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Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration Social Worker (Program Manager) in Brockton, Massachusetts

Summary This position is eligible for the Education Debt Reduction Program (EDRP), a student loan payment reimbursement program. You must meet specific individual eligibility requirements in accordance with VHA policy and submit your EDRP application within four months of appointment. Approval, award amount (up to $200,000) and eligibility period (one to five years) are determined by the VHA Education Loan Repayment Services program office after complete review of the EDRP application. Responsibilities The incumbent serves as the program manager for the Center for Integrated Residential Care for Addictions (CIRCA) which is administered by the Mental Health Care Line (MHCL) and located on the grounds of the VA Boston Healthcare System (VA BHS) Brockton Division. CIRCA is a Mental Health Residential Rehabilitation Program that provides empirically supported psychosocial and pharmacological treatments for veterans who are dually diagnosed with substance use and mental health disorders. CIRCA is an important component in the continuum of care for veterans with severe addictions and mental health disorders in the VA BHS and the VISN. It serves as a major referral source for veterans being discharged from the acute psychiatric and medical units in VA BHS and receives a high volume of referrals from other facilities in VISN 1. The incumbent is a GS-12 social worker who is capable of practicing at an advanced level with a specialized knowledge of substance use disorders and other psychiatric diagnoses. The incumbent has at least 2 years of experience in an area of specialized social work practice and is licensed at the advanced practice level. The incumbent program manager provides direct clinical care and will have skills to complete screenings, risk, and intake assessments, and comprehensive treatment plans, provide individual and group psychotherapy, as well as case management, as needed, and complete the required paperwork. As the program manager, the incumbent has primary responsibility for the daily clinical operations and administrative oversight of the Center for Integrated Residential Care for Addictions (CIRCA)., The incumbent works on the coordination of care with inpatient, other residential, outpatient alcohol and drug, and other mental health treatment programs, as well as homelessness programs across the medical center campuses and both in- and outside the VISN. Effective communication is essential for this position. The incumbent participates in management meetings in VA BHS and on national calls related to residential programming, SUD services, and accreditation and safety reviews. The incumbent holds primary responsibility for preparing the unit for accreditation, regulatory, and safety reviews. The incumbent looks for opportunities within the VA to expand services for veterans in residential substance use treatment either through additional staff resources or training opportunities. The incumbent work with numerous services in the hospital to ensure that the residential treatment program's physical environment meets all safety requirements. The incumbent is also responsible for making decisions about purchases for CIRCA that are needed for patient care. The incumbent supervises an interdisciplinary staff performing work at various GS levels up to their own grade and provides administrative, technical and clinical supervision necessary for accomplishing the work of the unit. Performs the administrative and personnel management functions relative to staff supervised. Incumbent establishes guidelines and performance expectations for staff, which are clearly communicated through the formal employee performance management system. Observes workers' performance; demonstrates and conducts work performance critiques. Provides informal feedback and periodically evaluates employee performance. The social work program manager may be involved in clinical training and supervision based on needs, interests, and skills. Work Schedule: Monday-Friday 8:00am-4:30pm Telework: Available Virtual: This is not a virtual position. Functional Statement #: F917680 EDRP Authorized: Contact Karen/Chapman@va.gov, the EDRP Coordinator for questions/assistance. Learn more Financial Disclosure Report: Not required Requirements 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. Qualifications 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. The basic requirements for employment as a VHA social worker are prescribed by statute in 38 U.S.C. § 7402(b)(9), as amended by section 205 of Public Law 106-419, enacted November 1, 2000. To qualify for appointment as a social worker in VHA, all applicants must meet the following: a. Citizenship. Be a citizen of the United States. b. 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 http://www.cswe.org/Accreditation to verify that the social work degree meets the accreditation standards for a masters of social work. c. 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 http://vaww.va.gov/OHRM/T38Hybrid/. (c) Different states have different levels of licensure or certification, making it difficult for VHA staff to determine the independent practice level. Each state, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia completed surveys identifying the level of licensure or certification allowing independent practice. Copies of the surveys are on file in the VHA Office of Care Management and Social Work Services, and a summary spreadsheet of the levels of licensure or certification is available to social work professional standards board members for purposes of determining whether the social worker's level of licensure or certification meets the VHA qualification standards. All states except California use a series of licensure exams administered by the ASWB. Information can be found at https://www.aswb.org/. The ASWB is the association of boards that regulates social work. ASWB develops and maintains the social work licensing examination used across the country and is a central resource for information on the legal regulation of social work. The ASWB offers three examinations. The master's examination is generally used by states for the independent practice level of licensure or certification, while the advanced generalist and the