Social Worker (Assistant Chief)

Salem, Virginia
Oct 20, 2021
Oct 28, 2021
Full Time


Incumbent serves as the Assistant Chief, Social Work Service (SWS), at the Salem Veterans Affairs Health Care System (VA HCS) a level 1-c facility with five associated VA Clinics located in Danville (contract), Lynchburg, Staunton, Tazewell (contract), and Wytheville. Incumbent serves in a full-time administrative position with full authority and responsibility for providing administrative support to the Chief.
Learn more about this agency


The incumbent will participate in overseeing the practice of all of the social workers at the facility. The incumbent assists the Chief in coordinating and directing all administrative and clinical aspects of the centralized service, including providing clinical supervision for interdisciplinary staffing, work assignments, budget, treatment services provided, and implementing policies and procedures that promote quality of care.

As Coordinator/Supervisor, the incumbent is responsible for the following:
  • Making decisions regarding work problems presented by subordinate social work supervisors. Incumbent collaborates with others in negotiating, deciding upon, and/or coordinating social work related changes affecting other programs. The Assistant Chief advises Care Line Managers/Chiefs on problems involving the relationship of social work activities to the various units and programs.
  • Makes selections for supervisory and non-supervisory positions, hears group grievances and serious employee complaints, reviews serious disciplinary cases (i.e., those proposing suspensions and removals), and disciplinary problems involving key employees. The individual consults with specialists regarding training needs and decides on the types of training interventions to address the identified problems of the supervised wards/units.
  • Develops procedures for and ensures the implementation and achievement of the provision of social work services to medical facility patients on inpatient and outpatient programs. Provides or ensures that professional staff provide advice, assistance, and consultation to community health and welfare agencies and councils and other community groups to enhance the provision of social services to Veteran patients in the community.
  • Develops and monitors standards of clinical practice/standards of care for Social Work as the Co-Chair of the Social Work Professional Practice Council. This includes development of care guidelines and manuals and guides for professional practice. Develops consistent standard operating procedures required to accomplish clinical care interventions and ensures that they are followed. Incumbent is responsible for developing patient education materials for Social Work.
  • Makes recommendations for recruitment of staff and ensures responsibilities for orientation and continuing education of staff. Evaluates and consults on the social work role in various programs. Manages and directs social work activities in the Service Lines including interventions to resolve administrative problems and participates in program evaluations.
  • Briefs management orally and in writing on a regular basis concerning matters related to Social Work Service, in order to provide information required to make effective decisions for program planning.
  • Takes appropriate action when indicated and ensures that copies of professional Social Work Service meeting minutes are made available for social workers
  • Reviews and evaluates Executive Committee minutes in order to develop action plans for issues relevant to Social Work. Incumbent coordinates with Informatics regarding the administration/file building of VistA/CPRS software packages for Social Work.
  • Compiles and disseminates social work quality management findings, actions, and outcomes to social workers, medical center staff, and leadership personnel. This includes twice yearly reporting to the Medical Executive Council related to the activities reported through the Social Work Professional Practice Council.
  • Incumbent has responsibility for the preparation of reports, as assigned by the Chief, Medical Center Director, or Central Office.
  • Incumbent serves the Medical Center at large in a variety of capacities, such as committee assignments, investigations, personnel matters, and special projects. The incumbent coordinates all inspection scheduling, reporting, and follow-up.
  • Having consultative authority, the Assistant Chief serves as a vital professional influence and resource to local leadership in their compliance with standards defined by accrediting organizations, such as The Joint Commission and the Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (TJC and CARF) standards applicable to Social Work.
  • Incumbent maintains academic affiliations for social work practice; which may include arranging and coordinating Social Work Field Practice placements at the Medical Center.
  • Consulting with other Services, program managers, or care line managers on issues pertaining to Social Work ethics, ethical dilemmas in the delivery of care, and ethical issues within the larger organization.
Work Schedule: Monday - Friday, 7:45 am to 4:30 pm.
Telework: Not Available
Virtual: This is not a virtual position.
Position Title/Functional Statement #:Social Worker (Assistant Chief)/PD000000
Relocation/Recruitment Incentives: Not Authorized
Permanent Change of Station (PCS): Not Authorized
Financial Disclosure Report: Not required

Travel Required

Not required

Supervisory status

Promotion Potential


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
  • 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
  • Participation in the seasonal influenza and Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Vaccination programs are requirements for all Department of Veterans Affairs Health Care Personnel (HCP)


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 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.

English Language Proficiency. Social workers must be proficient in spoken and written English in accordance with VA Regulations.

Preferred Education/Experience: 3 years of supervisory experience preferred.

