Social Services Assistant

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


This position is located within the Department of Veterans Affairs (YA), Veterans Health Administration (VHA), VA Mid-Atlantic Health Care Network (VISN 6), Hampton Veterans Affairs Medical Center (HVAMC), under the Social Work Service Line. This position is aligned with the Mental Health Residential Rehabilitation Treatment Program.

Learn more about this agency


Clinical Responsibilities 50%
  • Responsible for developing and maintaining a therapeutic professional helping relationship with residents admitted to the Domiciliary.
  • Provides orientation to new residents by explaining Domiciliary policies and procedures, treatment expectations and goals, as well as ensuring that all domiciliary admission requirements are signed.
  • Interviews each resident to assess skills-associated activities of daily living, leisure and work interests, personal hygiene, interpersonal communication, etc. Maintains close contact with patients to ensure that their behavior and social adjustments are satisfactory.
  • Provides psycho-educational groups using a guidance model and applying past experience and knowledge of problems.
  • Demonstrates the ability to work with a variety of patients physical, mental, emotional, and behavioral problems using different techniques.
  • Appropriately identifies or resolves patient problems or refers them to staff. Is accessible to patients and serves as a role model for appropriate behavior.
  • Treats patients, staff, and visitors in a courteous and positive manner. Uses good judgment, tact, and discretion in dealing with patients who have difficulty conforming to acceptable standards or complying with requirements for acceptable adjustment to domiciliary living.
  • Organizes and facilitates small groups of patients for development of problem-solving skills for return to community living, independent living skills, reality orientation and current events.
  • Conducts regular recurring group sessions to encourage socialization, reduce isolation and support appropriate behavior.
  • Provides crisis intervention in situations of medical, psychiatric and/or behavioral nature. Utilizing high degree of independent judgment, promptly assesses the situation and initiates appropriate action to secure medical care or police assistance. Utilizes appropriate precautions in cases of injury, potential suicide, or infectious diseases.
  • Refers ill patients to domiciliary nurses during the regular work week, evening, nights, weekend, and holiday shifts.
Administrative Support 50%
  • Performs regular administrative functions, e.g. makes bed assignments, prepares, processes patients for clearance, and completes entries in communication log.
  • Maintains accurate bed inventory, identifying up to the minute availability of beds in each section.
  • Provides information about admissions, discharges, and transfers to Administrative Officer on Duty daily for input into the data base through the bed control option.
  • Provides accurate data entry into the patient treatment file which is essential to assure accurate computer-generated Gains and Loss Report, as well as maintaining accuracy in programs dependent on this information (i.e. PTF) Pharmacy, Dietetics, Scheduling. Performs special assignments as assigned e.g. preparation of data for Quality Improvement reports, Incentive Therapy payroll, supply ordering, and equipment consolidated memorandum of receipt.
  • Utilizes delegated authority to act should a patient fail to return from authorized absence at the designated time, e.g. irregular discharge, unauthorized absence if patient is incompetent, or review by Chief, Domiciliary Care.
  • Coordinates with back-up staff to ensure that urgent tasks are accomplished in case of absence. Provides back-up to other staff during their absence.
  • Incumbent is responsible for maintaining clean, safe, and healthful environment for all patients assigned to the Section under his/her supervision, including building housekeeping and sanitation, security safety, repair and maintenance of day rooms, ramps and areas surrounding the buildings. Makes daily inspections to check for physical plant equipment, health and safety, and security problems. Initiates appropriate corrective action including work orders or calling for emergency repairs.
  • Directs appropriate response to fire drills and or fire or disaster situations. Instructs patients in appropriate procedures.
  • Conducts at a minimum, weekly room and locker inspections for health, welfare, safety, and security purposes. Performs gross inspections of patient's personally owned electrical appliances to ensure that equipment is intact and electrical cords are not frayed. Submits forms for approval by Chief, Domiciliary Care Service.
  • Conducts Section Meetings for all patients in assigned Sections to communicate information, to listen to patient concerns involving the entire section, and to inform patients about changes in Domiciliary or VAMC requirements.

