Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration Sr. Social Worker (Mental Health) in Long Beach, California

Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration
1 vacancy in the following location:
  • Long Beach, CA
Work Schedule is Full Time - Permanent

Opened Friday 10/7/2016 (16 day(s) ago)

** Closes Friday 10/28/2016 (5 day(s) away)

Job Overview

Vacancy Identification Number (VIN): 1821045

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. How would you like to become a part of a team providing compassionate care to 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. For more information on the Department of Veterans Affairs, go to” **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.


This is a Senior Social Worker in the PACT Primary Care - Mental Health Integration location within Social Work Services, assigned to provide clinical and program activities for a special population of mental health and primary care patients. The incumbent(s) is an advanced practice licensed social worker and must demonstrate at least two-years of specialized social work clinical experience in an acute/complex healthcare setting using the advanced practice licensure; with specialized population specific to adults with multiple medical and mental health conditions. The incumbent demonstrates work experience providing consultation and professional opinions to staff and students on the psychosocial treatment of patients treated in the specialty area; direct care and documentation follows standards of practice.

Incumbent demonstrates advanced licensure clinical work experience providing: psycho-educational support, transitioning care; responds electronic-consults; adapts advanced clinical skills to effectively meet functions assigned for a variety of conditions in a high-paced healthcare setting; demonstrates innovation of patient centered care involving the patient in their healthcare planning and in shared decision making; possess experience or knowledge of system redesign clinical practices; The Social worker will have administrative responsibility for integrating mental health treatment development and accountable for clinical program effectiveness increasing access for the Veteran. Incumbent current work experience demonstrates: provides consultation; assesses mental health treatment options for Veterans experiencing immediate mental health symptoms that would benefit from 3 to 4 sessions or less, that are recovery based, data (access) driven, patient centered and use evidenced based practice treatments in the primary care setting to assist the Veteran with the immediate mental health symptoms presented and return to their baseline functioning; proactively communicates with PACT-PC providers; reviews and completes consults and e-consults received; evaluates the appropriateness of the consult; cases requiring more in-depth treatment are communicated to appropriate mental health program. The incumbent must be able to demonstrate knowledge and experience at the advanced practice level work experience providing evidenced based practice therapies best used for short-term stabilization of anxieties, depression, crisis-management, end-of life planning, death, suicidal ideation, anger, domestic violence, etc.

The incumbent's work experience demonstrates ability to provide field supervision to graduate social work students as this position will be assigned and/or rotate graduate social work students experience and understanding of PACT-PC mental health integration.

Advanced Licensed Provider - Behavioral Health and Social Science: The social worker must be licensed at the advanced clinical level in the jurisdiction of practice, allowing independent mental health treatment and diagnosis. Advanced clinical social worker provides direct services, including interventions focused on interpersonal interactions, dynamics, and life management issues. Clinical social work services are based on bio-psychosocial perspectives. Services consist of assessment, treatment (diagnosis and psychotherapy in specified mental health clinics and within State advanced licensure level), client-centered advocacy, consultation, evaluation, and prevention of mental illness, emotional, or behavioral disturbances; facilitates groups for social skills training, psychosocial education and therapy groups; formulates and implements brief evidenced based treatment plans.

VALB serves as a medical and mental healthcare training facility and social workers work with other disciplines that rotate as a part their training program; demonstrate skills a providing education of advanced care planning; demonstrate skills documenting clinical care using an electronic medical record system; ability to provide care in the non-traditional office setting-such as shared work space; clinical care may take place, bed side, medical units hallways, group rooms, and/or over the phone and the social worker is often mobile, moving from varying units, floors or buildings. Sr. social workers provide leadership, mentoring and service recovery and provide administrative function when assigned in absence of the supervisor.

