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including volunteer experience.

Background checks and security clearance

Security clearance

Drug test required

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

Trust determination process
Credentialing , Suitability/Fitness

Required Documents

To apply for this position, you must provide a complete Application Package which includes:

  • License
  • VA 10-2850c
  • Resume
  • SF-50/ Notification of Personnel Action
  • Transcript

VA Form 10-2850c Application for Associated Health Occupations can be found at: .

The following documents are accepted, and may be required if applicable to your eligibility and/or qualifications for this position. Please use this checklist to ensure you have included all documents required for your application, such as a copy of your transcript (if using education to qualify), SF-50's (current/former Federal employees), etc.

  • Cover Letter
  • DD-214/ Statement of Service
  • Disability Letter (VA)
  • License
  • VA 10-2850c
  • Performance Appraisal
  • Professional Certification
  • Resume
  • Separation Notice (RIF)
  • SF-50/ Notification of Personnel Action
  • Transcript

Veterans' Preference: When applying for Federal Jobs, eligible Veterans should claim preference for 5pt (TP), 10pt (CP/CPS/XP), or for Sole Survivor Preference (SSP) in the questionnaire. You must provide a legible copy of your DD214(s) which shows dates and character of service (honorable, general, etc.). If you are currently serving on active duty and expect to be released or discharged within 120 days you must submit documentation related to your active duty service which reflects the dates of service, character of service (honorable, general, etc.), and dates of impending separation. Additionally, disabled veterans and others eligible for 10-point preference (such as widows or mothers of eligible Veterans) must also submit an SF-15 "Application for 10 Point Veteran Preference" with required proof as stated on the form. Documentation is required to award preference. For more information on Veterans' Preference, please visit .

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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