Work Schedule: Varying shifts 0800am-4:30pm, 3:30pm-12:00am, 12:00am-830am
weekends and holidays
Virtual: This is not a virtual position.
Position Description/PD#: Social Services Assistant/PD002444 and PD6837

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
  • All applicants tentatively selected for VA employment in a testing designated position are subject to urinalysis to screen for illegal drug use prior to appointment. Applicants who refuse to be tested will be denied employment with VA.
  • Selective Service Registration is required for males born after 12/31/1959
  • 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
  • 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 Department of Veterans Affairs Personnel


To qualify for this position, applicants must meet all requirements by the closing date of this announcement, 10/28/2021.

Time-In-Grade Requirement: Applicants who are current Federal employees and have held a GS grade any time in the past 52 weeks must also meet time-in-grade requirements by the closing date of this announcement. For a GS-05 position you must have served 52 weeks at the GS-06. The grade may have been in any occupation, but must have been held in the Federal service. An SF-50 that shows your time-in-grade eligibility must be submitted with your application materials. If the most recent SF-50 has an effective date within the past year, it may not clearly demonstrate you possess one-year time-in-grade, as required by the announcement. In this instance, you must provide an additional SF-50 that clearly demonstrates one-year time-in-grade.

Note: Time-In-Grade requirements also apply to former Federal employees applying for reinstatement as well as current employees applying for Veterans Employment Opportunities Act of 1998 (VEOA) appointment.

You may qualify based on your experience and/or education as described below:
GS-186-06 (Full Performance Level):
    To qualify for the GS-186-06 based on Specialized Experience: Qualifying specialized experience includes one year of specialized experience comparable to GS-05 which is directly related to the work of this position and which has equipped the applicant with the knowledge, skills, and abilities to perform successfully the duties of the position. For this position, specialized experience is defined as experience serving as a Social services assistant performing social service functions, performs administrative duties and provides practical guidance support to patients with complex medical, psychiatric, alcohol and drug abuse and homelessness problems covering a wide range in ages and levels of function. Incumbent is required to exercise considerable discretion in applying necessary guidelines to enable them to resolve problem situations, and crisis events, enforcing social work program regulations. In addition, experience must demonstrate ability to utilize computer technology, as well as ability to interact collaboratively with others to provide consultation and liaison services; Broad knowledge of medical/surgical conditions and their treatment/care provided. Broad knowledge of mental and psychological dysfunctional states and the treatment provided. Broad knowledge of psychiatric conditions and their treatment/care provided. Knowledge of alcohol and drug dependence and the rehabilitation process. Knowledge of the aging process and its effects upon patients' level of functioning.
  • Knowledge of counseling methods and ability to apply them with individual patients. Basic knowledge of case management methods and ability to apply them with assigned patients. Basic knowledge of group functions and processes and ability to utilize them to facilitate. Flexibility, tact, initiative, and critical thinking are needed to perform duties with patients with wide range of diagnostic categories.
  • OR To qualify for the GS-186-06 based on Education: As a general rule, education is not creditable above GS-5 for most positions covered by this standard; however, graduate education may be credited in those few instances where the graduate education is directly related to the work of the position. For the GS-6, applicants must have successfully completed Six months of graduate education in a degree program directly related to the work of the position as a substitution for specialized experience. Qualifying graduate coursework includes: Business Management, Telecommunications, Information Technology, or comparable major of study. This education must have been obtained in an accredited college or university. Transcripts (unofficial) are required at time of application. A transcript or course listing must be submitted if you are basing all or part of your qualifications on education. Applications submitted without this information will not be considered. Such education must demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to do the work. An academic year of graduate education is considered to be the number of credit hours that the school attended has determined to represent 6 months of full-time study. This determination is made based on normal course loads for a full year of study in the graduate program. If that information cannot be obtained from the school, 9 semester hours or 27 quarter hours should be considered as satisfying the 6 months year of full time study requirement. Part-time graduate education is creditable in accordance with its relationship to a year of full-time study at the school attended. When academic credit is expressed in contract months, units, or other terms that differ from conventional semester or quarter hours, it is the responsibility of the applicant to provide an interpretation of such credits from the appropriate institution in order to equate them to the semester or quarter hours specified in the standard. OR To qualify for the GS-186-06 based on combination: Applicants may also combine education and experience to qualify at these grade levels. Combinations of successfully completed post-high school education and experience may be used to meet total qualification requirements and may be computed by first determining the applicant's total qualifying experience as a percentage of the experience required for the grade level; then determining the applicant's education as a percentage of the education required for the grade level; and then adding the two percentages. The total percentages must equal at least 100 percent to qualify an applicant for that grade level. When crediting education that requires specific course work, prorate the number of hours of related courses required as a proportion of the total education to be used.