clinical examinations are used for the advanced practice level of licensure or certification. Differences between the master's and the advanced exams demonstrate the expectation that advanced practice social workers will have a more sophisticated knowledge of practice theory and its application. (3) Loss of Licensure or Certification. Once licensed or certified, social workers must maintain a full, valid, and unrestricted independent license or certification to remain qualified for employment. Loss of licensure or certification will result in removal from the GS-0185 social worker series and may result in termination of employment. d. English Language Proficiency. Candidates must be proficient in spoken and written English to be appointed as authorized by 38 U.S.C. § 7403(f). GRADE DETERMINATIONS. In addition to the basic requirements for employment, the following criteria must be met when determining the grade of candidates. Senior Social Worker, GS-12 (1) 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. (2) 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. (3) 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. Assignments. For all assignments above the full performance 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. Senior social workers are licensed or certified to independently practice social work at an advanced level. Senior social workers typically practice in a major program area such as but not limited to: Polytrauma Rehabilitation Center or Polytrauma Network Site; a Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation Center, or a national VHA referral center, such as a national Center for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder or a national Transplant Center, or other program areas of equivalent scope and complexity. The senior social worker may be assigned administrative responsibility for clinical program development and is accountable for clinical program effectiveness and modification of service patterns. Assignments include clinical settings where they have limited access to onsite supervision such as CBOCs or satellite outpatient clinics. The senior social worker collaborates with the other members of the treatment team in the provision of comprehensive health care services to Veterans, ensures equity of access, service, and benefits to this population, ensures the care provided is of the highest quality. The senior social worker provides leadership, direction, orientation, coaching, in-service training, staff development, and continuing education programs for assigned social work staff. They serve on committees, work groups, and task forces at the facility, VISN and national level, or in the community as deemed appropriate by the supervisor, Social Work Executive or Chief of Social Work Services. This assignment is to be relatively few in number based on the size of the facility/service and applying sound position management. Education This assignment must represent substantial additional responsibility over and above that required at the full performance grade level and cannot be used as the full performance level of this occupation. Social Worker, GS-11 (Full Performance level) 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 (2) Education. 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. Demonstrated Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities. 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. Assignments [Full Performance Level]. This is the full performance level. Social workers at this level are licensed or certified to independently practice social work. Incumbents are assigned to all program areas, including but not limited to: inpatient or outpatient medicine, surgery, mental health, neurology, rehabilitation medicine, and geriatrics. Employees provide professional, independent social work services in the assigned area. They independently formulate and implement a treatment plan including measurable, achievable goals identifying the Veterans' needs, strengths, weaknesses, coping skills, and psychosocial acuity. Social workers serve on committees, work groups, and task forces at the facility and VISN level or in the community. DEVIATIONS. An approving official may, under unusual circumstances, approve reasonable deviations to the grade determination requirements for an employee whose composite record of accomplishments, performance, and qualifications, as well as current assignment, warrants such action based on demonstrated competence to meet the requirements of the proposed grade. Under no circumstances will the educational requirements be waived. Under no circumstances will licensure requirements be waived for positions at the GS-11 grade level or above. The placement of individuals in grade levels or assignments not described in this standard must be approved by the Under Secretary for Health or designee in VHA Central Office prior to placement in the position. Preferred Experience: Experience providing evidence-based therapies for individuals with substance use disorders and comorbid psychiatric conditions Experience with program development and evaluation References: VA Handbook 5005/120 Part II Appendix G39 Social Worker Qualification Standard GS-185 Veterans Health Administration. The full performance level of this vacancy GS-12. Physical Requirements: No special physical qualifications are required to perform the work. The work requires the ability to move around the office and facility. The work is performed in offices and meeting rooms and is largely sedentary. (See VA Directive and Handbook 5019) The work can be mentally and psychologically demanding and stressful, and the ability to utilize effective coping and self-care strategies is essential. 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: http://ope.ed.gov/accreditation/. 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: https://sites.ed.gov/international/recognition-of-foreign-qualifications/. 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. Selected applicants may qualify for credit toward annual leave accrual, based on prior work experience or military service experience. 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. 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 an alternate method to submit documents, please reach out to the Agency Contact listed in this Job Opportunity Announcement.

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