Veteran Health Administration SOCIAL WORKER in Laredo, Texas

Announcement Number: VCB-16-ER-1572993

Department: Department Of Veterans Affairs

Agency: Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration

Position Info: Full Time

Location(s): Laredo, TX

Open Period: 2015-12-10 to 2016-12-10

OverviewWho May Apply

Open to ALL VA Employees nationwide and other Federal Agencies

Appointment Duration

Multiple Appointment Types

Job Status

Full Time

Agency Marketing Statement

Vacancy Identification Number (VIN): 1572993

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?

The VATVCBHCS is comprised of the Corpus Christi Outpatient Clinic (CCOPC), Corpus Christi Specialty Clinic (CCSC),

Harlingen Outpatient Clinic (HOPC), Health-Care Center at Harlingen (HCC), Laredo Outpatient Clinic (LOPC), and

McAllen Outpatient Clinic (MCOPC). The VATVCBHCS is an ambulatory health care system providing health care in

medicine, surgery, psychiatry, and rehabilitation medicine. The VATVCBHCS also operates a 100-patient Home Based

Primary Care program and a 200-patient Care Coordination Home Tele-Health Program. Through the utilization of

inpatient/emergency department contracts, approximately 2600 inpatient admission and 5800 ER visits are managed by

VATVCBHCS. Affiliated with the University of Texas Regional Academic Health Campus, the system has an active

ambulatory care program and serves as a teaching and training site for medical residents. The VATVCBHCS is

responsible for an enrollee population of over 30,000 veterans and 350,000 outpatient visits annually.

Job Summary

"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.

PLEASE NOTE: This vacancy may be filled by either a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Licensed Professional Mental Health Counselor or a Social Worker. If you are applying for the Licensed Professional Mental Health Counselor see vacancy VCB-16-ER-1573410; if applying for the Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist see vacancy VCB-16-ER-1573420.


The McAllen vacancy has been filled

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.

DutiesMajor Duties

This position is located at the Laredo Vet Center

The Social Worker provides readjustment counseling to eligible Veterans and family members in the Vet Center program. Readjustment counseling includes individual and group counseling to Veterans and family members 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 issue1; impacting a Veteran's ability to successfully re-enter civilian society. This task is accomplished in collaboration with other members of the Vet Center or other interdisciplinary treatment teams within the Department of Veteran Affairs or community/government social services agencies.

The incumbent serves as Social Worker on a multidisciplinary team that is located in a community-based Vet Center that provides Veterans with community outreach, counseling, therapy, treatment, direct services and referral to VA and community resource;. Incumbent will work in cooperative collaboration with other team members, 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 experiencing readjustment problems.

Work Schedule: Monday through Friday, 8:00am to 4:30pm; nights, weekends and nontraditional hours will be required to meet mission demands.

Functional Statement Title/#: Social Worker Functional Statement

Fair Labor Standards Act: Exempt

Bargaining Unit Status Code: 8888 (Non-Bargaining)

Background Information: NACI

This IS NOT a supervisory position.

This position is subject to completion of 1-year probationary period, if not already completed.

Current drivers license required, must be willing to operate government vehicle.

Qualifications And EvaluationQualifications

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

English language proficiency(written and spoken); Bilingual (English/Spanish) Preferred

License, Registration, Certification Requirements: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 the master's degree level. Current state requirements may be found on the OHRM website.

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. (Must provide copy of transcript(s) with application)

Preferred 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.

Grade Determinations:

GS-11 Social Worker

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.


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 KSAs in subparagraph (b) below:

Demonstrated 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.



VA Handbook 5005 reference VA HANDBOOK 5005/23 PART II APPENDIX G39 SOCIAL WORKER


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:

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 vision; hearing (aid permitted).



Your application, résumé and/or supporting documentation will be verified. Please follow all instructions carefully. Errors or omissions may affect consideration for employment.

NOTE: The Professional Standards Board (a peer-review group) will recommend the grade and salary for new appointments.

How To Apply InformationHow To Apply

All applicants are encouraged to apply online.

To apply for this position, you must complete the View Occupational Questionnaire and submit the documentation specified in the Required Documents section below.

The complete application package must be submitted by 11:59 PM (EST) on Saturday, December 10, 2016 to receive consideration.

  1. To begin, click Apply Online to create a USAJOBS account or log in to your existing account. Follow the prompts to select your USAJOBS resume and/or other supporting documents and complete the occupational questionnaire.

  2. Click Submit My Answers to submit your application package.

NOTE: It is your responsibility to ensure your responses and appropriate documentation is submitted prior to the closing date.

To verify your application is complete, log into your USAJOBS account,, select the Application Status link and then select the more information link for this position. The Details page will display the status of your application, the documentation received and processed, and any correspondence the agency has sent related to this application. Your uploaded documents may take several hours to clear the virus scan process.

To return to an incomplete application, log into your USAJOBS account and click Update Application in the vacancy announcement. You must re-select your resume and/or other documents from your USAJOBS account or your application will be incomplete.

Required Documents

All applicants are required to submit the following supporting document type(s): ·Resume

Applicants may also submit the following supporting document type(s),which may not be required for all applicants:


VA Form 10-2850c - Application for Associated Health Occupations (required). (Available at the VA Forms Website:

Please use this checklistto make sure you have included other documents required for your application, such as a copy of your transcript (if using education to qualify),documentation to support Veterans Preference claims, etc. You will not be contacted for additional information.

Veterans' Preference: When applying for Federal Jobs, eligible Veterans should claim preference for 5pt (TP), or 10pt (CP/CPS, XPP, XP), or for Sole Survivor Preference (SSP), on the Occupational Questionnaire in the section(s) provided. A legible copy of your DD214(s) indicating character of service, disability certification, SF-15 (if claiming 10 pt. preference) or if you are currently serving on active duty and expected to be released or discharged within 120 days; documentation related to your active duty service which reflects the dates of service, character of service (honorable, general, etc.), or dates of impending separation. Documentation is required for eligibility verification.

Faxing Applications or Supporting Documents: You are encouraged to apply online. Applying online will allow you to review and track the status of your application. If you are unable to apply online or unable to upload your supporting documents to your online application, follow the directions located at the following site: Fax Options. The Vacancy ID of the job opportunity announcement is 1572993.

NOTE: If you applied online and your application is complete, do not fax the paper application (1203-FX) as this will overwrite your prior online responses and may result in you being found ineligible.

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 pointscan be found in the USAJobs Resource Center.

Benefits And Other InformationBenefits

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. VA may offer newly-appointed Federal employees credit for their job-related non-federal experience or active duty uniformed military service. This credited service can be used in determining the rate at which they earn annual leave.

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.