Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration Social Worker in Des Moines, Iowa

Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration
1 vacancy in the following location:
  • Des Moines, IA
Work Schedule is Full Time - Excepted Service Permanent

Opened Tuesday 10/11/2016 (9 day(s) ago)

** Closes Tuesday 10/25/2016 (5 day(s) away)

Job Overview

Vacancy Identification Number (VIN): 1822712

OUR MISSION: 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.

As a VA professional, your opportunities are endless. 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.

The VA Central Iowa Health Care System provides a full continuum of care between the Des Moines campus and our Community Based Outpatient Clinics (CBOC's) and is one of the Medical Centers that make up the VA Midwest Health Care Network (VISN 23). Employee selected may be expected to perform duties at other duty sites within VA Central Iowa Health Care System based on the needs of the organization.

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.

* * Current, Permanent VA and other Current, Permanent Federal employees should apply under announcement CIH-17-1822542-KAT-BU **



This social work position will provide case management, mental health and substance abuse services to Veterans residing on the Mental Health Residential Rehabilitation Programs (MHRRTP) or Domiciliary, located at VA Central Iowa.

The social worker will serve as a member of a multidisciplinary treatment team. Those assigned to this position must have an understanding of psychodynamics and use a wide range of treatment modalities, including crisis intervention, therapies used in the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder, case work, group work, patient education, motivational interviewing, supportive therapy, family therapy, discharge planning and knowledge of aftercare treatment resources, etc.

This position serves as a liaison between both the inpatient and outpatient settings and community services.

Duties of this position include but are not limited to the following:

  1. Conduct psychosocial assessments of Veterans to determine appropriate program needs.

  2. The incumbent will provide individual, family and group counseling as appropriate.

  3. The incumbent will provide case management to Veterans and their families, as needed, throughout residential care stay.

  4. The incumbent will address Advance Directives and in accordance with the standards of their work area.

  5. The incumbent will coordinate treatment and communicate with other care lines to facilitate continuity of care for Veterans.

  6. The incumbent will maintain appropriate clinical records to comply with Joint Commission, CARF, VA and medical center policy and procedures.

  7. The incumbent will participate in a facility rotation of on-call social workers to accommodate patient care needs on weekends and holidays.

  8. Will participate in discharge planning with the Veteran and other disciplines and will be responsible for ensuring that discharge plans are executed in a manner that is timely and appropriate.

Work Schedule: Monday - Friday; 7:30am - 4:00pm primarily

Functional Statement: Social Worker (Mental Health Residential Rehabilitation Program-Domiciliary)

Travel Required
  • Not Required
Relocation Authorized
  • No
Job Requirements
Key Requirements
  • Must pass pre-employment examination
  • Must be proficient in written and spoken English
  • Designated and-or Random Drug Testing required
  • Background and-or Security Investigation required
  • Selective Service Registration is required for males born after 12/31/1959.


Citizenship:U.S. Citizenship

English Language Proficiency: Must be proficient in spoken and written English.

Education: 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 does 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.

*Licensure: * Must be licensed or certified by a state to independently practice social work at the master's degree level.


GS-11: In addition to meeting all basic requirements, 1 year of post-MSW degree experience in the field of heath care social work (VA or non-VA experience) and licensure or certification in a state in the independent practice level.

  • *or

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.

GS-11 candidates must demonstrate the following Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

  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.

NOTE: If social workers covered under the grandfathering provision of the 1991 Federal law regarding licensure or certification of VHA social workers leave the GS-185social work series, they lose the grandfathering protection. If they choose to return at a later date to the GS-185 series, they must be licensed or certified to qualify for employment as a social worker.

References:VA Handbook 5005, Part II, Appendix G39

PREFERRED Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

  1. Demonstrate ability to provide psychosocial assessment to a wide range of individuals from various socio economic, cultural, ethnic, educational, and other diversified backgrounds.

  2. Demonstrates the ability to work with veterans and family members who are experiencing a variety of psychiatric, medical, and social problems utilizing individual, group, and family counseling skills.

  3. Demonstrates knowledge of community resources, how to make appropriate referrals to community and other governmental agencies for services and ability to provide intensive case management services.

  4. Demonstrates 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.

  5. Demonstrates basic skills in the use of computer software applications for drafting documents, data management, tracking, and medical record documentation.

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: 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.

PHYSICAL REQUIREMENTS:In accordance with 29 Code of Federal Regulations 1614.203, the individual selected must be physically and mentally able, with or without reasonable accommodation, to perform the essential functions of this position without endangering the health and safety of self and others. Essential functions include: light lifting and carrying (under 15 pounds), hearing (aid permitted), operation of motor vehicle, ability for rapid mental and muscular coordination simultaneously, use of fingers

Security Clearance

Public Trust - Background Investigation

Additional Information
What To Expect Next

After we receive application packages (including all required documents) and the vacancy announcement closes, we will review applications to ensure qualification and eligibility requirements are met. During our review, if your résumé and application package do not support your questionnaire answers, we will adjust your rating accordingly. After the review is complete, a referral certificate(s) is issued and applicants will be notified of their status by email (if provided); otherwise, applicants will receive a notification letter via the U.S. Postal Service. Referred applicants will be notified as such and may be contacted directly by the hiring office for an interview. All referred applicants receive a final notification once a selection decision has been made.

You may check the status of your application at any time by logging into your USAJOBS account and clicking on "Application Status." For a more detailed update of your status, click on "more information." Information regarding applicant notification points can be found in the USAJobs Resource Center.


VA offers a comprehensive benefits package. This link provides an overview of the benefits currently offered:

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.

Other Information

It is the policy of the VA to not deny employment to those that have faced financial hardships or periods of unemployment.

This job opportunity announcement may be used to fill additional vacancies.

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

Salary Range: $59,246.00 to $77,019.00 / Per Year

Series & Grade: GS-0185-11/11

Supervisory Status: No

Who May Apply: United States Citizens

Control Number: 453055200

Job Announcement Number: CIH-17-1822712-KAT