Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration SOCIAL WORKER (SW) (RCS VET CENTER) in San Antonio, Texas

Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration
3 vacancies in the following location:
  • San Antonio, TX
Work Schedule is Full Time - Excepted Service Permanent

Opened Tuesday 10/18/2016 (6 day(s) ago)

** Closes Tuesday 11/1/2016 (8 day(s) away)

Job Overview

About the Agency

Vacancy Identification Number (VIN): 1810528

This announcement is open to all U.S. Citizens and Current, Permanent Federal Employees. If you are an internal applicant, please apply under announcement VHA-671-17-JG-1810522.

This position may be filled by a Licensed Professional Mental Health Counselor, Marriage and Family Therapist or a Social Worker. The announcements for the Licensed Professional Mental Health Counselor are VHA-671-17-JG- 1810077 (Internal) and VHA-671-17-JG-1810517 (External), and for the Marriage and Family Therapist are VHA-671-17-JG-1810518 (Internal) and VHA-671-17-JG-1810520 (External).

Note: The full performance level of this vacancy is GS-11. The Professional Standards Board (a peer-review group) will review newly selected candidate's qualifications 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. For internal selectees eligible for promotion or reassignment, the board will determine grade and HR will determine step in accordance with established pay-setting policy.

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. 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 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.

You must submit all required documents as noted in the REQUIRED DOCUMENTS section below. Failure to do so will result in your application not being considered.

Social Workers (SWs) provide readjustment counseling to eligible Veterans and family members in the Vet Center Program. Readjustment counseling includes individual and group counseling related to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and related psychological difficulties, marital and family issues, substance abuse, employment, military sexual trauma, homelessness, bereavement, and other issues impacting Veteran's ability to successfully re-enter civilian society.


The incumbent will serve as SW on a multidisciplinary team located in a community-based Vet Center providing Veterans with community outreach, counseling, therapy, treatment and direct services and referral to VA and community resources. Incumbent will work in cooperative collaboration with other team members and with professionals, volunteers and others in VA facilities and community agencies to help Veterans recognize and resolve their problems and needs. The counseling and therapeutic services provided by the Vet Center range from routine to complex and include suicide prevention, crisis intervention, short and long-term treatment with clients exhibiting post-traumatic stress disorder, other psychiatric disorders and/or readjustment problems. Clients encountered and problems exhibited necessitates a variety of psychological, rehabilitation, marriage and family counseling and mental health techniques including, but not limited to, individual, group, conjoint, vocational, educational, substance abuse and readjustment counseling. Incumbent must possess a high degree of clinical skills, including the unique skills needed to work with Veterans and the significant others and to supervise and to provide consultation to professionals providing clinical services. Incumbent must possess the capability to perform administrative tasks required in the community-based office of a program with a unique administrative structure and a variety of formal and informal working relationships with a wide range of VA facilities and community organizations.

Duties include but not limited to:

  • Screening/Assessing (Veterans and significant others)

  • Treatment Planning/Goal Setting (developing comprehensive/unique goal-directed treatment plans, to include treating PTSD)

  • Clinical Counseling (individual, conjoint, family, and group therapy)

  • Outreach (program-eligible Veterans and their family members)

  • Crisis Intervention (stabilization and follow-up)

  • Administrative responsibilities (maintaining clinical records and performing administrative tasks)

  • Professional Competency/Education (staying abreast of current procedures, providing instruction/training)

  • Referrals (VA and private sector)

Work Schedule: 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM – Primarily Monday to Friday; however, some evenings and weekend hours will be required, to include working a minimum of one (1) Saturday per month and working one (1) evening tour per week. (Please note: Alternate schedules may be necessary to meet the needs of the organization).

