Social Worker (Substance Abuse Treatment Program)
Department Of Veterans Affairs - Murfreesboro, TN

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Vacancy Identification Number (VIN): 792423

Salary commensurate with education and experience will be determined by a Professional Standards Board. The Professional Standards Board (a peer-review group) will review the selected candidate’s education and experience and recommend the grade and step at which the candidate will be placed. The salary is based on the grade and step approved for the selected candidate.




Relocation expenses and/or incentives are not authorized for this position.

You could be part of an important initiative to provide mental health care for our nations Veterans!

Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki has announced that the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) will be adding approximately 1,600 mental health clinicians - to include nurses, psychiatrists, psychologists, and social workers as well as nearly 300 support staff to its existing workforce.

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) needs mental health support staff 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 ").

America's Veterans need you!

To find out more, go to .

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 .

Murfreesboro offers affordable living with picturesque seasons and an abundance of recreational and entertainment activities. Murfreesboro is home to several historical landmarks including Cannonsburgh Village and Stones River National Battle Field. It is also located close to Nashville , better known as ' Music City USA ,' the capital of Tennessee , and home of the Tennessee Titans NFL and Nashville Predators NHL teams. Tennessee does not have a state income tax.

Incumbent will be assigned as a Social Worker to the Tennessee Valley Healthcare System (TVHS) Substance Abuse Treatment Program assuming responsibility for the provision of substance abuse services to veterans who are admitted for substance abuse treatment.


Must be a U.S. Citizen to apply for this job.

Must be Licensed/certified at the Master's Degree Level of Social Work

Subject to a background/suitability investigation.

Designated and/or random drug testing may be required.

Must pass a pre-employment physical examination

Must possess a valid driver's license and have a good driving record

The incumbent will provide high quality case management, clinical treatment, advocacy, and coordination of linkages to other appropriate VA or community service providers/agencies as needed by the client. He/she will develop an assessment of the veteran in collaboration with the interdisciplinary team, the veteran, family members, and significant others. Incumbent will be responsible for developing the treatment plan and setting achievable treatment goals with the veteran/family. Incumbent will be the subject matter expert on VA and/or community resources throughout the course of treatment. He/she will be responsible for using the current social work resource file of VA and community social service programs and enhancing the content to the benefit of veterans. He/she will act as an advocate when it serves the best interest of the veteran/family. Incumbent must be experienced in making rapid assessments and develop crisis management plans for admission to mental health inpatient programs. He/she will provide education related to VA and community resources, entitlements, Advance Directives/Living Will and will refer veterans/families to the appropriate interdisciplinary team member for identified health education needs. Incumbent will review the progress notes from the other providers to accurately determine the strengths and limitations of each veteran being referred for mental health services. He/she will provide the veterans and their caregivers with ongoing supportive counseling. Incumbent will provide individual and group evidence-based therapies to veterans if functioning at the advanced practice level. He/she will enter all veteran/family contacts in the electronic record using appropriate formats and templates to ensure information on the patient is shared with other VA staff. Incumbent will establish and maintain positive working relationships with employees, volunteers, consumers and stakeholders within the VA and outside community agencies.

Physical Requirements. See VA Directive and Handbook 5019.

Work Schedule: Based on the needs of the service.

Education: The basic requirements for employment as a VA social worker are prescribed by statute, Title 38 United States Code (U.S.C.) §7409(b)(9), as amended by section 205 of Public Law 106-419, November 1, 2000. All education claimed by applicants will be verified by the appointing agency accordingly. Must 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 can not be substituted for the master's degree in social work.

Experience: Must have a minimum of 1 year of post-MSW degree experience in the field of health care social work (VA or non-VA experience) and licensure or certification in a state at the independent practice level.


In addition to meeting basic requirements, a doctoral degree in social work from a school of social work may be substituted for the required 1 year of professional social work experience in a clinical setting.

In addition, the candidate must demonstrate the Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities (KSAs) below.

1. Knowledge of community resources, how to make appropriate referrals to community and other governmental agencies for services, and ability to coordinate services.

2. Ability to independently assess the psychosocial functioning and needs of patients and their family members and to formulate and implement a treatment plan, identifying the patient's problems, strengths, weaknesses, coping skills and assistance needed, in collaboration with the patient, family and interdisciplinary treatment team.

