The Crisis Response Team (CRT) Senior Social Worker is a member of a 24/7 interdisciplinary treatment team which provides crisis/mental health services to the Emergency Department (ED), and consultation to Substance Abuse Residential Rehabilitation Treatment Program (SARRTP), Acute Inpatient Psychiatric Unit, Acute Medicine, and Community Living Center (CLC), as needed during weekend, holiday, evening and night (WHEN) hours at the VA WCHCS. Basic Requirements: United States Citizenship: Non-citizens may only 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 http://www.cswe.org/Accreditation to verify that the social work degree meets the accreditation standards for a masters of social work. Licensure. Persons hired or reassigned to social worker positions in the GS-0185 series in VHA must be licensed or certified by a state to independently practice social work at the master's degree level. English Language Proficiency. Candidates must be proficient in spoken and written English to be appointed as authorized by 38 U.S.C. § 7403(f). Grade Determinations: Senior Social Worker, GS-12 (1) Experience/Education. The candidate must have at least two years of experience post advanced practice clinical licensure and should be in a specialized area of social work practice of which, one year must be equivalent to the GS-11 grade level. Senior social workers have experience that demonstrates possession of advanced practice skills and judgment. Senior social workers are experts in their specialized area of practice. Senior social workers may have certification or other post-masters training from a nationally recognized professional organization or university that includes a defined curriculum/course of study and internship or equivalent supervised professional experience in a specialty. (2) Licensure/Certification. Senior social workers must be licensed or certified by a state at the advanced practice level which included an advanced generalist or clinical examination, unless they are grandfathered by the state in which they are licensed to practice at the advanced practice level (except for licenses issued in California, which administers its own clinical examination for advanced practice) and they must be able to provide supervision for licensure. (3) Demonstrated Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities. In addition to the experience above, candidates must demonstrate all of the following KSAs: Skill in a range of specialized interventions and treatment modalities used in specialty treatment programs or with special patient populations. This includes individual, group, and/or family counseling or psychotherapy and advanced level psychosocial and/or case management. Ability to incorporate complex multiple causation in differential diagnosis and treatment within approved clinical privileges or scope of practice. Knowledge 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 and to design system changes. Ability to provide specialized consultation to colleagues and students on the psychosocial treatment of patients in the service delivery area, as well as role modeling effective social work practice skills. Ability to expand clinical knowledge in the social work profession, and to write policies, procedures, and/or practice guidelines pertaining to the service delivery area. (4) Assignments. For all assignments above the full performance level, the higher-level duties must consist of significant scope, complexity (difficulty), and variety and be performed by the incumbent at least 25% of the time. Senior social workers are licensed or certified to independently practice social work at an advanced level. Senior social workers typically practice in a major program area such as but not limited to: Polytrauma Rehabilitation Center or Polytrauma Network Site; a Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation Center, or a national VHA referral center, such as a national Center for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder or a national Transplant Center, or other program areas of equivalent scope and complexity. The senior social worker may be assigned administrative responsibility for clinical program development and is accountable for clinical program effectiveness and modification of service patterns. Assignments include clinical settings where they have limited access to onsite supervision such as CBOCs or satellite outpatient clinics. The senior social worker collaborates with the other members of the treatment team in the provision of comprehensive health care services to Veterans, ensures equity of access, service, and benefits to this population, ensures the care provided is of the highest quality. The senior social worker provides leadership, direction, orientation, coaching, in-service training, staff development, and continuing education programs for assigned social work staff. They serve on committees, work groups, and task forces at the facility, VISN and national level, or in the community as deemed appropriate by the supervisor, Social Work Executive or Chief of Social Work Services. This assignment is to be relatively few in number based on the size of the facility/service and applying sound position management. This assignment must represent substantial additional responsibility over and above that required at the full performance grade level and cannot be used as the full performance level of this occupation. Preferred Experience: Has specialized and advanced knowledge and skill in conducting psychiatric emergency assessments, diagnoses, and treatment. Experience working with patients who have complex physical and psychiatric comorbidities and are in acute crisis. Due to the nature of the CRT Senior Social Worker responsibilities, the social work licensure must permit independent psychotherapy and diagnosis of mental health conditions and illnesses References: VA Handbook 5005/120, Part II Appendix G39 Physical Requirements: Must be in overall good health, able to sit at a desk working at a computer, engage in light to moderate physical activity