*This medical center operates 24 hours, seven days per week and you may be required to work days, evenings, nights, holidays, and/or weekends, to include modification in shifts and/or tours of duty, to meet medical center and patient care needs. *

Work Schedule: Monday - Friday, 8:00 am to 4:30 pm

Functional Statement Title/#: Senior Social Worker/#600-05027A

Travel Required
  • Occasional Travel
  • Local Travel within Catchment area
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.
  • Must be licensed at the advanced practice level

Basic Requirements:

  • U.S. citizenship.
  • 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).
  • English Language Proficiency: In accordance with 38 U.S.C. 7402(d), No person shall serve in direct patient care positions unless they are proficient in basic written and spoken English. You must be proficient in basic written and spoken English in order to meet the requirements of this position

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 the CSWE website ( to verify if that social work degree meets the accreditation standards for a master of social work.

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 an advanced level. Current state requirements may be found on the OHRM website


In addition to the basic requirements, applicants must have one year of experience equivalent to at least the next lower grade in the normal line of progression for the occupation in the organization. Examples of experience would typically include, but are not limited to:

GS-11- Experience, Education, and Licensure - GS-11 is the independent level grade for the GS-185 social work series and is used for social workers with more than one year of post-MSW experience and for social workers licensed at the independent practice level.

Healthcare work experience is required in knowledge and ability to perform duties identified in the announcement independently, including, but not limited to clinical evaluation and psychotherapeutic treatment interventions, crisis management, social work consultation, biopsychosocial assessments and evaluations. NOTE: A clinical healthcare setting is a medical center, comprehensive clinic (medical or psychiatric), where social work participates in collaborative treatment and is identified with the medical profession.

In describing your current work experience you must demonstrate the professional KSAs below. We may not make assumptions regarding your experience.

  1. Advanced knowledge of and mastery of theories and modalities used in the specialized treatment of complex physical or mental illness using evidenced based practice treatments. Ability to incorporate complex multiple causation in differential diagnosis and treatment of Veteran patients, including making psychosocial and psychiatric diagnoses within approved clinical privileges or scope of practice. Ability to determine priority for services and provide specialized treatment services.

2. *Advanced and expert skill in a range of specialized interventions and treatment modalities used in specialty treatment programs or with special patient populations. This includes experience brief therapy modalities for individual, group, and/or family counseling or psychotherapy and advanced level psychosocial used in the treatment of Veterans.*

  1. Advanced knowledge and expert skill in developing and implementing methods for measuring effectiveness of social work practice and services in the specialty area, utilizing outcome evaluations to improve treatment services. Ability to coordinate the delivery of specialized psychosocial services and programs. Ability to design system changes based on empirical findings.

  2. Ability to provide subject matter consultation to colleagues and students on the psychosocial treatment of patients treated in the specialty area, rendering professional opinions based on experience and expertise and role modeling effective social work practice skills. Ability to teach and mentor staff and students in the specialty area of practice and to provide supervision for licensure or for specialty certifications.

5. *Ability to expand clinical knowledge in the profession, demonstrating innovation in the creation of new models of psychosocial assessment or intervention to identify and address specialized clinical needs. Ability to write policies, procedures, and/or practice guidelines pertaining to the specialty population or specialty treatment program.*

SALARY: The Professional Standards Board (a peer-review group) will review the selected candidate's education and experience and recommend the grade and salary at which the candidate will be placed. For internal selectees eligible for promotion, the board will determine grade and HR will determine step in accordance with policy.

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:

Applicants must be physically and mentally able to efficiently perform the essential functions of the position without hazard to themselves or others; Light lifting (under 15 pounds) light carrying (less than15 pounds); walking (2-4 hours); standing (2-4 hours); entering data and documentation into computer systems (2.5 hours); may require field visits for continuity of care- ability to drive a vehicle (must have a valid driver license). Environmental Factors: Outside and inside, Working closely with others, including patients with physical or emotional conditions that maybe unpredictable; working around moving objects or vehicles; Working independently.

Security Clearance


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:

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: $79,272.00 to $103,053.00 / Per Year

Series & Grade: GS-0185-12/12

Promotion Potential: 12

Supervisory Status: No

Who May Apply: United States Citizens

Control Number: 452852100

Job Announcement Number: VR-1821045-HYB-145-MWF-BU