3. Ability to independently conduct psychosocial assessments and provide psychosocial treatment to a wide variety of individuals from various socio-economic, cultural, ethnic, educational and other diversified backgrounds. This requires knowledge of human development and behavior (physical and psychological) and the differential influences of the environment, society and culture.

4. Knowledge and experience in the use of medical and mental health diagnoses, disabilities and treatment procedures. This includes acute, chronic and traumatic illnesses/injuries, common medications and their effects/side effects, and medical terminology.

5. Knowledge of psychosocial treatment and ability to independently implement treatment modalities in working with individuals, families and groups who are experiencing a variety of psychiatric, medical and social problems to achieve treatment goals. This requires independent judgment and skill in utilizing supportive, problem solving or crisis intervention techniques.

6. Ability to independently provide counseling and/or psychotherapy services to individuals, groups and families. Social workers must practice within the bounds of their license or certification. For example, some states may require social workers providing psychotherapy to have a clinical level of licensure.

7. Ability to provide consultation services to other staff about the psychosocial needs of patients and the impact of psychosocial problems on health care and compliance with treatment. Ability to provide orientation and coaching to new social workers and social work graduate students. Ability to serve as a field instructor for social work graduate students who are completing VHA field placements.

8. Ability to independently evaluate his/her own practice through participation in professional peer review case conferences, research studies, or other organized means.

9. Knowledge and skill in the use of computer software applications for drafting documents, data management, and tracking, especially those programs in use by VHA.

Licensure : Must be licensed or certified at the Master’s level to independently practice social work in a state.

It is preferred that the applicant possess at least 2 years of experience working with a Substance Abuse Treatment Program

Physical Demands: Work is generally sedentary. Typically, the Social Worker sits comfortably to do the work. However, there may be some walking, standing, bending, carrying of light items such as papers, books, small pieces of equipment and supplies, or driving an automobile. No special physical demands are required to perform the work.

Work Environment: Work environment involves everyday risks or discomforts of a medical center/hospital environment that require normal safety precautions typical of places such as offices, meeting and training rooms, or libraries. The workspace is adequately lighted, heated and ventilated.

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 (particularly positions with a positive education requirement.) Applicants can verify accreditation at the following website:

CONDITIONS OF EMPLOYMENT: (Failure to comply may be grounds for withdrawal of an offer of employment or dismissal after appointment)

Applicants must be citizens of the United States, and be at least 16 years of age as of the closing date.
Applicants tentatively selected for certain designated positions may be subject to a random drug screening for illegal drug use. Applicants who refuse to be tested will be denied employment.
New Appointees will be subject to a background investigation to determine suitability. Male applicants born after December 31, 1959, must certify at the time of appointment that they have registered with the Selective Service system or are exempt for having to do so under Selective Service law.
Applicants must not be listed on the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Office of Inspector General Sanctions database.
Applicants selected for positions through this announcement may be subject to a one or two year probationary period.
38 U.S.C. 7402(d) and 7407(d) requires that persons appointed to direct patient-care positions must possess the required basic proficiency in spoken and written English.

HOW YOU WILL BE EVALUATED: Once the application process is complete, a review of your application will be made to ensure you meet the job requirements. To determine if you are qualified for this job, your resume and supporting documentation will be compared against your responses to the occupational questionnaire. The numeric rating you receive is based on your responses to the questionnaire. The score is a measure of the degree to which your background matches the knowledge, skills, and abilities required of this position. If, after reviewing your resume and or supporting documentation, a determination is made that you have inflated your qualifications and or experience your score can and will be adjusted to more accurately reflect your abilities. Please follow all instructions carefully. Errors or omissions may affect your rating.

INCOMPLETE APPLICATIONS will receive a rating of IFM (ineligible due to missing forms). Requests for reconsideration of ratings will not be considered for applicants who fail to submit a complete application package. We cannot be held responsible for incompatible software, fax transmissions, delays in mail service, etc.

Only send documentation as requested/required by this announcement and that directly supports your qualifications for this position.

Working for the Department of Veterans Affairs offers a comprehensive benefits package to include a range of benefits to help balance work and life. For more information go to

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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...