including sitting, walking, bending, and carrying supplies. Social Worker must be able to perform primarily light and sedentary duties with occasionally moderate physical demands, exercise patience, and control emotions, with reasonable accommodation, if necessary, without endangering the health and safety of the Social Worker or others. Position requires walking throughout the clinic and/or Medical Center, standing for extended periods of time, and involves sitting at a computer and in counsel and consultation with Veterans and interdisciplinary teams. Position may require minimal travel, through use of a government vehicle or other individual arrangements, to meet with representatives/stakeholders who aid and support to Veterans in clinics, medical centers, Community Clinics, Vet Centers, etc. This position also requires close visual acuity to perform an activity such as preparing and analyzing data and figures; transcribing; viewing a computer terminal; extensive reading; and repetitive motions of the wrists, hands, and/or fingers. ["Applies advanced professional social work knowledge & evidence-based intervention strategies to a full range of complex psychosocial needs in the ED, including psychiatric emergencies (including geriatric psychiatric emergent needs), substance abuse treatment, homelessness, intimate partner & domestic violence, abuse, & geriatric psychiatric emergencies. Provides a full range of psycho-diagnostic services including assessment & uses the most appropriate psychotherapeutic techniques in providing quality care. Performs evaluations for wide array of Veteran patients representing diverse diagnostic entities. Evaluates Veteran patients in the ED for involuntary psychiatric holds (M-1 only) & completes appropriate paperwork. Serves as a resource for VA WCHCS staff regarding the local laws and regulations regarding involuntary psychiatric holds. Facilitates admissions (both voluntary & involuntary) to the Acute Inpatient Psychiatric Unit Acute Mental Health Unit (5P) &/or collaborates w/community facilities for psychiatric resources, to include admission. Determines suicide & homicide risk utilizing current evidence-based research tools. Assess suicide/homicide risk & protective factors to determine safety of the patients. Completes comprehensive suicide risk evaluations (CSRE), safety planning, & suicide behavior reports, as needed. Ensures adherence to facility & national risk management policies for assessment, management, consultation & documentation related to suicide/homicide risk. Provides clinical recommendations to ED physicians regarding appropriateness of psychiatric admissions &/or ED discharge w/referral(s) to outpatient services, prioritizing Veteran patient safety, & balancing emergent situations arising simultaneously. Ensures continuity of care for all Veterans presenting to the ED in mental health crisis by providing intervention &/or facilitating services with another provider(s). When patients call the medical center VA in crisis, assesses patients by phone and provides crisis counseling/intervention, including instructing the patient to present to the ED or follow-up with established providers. Contacts local law enforcement for wellness check as deemed necessary. Provides assessment, brief psychotherapeutic interventions & treatment referrals for Veterans presenting with substance use disorders. Evaluates options to mitigate potential safety concerns which may include calling police for assistance, providing crisis intervention, mediating conflicts, &/or making referrals to ensure a safe outcome. Facilitates transfer &/or discharge from ED with appropriate continuity of care. Provides education & referrals to Veterans for community services & coordinates these services as necessary. Acts as a liaison between community & VA programs as needed. Makes appropriate referrals, as indicated, to reporting agencies such as Department of Family Services, Adult Protective Services, police, etc. Provides consultation to colleagues regarding emergent/urgent situations. Provides a full range of therapeutic interventions to veterans on the Acute Inpatient Psychiatric Unit Psychiatric Inpatient Unit & SARRTP as part of after-hour behavioral health services, including individual, couples/family & group psychotherapy using empirically supported approaches (e.g., Motivational Interviewing, Behavioral Activation, CBT, DBT, ACT, Interpersonal Psychotherapy, Problem Solving Therapy, Integrative Behavioral Couples Therapy). Conducts daily treatment rounds on the inpatient unit during non-business hours (weekends and holidays). Documents psychological interventions & consultation activities in the Veteran patient's clinical record utilizing the electronic health record (EHR) & ensures an appropriate hand-off & documentation when transferring patient care. Consults w/medical center staff on a wide variety of Veteran patient care issues. Accountable for practice, including entering patient visits, appropriate clinical documentation, entering consults, & meeting productivity standards. Provides education to both Veterans & family members regarding relevant mental health concerns. Provides case mgmt to Veterans who are high utilizers of the ED & Acute Inpatient Psychiatric Unit to ensure the right care at the right time. Complies w/all Facility & Service Line documentation requirements, including timely completion of prescribed templates for documenting results of assessment, treatment, & risk evaluation contacts. Work Schedule: Variable shifts; Part time (approx 20 hrs/weekly-may be negotiable) or Full Time\nTelework: No\nVirtual: This is not a virtual position.\nFunctional Statement #: 55547-O\nFinancial Disclosure Report: Not required"]
Providing Health Care for Veterans: The Veterans Health Administration is America’s largest integrated health care system, providing care at 1,255 health care facilities, including 170 medical centers and 1,074 outpatient sites of care of varying complexity (VHA outpatient clinics), serving 9 million enrolled Veterans each year.