You will be rated on the following Competencies for this position:
  • Customer Service
  • Clerical
  • Client Orientation
  • Database Administration
  • Communications
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.

Note: A full year of work is considered to be 35-40 hours of work per week. Part-time experience will be credited on the basis of time actually spent in appropriate activities. Applicants wishing to receive credit for such experience must indicate clearly the nature of their duties and responsibilities in each position and the number of hours a week spent in such employment.

Physical Requirements: Work is generally sedentary and requires sitting, walking, standing, bending, and/or carrying light items.

For more information on these qualification standards, please visit the United States Office of Personnel Management's website at .


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

The Interagency Career Transition Assistance Plan (ICTAP) and Career Transition Assistance Plan (CTAP) provide eligible displaced Federal/VA competitive service employees with selection priority over other candidates for competitive service vacancies. To be qualified you must submit appropriate documentation (a copy of the agency notice, your most recent performance rating, and your most recent SF-50 noting current position, grade level, and duty location) and be found well-qualified for this vacancy. To be well-qualified : applicants must possess experience that exceeds the minimum qualifications of the position including all selective factors, and who are proficient in most of the required competencies of the job. Information about ICTAP and CTAP eligibility is on OPM's Career Transition Resources website at .

Placement Policy: The posting of this announcement does not obligate management to fill a vacancy or vacancies by promotion. The position may be filled by reassignment, change to lower grade, transfer, appointment, or reinstatement. Management may use any one or any combination of these methods to fill the position.

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

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

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.

For more information on the "Who may apply" eligibility requirements, please refer to the OHRM Status Candidates and Other Candidate Definitions document.

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.


Narrative responses are not required at this time. If you are referred for consideration, you may be asked to submit additional job related information, which may include, but not limited to; responses to the knowledge, skills and abilities; completion of a work sample, and/or contact for an interview.Your resume and/or supporting documentation will be verified. Please follow all instructions carefully. Errors or omissions may affect your rating or consideration for employment.

Background checks and security clearance

Security clearance
Not Required

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:
  • Resume

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 make sure you have included other documents required for your application, such as a copy of your transcript (if using education to qualify), SF-50's (current/former Federal employees), documentation to support Veterans Preference claims, or ICTAP/CTAP documentation (for displaced Federal employees). You will not be contacted for additional information.
  • Cover Letter
  • Resume
  • SF-50/ Notification of Personnel Action

SF-50, Notification of Personnel Action (if applicable for Time in Grade and/or Eligibility):
  • Most recent SF-50 if you are a current or former Federal employee
  • An SF-50 showing your time-in-grade eligibility must be submitted with your application materials. If the most recent SF-50 has an effective date within the past year, it may not clearly demonstrate you possess one-year time-in-grade, as required by the announcement. In this instance, you must provide an additional SF-50 that clearly demonstrates one-year time-in-grade
  • Award 50's do not provide sufficient information and will not be accepted for the purpose of verifying time-in-grade.
  • Examples of appropriate SF-50's include:
    • Within grade increases at the highest grade held; or
    • Promotions with an effective date more than one year old; or
    • SF-50's at the highest grade held with an effective date more than one year old.

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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