Senior Social Worker (Veteran Student Outreach Liaison/VSOL)
Department Of Veterans Affairs - Mobile, AL

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Vacancy Identification Number (VIN): 844977 (Include # on all documents)

Senior Social Worker (VSOL); GS-0185; 1 vacancy; Mobile, AL

JOB ANNOUNCEMENT NUMBER: 520-BG-13-844977-821301

Open Date: 02/19/13 Close Date: 03/08/13

***THIS ANNOUNCEMENT MAY ALSO BE FILLED AS A CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST; GS-0180; VACANCY ANNOUNCEMENT NUMBER 520-BG-13-844994-826336***

Series & Grade:
GS-0185- Grade and salary to be determined by the Professional Standards Board (PSB) as noted in qualifications section.

To fulfill President Lincoln's promise - "To care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan" - by serving and honoring the men and women who are America's Veterans. How would you like to become a part of a team providing compassionate care to Veterans?

As a VA professional, your opportunities are endless. With many openings in the multiple functions of VA, you will have a wide range of opportunities at your fingertips. Not only is it the largest, most technologically advanced integrated health care system in the nation, but we also provide many other services to Veterans through the Benefits Administration and National Cemeteries.

VA professionals feel good about their careers and their ability to balance work and home life. VA offers generous paid time off and a variety of predictable and flexible scheduling opportunities. For more information on the Department of Veterans Affairs, go to http://www.vacareers.va.gov/ .

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) needs employees who possess the energy, compassion, and commitment to serve those who serve our country. Whatever the job title, every position in VA will give you a chance to make a meaningful and personal contribution to the lives of truly special and deserving people - our Veterans. Working for VA is one of the most emotionally satisfying and professionally rewarding ways to dedicate the best within you to your Country's service.

If you are transitioning from the military or a Veteran already, we invite you to explore the benefits of continuing your career at the VA. The VA is committed to hiring Veterans .

The VA is much more than just another employer. It is an honorable, open and welcoming community of those who care. Gratitude is our motivation and service is our mission.

The VA has adopted Core Values and Characteristics that apply universally across the Department. The five Core Values define “who we are,” our culture, and how we care for Veterans, their families and other beneficiaries. The Values are I ntegrity, C ommitment, A dvocacy, R espect and E xcellence (“ I CARE ”).

KEY REQUIREMENTS

U. S. Citizenship
Must pass pre-employment examination
English Language Proficiency required
Background and-or Security Investigation required
Must possess license to practice at the Advanced Practice Level DUTIES:

The Social Worker; Veteran Student Outreach Liaison (VSOL) will lead the Veterans Integration to Academic Leadership (VITAL) Program. Incumbent will be culturally competent concerning the needs of Veteran Students, will utilize social media, publich health outreach strategies, and case management services to promote enrollment and access to VA Health Care and Mental Health Services while encouraging successful educational achievements. He/she will provide onsite mental health services to student Veterans to promote success in college. Services include individual, family, and group psychotherapy. He/she will provide coordination of care between the educational institutions, community resources, and VA care options. The incumbent will provide Outreach and Education at local institutions of higher learning. Activites include providing faculity education regarding normal and complicated post deployment adjustment reactions, signs that a Veteran is at risk for suicide, and how to refer for mental health services. The Social Worker independently performs case finding functions and outreach, identifying and screening patients for psychosocial needs. He/she will independently conduct psychosocial assessments.

MAY BE ASSIGNED TO ONE OR A COMBINATION OF SETTINGS REQUIRING THE SENIOR SOCIAL WORKER QUALIFICATION. MAY ALSO BE ASSIGNED TO ANY NEW PROGRAM DEVELOPED TO MEET THE NEEDS OF THE VETERANS WE SERVE. ASSIGNMENT LOCATION MAY BE AT ANY FACILITY INCLUDED IN THE GULF COAST VETERANS HEALTH CARE SYSTEM.

Relocation Expenses and Recruitment Incentives are not authorized.

Schedule: Monday thru Friday; Administrative Hours

Note: This position’s initial duty station is Mobile, AL; however the duty station, based upon the needs of the health care system, may require the individual to work from other facilities (e.g., Biloxi VA Hospital, Mississippi ; Eglin Outpatient Clinic, Florida ; Joint Ambulatory Care Center Pensacola , Florida; and Panama City Outpatient Clinics , Florida). QUALIFICATIONS REQUIRED:

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:

a. Citizenship. Be a citizen of the United States. (Non-citizens may be appointed when it is not possible to recruit qualified citizens in accordance with chapter 3, section A, paragraph 3g this part.)

b. 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.

c. 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. Current state requirements may be found on the OHRM website .