Grade Determinations (GS-13)
Experience/Education: One year of experience equivalent to the GS-12 grade level. Experience must demonstrate possession of advanced practice skills in administration, demonstrating progressively more professional competency skills and judgment. Individual may have certification or other post-master's degree training from a nationally recognized professional organization or university that includes a defined curriculum/course of study and internship, or equivalent supervised professional experience.

Licensure/Certification. The assistant service chief must evidence possession of supervisory and management skills, must be licensed or certified at the advanced practice level, and must be able to provide supervision for licensure.

Demonstrated Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities. In addition to the experience above, the candidate must demonstrate all of the following KSAs:
(a) Knowledge of administrative and supervisory duties which includes personnel actions, clinical supervision, consultation, negotiation with other departments, and quality improvement.
(b) Knowledge of legal, ethical, and professional standards applicable to social work practice.
(c) Ability to develop, maintain, and oversee social work programs in all settings.
(d) Knowledge of social work practice, policy, and accreditation standards across the continuum of health care.
(e) Skill in providing consultation to facility leadership, managers, and other staff on social work qualification standards, practice, competency, productivity, and continuing education requirements.

Assignments. This position is restricted to those serving as a full assistant to the chief social work service for both administrative and professional practice. These individuals share with the chief full responsibility for managing and supervising all aspects of social work service operations. At the GS-13 grade level, individuals are typically assigned as assistant chief of a large complex social work service within the organization that offers social work services at VHA facilities with one or more divisions. While the chief has full management and supervisory responsibility for clinical practice, program management, education, human resource management and supervision, and organizational stewardship for the social work program, the assistant chief is responsible for supporting these functions per the direction of the chief. In the absence of the social work chief, the assistant chief has full management and supervisory responsibility for the social work program. The assistant chief provides supervision to a moderate social work service and staff, members of different grades that may include multiple disciplines; treatment sites are limited and in close proximity to the medical center, and programs are with limited administrative oversite responsibility. Such facilities may offer specialty care and services and may be affiliated with academic institutions. The assistant chief develops and maintains a system of internal reviews that ensure service programs operate at a satisfactory level of performance and are in compliance with regulations. The assistant chief has responsibility for utilization of resources and budget. They make selections, assign personnel, and serve as a mentor to help employees develop their full potential.

References: VA Handbook 5005/120, Part II, Appendix G39, Social Worker Qualification Standard. Available in the Human Resources Office.

Physical Requirements: The incumbent 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. The incumbent must be able to perform primarily light and sedentary duties with occasionally moderate physical demands with reasonable accommodation if necessary, without endangering the health and safety of the incumbent or others. Position requires walking throughout the Health Care 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 travel into the community to meet with community agencies and partners who aid, help, and provide support to Veterans and caregivers as well as to our five associated VA Clinic.


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

Receiving Service Credit or Earning Annual (Vacation) Leave: Federal Employees earn annual leave at a rate (4, 6 or 8 hours per pay period) which is based on the number of years they have served as a Federal employee. VA may offer newly-appointed Federal employee's credit for their job-related non-federal experience or active duty uniformed military service. This credited service can be used in determining the rate at which they earn annual leave. Such credit must be requested and approved prior to the appointment date and is not guaranteed.

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 or need to fax a document you do not have in electronic form, 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
Not Required

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
  • Resume
  • SF-50/ Notification of Personnel Action
  • Transcript

Your resume (Required) (and/or curriculum vitae) must include the following information for each job listed:
    Job title Pay Plan and Grades Held (for Federal positions) Duties (Please be as detailed as possible. We recommend that you include information directly related to the position you are applying to. Good examples of pertinent information can be found in the Duties and Qualifications sections of the announcement. If you have performed any of those duties or have any of that experience, we are looking for that on your resume. We make no assumptions in regards to experience. It has to be on the resume under the position it was performed in at the proper grade level to count towards qualifications. Month & year start/end dates (e.g. June 2007 to April 2008) Full-time or part-time status (include hours worked per week)
For example:
  • Supervisory Human Resources Specialist (Employee/Labor Relations)
  • Any VA Healthcare System, Address City, State ZIP
  • Full-Time (40 Hours Per Week)
  • GS-12 Step 2 4/2019 - Present
  • GS-12 Step 1 4/2018 - 4/2019
    • Duty related to the position you are applying to
    • Duty related to the position you are applying to
    • Duty related to the position you are applying to

VA Form 10-2850c Application for Associated Health Occupations can be found at: .
*Required at time of application.

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 Form 10-2850c
  • Other (2)
  • Professional Certification
  • Resume
  • SF-15
  • 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 Feds Hire Vets - Veterans - Job Seekers - Veterans' Preference .

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.