This Behavioral Health Social Worker is assigned to the Buffalo VA Emergency Department (ED) & Inpatient Psychiatry Unit with responsibility to provide direct services for Veterans and their families who present for care in those settings. The primary mission of the position is to provide mental health and lethality assessments and intervention. 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: 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. 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. 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/. 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 and meet the criteria). Grade Determinations: GS-11 Requirements: 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. NOTE: For appointment licensure or certification at this level please refer to paragraph 3c. OR 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: Knowledge of community resources, how to make appropriate referrals to community and other governmental agencies for services, and ability to coordinate services. 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. 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. 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. 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 Full Performance Level Assignments. 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. Duties include but are not limited to: assessing and documenting identified behaviors or symptoms of abuse, neglect, exploitation and/or intimate partner violence; use of clinical social work skills and knowledge to maintain Veteran privacy and confidentiality per policies, handbooks or directives; and acts as an advocate with appropriate VA and community service providers and agencies when it serves the best interest of the Veteran and family members/caregiver. Incumbent independently assesses the psychosocial functioning and needs of Veterans and their family members, identifying the Veteran's strengths, weaknesses, coping skills, and psychosocial acuity. In collaboration with the Veteran, family/caregiver, and interdisciplinary treatment team, the social worker facilitates the delivery of health care services. The social worker identifies family/caregiver stressors, conducts assessment and provides specific interventions. The incumbent provides case management and care coordination to facilitate appropriate delivery of health care services, incorporates complex multiple causation in differential diagnosis and treatment of Veterans, including making psychosocial and psychiatric diagnoses within approved clinical privileges or scope of practice. The social worker links the Veteran with services, resources, and opportunities, in order to maximize the Veteran's independence, health, and well-being. The social worker conducts timely assessment of at-risk Veterans in crisis to identify immediate needs, evaluate risk, and initiate safety plan as appropriate. The social worker provides interventions independently with Veterans and their families/caregivers who are experiencing a wide range of complicated medical, behavioral health, financial, legal, and psychosocial problems. They provide a range of interventions and treatment modalities which may include individual, group, and/or family counseling or psychotherapy. 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. References: VA Handbook 5005/120, Part II, Appendix G39. The full performance level of this vacancy is GS-11. The actual grade at which an applicant may be selected for this vacancy is in the range of GS-09 to GS-11. Physical Requirements: Work is sedentary but also demands standing, walking, bending, twisting, and carrying light items. ["This Behavioral Health Social Worker is assigned to the Buffalo VA Emergency Department (ED) & Inpatient\nPsychiatry Unit with responsibility to provide direct services for Veterans and their families who present for care in\nthose settings. The primary mission of the position is to provide mental health and lethality assessments and\nintervention. The incumbent is also to provide generalist social work duties, including psychosocial assessments\nand treatment planning, discharge planning including community placement and transportation, short-term,\nsolution focused counseling with individuals and families who may be in crisis, education and referral for\nresources and benefits, case management and post-intervention follow-up. Responsibilities will also include\nconsultation/education to Medical Center staff and service providers, the collection and maintenance of statistical\ndata, program planning evaluation and modification. As a member of an Interdisciplinary Treatment Team in the ED and on the Inpatient Psychiatric Unit, the\nindividual conducts work independently using his/her educational training and clinical experience, adhering to VA\npolicies and Joint Commission standards in administering direct services. The incumbent will provide a full range\nof social work services within commonly accepted standards of social work practice, which includes crisis\nintervention, case management, individual, family and group counseling, discharge planning, and other services\nas appropriate. The incumbent:\na. Will independently conduct mental health evaluations and psychosocial assessments and treatment\ninterventions to a wide variety of individuals from various socio-economic, cultural, ethnic, educational, and\nother diversified backgrounds to determine needs of Veterans and family members. The incumbent functions\nas the ED provider for patients who present to the ED with behavioral health concerns, providing crisis\nintervention, provisional diagnosis, treatment, and disposition recommendations. Work may involve\nconsultation with the on-call psychiatrist.\nb. Knowledge of medical and mental health diagnoses, disabilities, and treatment procedures, (i.e., acute,\nchronic, and traumatic illnesses/injuries, common medications and their effects/side effects, and medical\nterminology) to formulate a treatment plan.\nc. Independently implements different treatment modalities in working with individuals, families, and groups who\nare experiencing a variety of psychiatric, medical, and social problems to achieve treatment goals.\nd. On inpatient psychiatry, independently conducts interviews and completes psychosocial assessments,\nMHICM screens, and Advance Directive screening/completion as indicated, on any new admissions within 48\nhours.\ne. Suicide Risk Evaluation-Comprehensive will be completed in the ED, or if not done in ED, within 24 hours of\nadmission to inpatient psychiatry unit.\nf. Completes Suicide Behavior Overdose Report on any patient who is reports a suicide attempt or other selfdirected\nviolent behavior within 24 hours of admission, if one is not already completed.\ng. Identifies patients at high risk for lethality and refer for suicide prevention case management services.\nh. Obtain releases for family, community resources and other government agencies.\ni. Contact family/friends for collateral information, and to engage in discharge planning, and continuing care,\nwith permission of patient.\nj. Discharge planning:\n- Coordinate return to previous location as appropriate.\n- Generate referrals for needed programs and services, including but not limited to: housing or shelters,\nsupported living or institutional care, substance abuse services, homecare services, other support and case\nmanagement services. Health Buddy, MHICM, and Psychosocial Rehab and Recovery Program, and\nfacilitates consults and appointments for aftercare.\n- Assure pt has MH follow up in accordance with National Performance Measure.\n- Arrange appropriate level of transportation, assuring pt. safety.\nk. Provides individual, family and group counseling as appropriate.\nl. Makes referrals to a variety of appropriate programs such as Health Buddy, MHICM, Home Health Services,\nand Psychosocial Rehab and Recovery Program, and facilitates consults and appointments for aftercare. Work Schedule: Variable. #3 ten hour shifts. tours are 0700-1730 and 130-2400. Variable/rotating holidays and weekends.\nFunctional Statement #: 24238-F"]
Providing Health Care for Veterans: The Veterans Health Administration is America’s largest integrated health care system, providing care at 1,255 health care facilities, including 170 medical centers and 1,074 outpatient sites of care of varying complexity (VHA outpatient clinics), serving 9 million enrolled Veterans each year.