Social Worker-Access to Care
Department of Veterans Affairs - Helena, MT

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Vacancy Identification Number (VIN): 654297 (Include # on all documents)

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?

POSITION : Social Worker-Access to Care, GS-185, Salary Dependent upon Education and Experience . One, full -time (40 hours per week), permanent position, Tour of Duty: Monday through Friday, primarily day shift but may include late afternoon and evening groups. Position is located in Patient Care Services Behavioral Health Service, VA MT Healthcare System Helena, MT. Preferred experience with Mental Health and Substance Abuse. There may be a need to support other VA Clinics throughout Montana and may require some travel.

AREA OF CONSIDERATION : All applicants who meet qualification requirements.

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.

A complete application package must be received. See required documents section for information that must be included.

Special Employment Consideration: Individuals eligible for the following appointments are encouraged to apply: 5 CFR 213.3102 "u", Schedule A, Appointment of persons with disabilities ; mental retardation, severe physical disabilities, or psychiatric disabilities; and Disabled veterans with a compensable service-connected disability of 30% or more.

KEY REQUIREMENTS

U. S. Citizenship

Must pass pre-employment examination

English Language Proficiency required

Designated and-or Random Drug Testing required

Background and-or Security Investigation required

DUTIES:
The incumbent is located in the Mental Health Care Line and serves to 1) assist in implementation of policies and procedures, 2) team member to an interdisciplinary team and 3) facilitate implementation of recovery oriented services in Mental Health programs.

Access to Care Unit of Behavioral Health Services is charged with ensuring immediate and continuing access to mental health services for enrolled and eligible Montana Veterans. These essential services are available across all geographic designations; urban, rural and frontier.

Access to Care Unit receives all Psychiatry Outpatient, Neuropsychology, Psychology MST consults. Consults are triaged by RN or LCSW care coordinators based on individual needs of the Veteran with direction from the VA provider generating the consult.

Veterans requiring behavioral health services are referred to appropriately privileged VA providers and clinicians per protocol. In situations where behavioral health services are not available, a referral may be made to contracted regional mental health centers or to community clinicians through Fee Basis arrangements.

Access to Care Unit provides oversight through authorization and utilization review of contract and Fee Basis mental health services.

QUALIFICATIONS REQUIRED:
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. (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.

d. 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.

e. Physical Requirements. Must pass pre-employment physical exam.

SPECIALIZED EXPERIENCE FOR GS-11 LEVEL : Promotion to the GS-11 full performance level requires completion of a minimum of 1 year of post-MSW degree experience in the field of health care social work and licensure or certification in a state at the independent practice level.

SUBSTITUTING EDUCATION FOR EXPERIENCE AT THE GS-11 LEVEL: To meet the required specialized experience for the GS-11 level, applicant may substitute a doctoral degree in social work from a school of social work. You must submit a transcript to receive credit for this education.

IN DESCRIBING YOUR EXPERIENCE, PLEASE BE CLEAR AND SPECIFIC. WE MAY NOT MAKE ASSUMPTIONS REGARDING YOUR EXPERIENCE.

References: Qualification requirements used: VA Handbook 5005/23, Part II, Appendix G39, SOCIAL WORKER. This is available for view in the local HR Office.

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 .

The following Web addresses are provided for your reference to explore the major benefits offered to most Federal employees.

  • Flexible Spending Accounts - The Federal Flexible Spending Accounts Program (FSAFeds) allows you to pay for certain health and dependent care expenses with pre-tax dollars. For additional information visit: https://www.fsafeds.com/fsafeds/index.asp
  • Health Insurance - The Federal Employees Health Benefits Program offers over 100 optional plans. For additional information visit: http://www.opm.gov/insure/health/index.asp
  • Leave - Most Federal employees earn both annual and sick leave. For additional information visit: http://www.opm.gov/oca/leave/index.asp
  • Life Insurance - The Federal Employees' Group Life Insurance Program (FEGLI) offers: Basic Life Insurance plus three types of optional insurance, for additional information visit: http://www.opm.gov/insure/life/index.asp
  • Long Term Care Insurance - The Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program (FLTCIP) provides long term care insurance for Federal employees and their parents, parents-in-law, step parents, spouses, and adult children. For additional information visit: http://www.ltcfeds.com/
  • Retirement Program - Almost all new employees are automatically covered by the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS). FERS is a three-tiered retirement plan. The three tiers are: Social Security Benefits, Basic Benefit Plan, Thrift Savings Plan. For additional information visit: http://www.opm.gov/retire/index.asp
OTHER INFORMATION:
OTHER: Pre-employment Drug Testing may be required prior to appointment to this position. Pre-employment physical is required prior to appointment to this position. All new employees are subject to a character and background investigation.

All qualified employees will receive consideration for promotion without regard to political, religious or labor organization affiliation or non-affiliation, marital status, race, color, sex, national origin, non-disqualifying physical handicap or age. In the event of unanticipated vacancy(s) in the same position and location as this vacancy occurs within ninety (90) days of the selection, additional selections may be made from this announcement. Relocation expenses are not authorized.

This agency provides reasonable accommodations to applicants with disabilities. If you need (a reasonable) accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process please notify the agency. The decision on granting (reasonable) accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis. If you have question regarding reasonable accommodation please call our Human Resources Office at (406) 447-7933.

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

Receiving Service Credit for 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 employees 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.

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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...