Functional Statement Title/#: Social Worker/00000

Bargaining Unit Position: No

Travel Required
  • Occasional Travel
  • Travel away from duty station in support of direct care, outreach events and/or training.
Relocation Authorized
  • No
Job Requirements
Key Requirements
  • US Citizenship
  • Pre-employment examination
  • Drug Testing
  • Background/Security Investigation
  • Selective Service Registration for males born after 12/31/1959
  • Proficient in written and spoken English
  • Master’s degree in Social Work
  • Full, current, and unrestricted Social Work license
  • Class C State Driver’s License


  • U.S. citizenship. Non-citizens may be appointed when it is not possible to recruit qualified citizens in accordance with VA Policy.

  • *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 hold a full, current, and unrestricted license to independently practice social work at the master's degree level.

  • *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.

  • Physical Requirements: The work is primarily sedentary. It may require some lifting (10-20 lbs.) occasionally. Reaching above shoulder; Frequent keyboarding (4-7 hours per day); Sitting (4-7 hours per day); Walking (up to 6 hours per day); Standing (up to 8 hours per day); Infrequent climbing/descending of stairs; Some bending; Ability for rapid mental and muscular coordination simultaneously; Correctable near sighted and far sighted vision; Hearing (Aid permitted).**

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.

Experience refers to paid and unpaid experience, including volunteer work done through National Service programs (e.g., Peace Corps, AmeriCorps) and other organizations (e.g., professional; philanthropic; religions; spiritual; community; student; social). Volunteer work helps build critical competencies, knowledge, and skills and can provide valuable training and experience that translates directly to paid employment. You will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including volunteer experience.

Creditable Experience- *Knowledge of Current SW Practices. *To be creditable, the experience must have required the use of knowledge, skills, abilities, and other characteristics associated with current professional social work practice. The experience or education must be post-MSW degree. Experience and education satisfying this requirement must be active professional practice, which is paid/non-paid employment as a professional social worker, as defined by the appropriate state licensing board.

*Quality of Experience. *Experience is only creditable if it is obtained following graduation with a master's degree in social work and if it includes work as a professional social worker directly related to the position to be filled. Qualifying experience must also be at a level comparable to social work experience at the next lower level.

*Part-Time Experience. *Part-time experience as a professional social worker is creditable according to its relationship to the full-time workweek. For example, a social worker employed 20 hours a week, or on a 1/2-time basis, would receive 1 full-time workweek of credit for each 2 weeks of service.

*Fellowships or Post-Graduate Training. *Fellowship and post-graduate training programs are typically in a specialized area of clinical practice, i.e., group or family practice. Training as a fellow or post-graduate may be substituted for creditable experience on a year-for-year basis.

Practicum in a VA Setting. *A VHA practicum experience may not be substituted for experience, as the practicum (field placement) is completed prior to graduation with a master's degree in social work.*

GRADE REQUIREMENTS- In addition to the basic requirements for employment, the following criteria must be met when determining the grade of candidates.


To Qualify for GS-11 Grade-Level: (Full Performance Level)- GS-11 social workers are licensed or certified to independently practice social work. They are assigned to all program areas, including inpatient or outpatient medicine, surgery, mental health, neurology, rehabilitation medicine, and geriatrics. Employees provide professional, independent social work services in the assigned area.**

Experience, Education, and Licensure. 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 (VA or non-VA experience) and licensure or certification in a state at the independent practice level 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.

*Demonstrated Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities. *In addition to meeting the KSAs for the GS-9 level, GS-11 candidates must demonstrate below KSAs:

  1. Knowledge of community resources, make appropriate referrals, and ability to coordinate services.

  2. Ability to independently assess the psychosocial functioning and needs of patients/family members and formulate/implement a treatment plan, identifying 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. Provide consultation services, orientation and coaching to new social workers and social work graduate students and serve as a field instructor.

  8. Independently evaluate own practice through professional peer review case conferences, research studies, or other organized means.

  9. Knowledge and skill of computer software applications.

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, "How does the Application Process Work" can be found in the USAJobs Resource Center.


VA offers a comprehensive benefits package that may include, 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.

Other Information

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.

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

Promotion Potential: 11

Supervisory Status: No

Who May Apply: US Citizens and Current, Permanent Federal Employees

Control Number: 451568200

Job Announcement Number: VHA-671-17-JG-1810528