(1) Exception. VHA may waive the licensure or certification requirement for persons who are otherwise qualified, pending completion of state prerequisites for licensure/certification examinations. This exception only applies up to the full performance level. For grade levels above the full performance level, the candidate must be licensed or certified.

(a) For grades below or at the full performance level, VHA social workers who are not licensed or certified at the time of appointment must become licensed or certified at the independent, master’s level within 3 years of their appointment as a social worker. Most states require 2 years of post-MSW experience as a pre-requisite to taking the licensure/certification exam, and VHA gives social workers one additional year to pass the licensure/certification exam. In California, where the prerequisites for licensure exceed two years, social workers must become licensed at the independent, master’s level within one year of meeting the full California prerequisites for licensure.

(b) It is VHA policy that a VHA social worker who does not yet have a license that allows independent practice must be supervised by a licensed independent practitioner of the same discipline who is a VA staff member and who has access to the electronic health record.

(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 Office of Social Work Service 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 Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB). The ASWB is the association of boards that regulate 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.

(2) Failure to Obtain License or Certification. In all cases, social workers must actively pursue meeting state prerequisites for licensure or certification starting from the date of their appointment. At the time of appointment, the supervisor, Chief Social Work or Social Work Executive will provide the unlicensed/uncertified social worker with the written requirements for licensure or certification, including the time by which the license or certification must be obtained and the consequences for not becoming licensed or certified by the deadline. Failure to become licensed or certified within the proscribed amount of time will result in removal from the GS-185 social work series and may result in termination of employment.

(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-185 social work series and may result in termination of employment.

e. Physical Requirements. See VA Directive and Handbook 5019.

f. English Language Proficiency. Social workers must be proficient in spoken and written English in accordance with VA Handbook 5005, Part II, chapter 3, section A, paragraph 3j, this part.

GS-12:
Experience, Education and Licensure. 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 DESCRIBING YOUR EXPERIENCE, PLEASE BE CLEAR AND SPECIFIC. WE MAY NOT MAKE ASSUMPTIONS REGARDING YOUR EXPERIENCE.

References: Qualification Requirements Used: VA Handbook 5005, Part II, Appendix G18. This standard is available for review in the local HR Office. For the full text, see the Handbook on file in Human Resources Management Service.

http://www.opm.gov/qualifications/standards/IORs/GS0100/0185.htm .

APPLICANTS PLEASE NOTE: 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. Applicants must, therefore, only report attendance and/or degrees from schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. Applicants can verify accreditation at the following website: http://www.ed.gov/admins/finaid/accred/index.html . All education claimed by applicants will be verified by the appointing agency accordingly. *** 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. ***

Veterans' Preference:
When applying for Federal Jobs, eligible Veterans should claim preference on their application or résumé. Applicants claiming preference based on service-connected disability, or based on being the spouse or mother of a disabled or deceased Veteran, must complete an SF 15, Application for 10-Point Veteran Preference. Veterans who are still in the service may be granted tentative preference on the basis of information contained in their applications, but they must produce a DD Form 214 or other proof prior to appointment to document entitlement to preference. For more information on Veterans' Preference, please visit http://www.fedshirevets.gov/job/veterans.aspx . HOW YOU WILL BE EVALUATED:
Your application, résumé and/or supporting documentation will be verified. Please follow all instructions carefully. Errors or omissions may affect consideration for employment. You may also be evaluated based upon the question responses you provide during a structured interview. In responding to structured interview questions you should be sure to cite specific examples of experience, explain exactly what you did, and the outcome. BENEFITS:
Working for the Department of Veterans Affairs offers a comprehensive benefits package that includes, in part, paid vacation, sick leave, holidays, life insurance, health benefits, thrift savings plan, and participation in the Federal Employees Retirement System. In addition to traditional "dollars and cents" benefits, we offer a range of benefits to help balance work and life. For more information please visit us at http://www4.va.gov/JOBS/Job_Benefits/benefits.asp . OTHER INFORMATION:

This position is in the Excepted Service and does not confer competitive status.

Special Employment Consideration: VA encourages persons with disabilities to apply, including those eligible for hiring under 5 CFR 213.3102(u), Schedule A, Appointment of persons with disabilities [i.e., intellectual disabilities, severe physical disabilities, or psychiatric disabilities], and/or Disabled veterans with a compensable service-connected disability of 30% or more .

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The United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is a government-run military veteran benefit system with Cabinet-level status. It is...