Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration Social Worker - HUD VASH in Billings, Montana
Summary The incumbent in this position functions as the Case Manager for Montana Veterans Affairs Health Care System's (MTVAHCS) Housing and Urban Development-VA Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) program. The HUD-VASH program falls within the Homeless Programs of the Mental Health Service. The incumbent is responsible for coordination of case management services for Veterans receiving housing supported by HUD-VASH Housing Choice Vouchers (HCV) both at the medical center and in the community. Responsibilities The incumbent is responsible for the following duties: Accepts referrals for screening and admission to the program, gathers information about a Veteran's status and eligibility for VA medical care, and verifies a clinical need for program participation. Responsible for providing case management and appropriate services for Veterans in the HUD-VASH program based on the Veteran's needs, acuity level, and preferences for care. The incumbent reassesses for changes in the Veteran's needs, acuity level and preferences for care at least quarterly. Coordinates care including serving as an advocate on behalf of the Veterans with landlords, PHAs, VA services and community providers. The incumbent ensures comprehensive service delivery by linking and referring Veterans to VA and/or community services based on the Veterans needs and wants. The incumbent coordinates care of Veterans with high-acuity and high-risk mental health and behavioral factors with relevant providers in the VA and community Promotes housing retention and stability. This includes but is not limited to helping Veterans understand their lease agreement, develop money management and budgeting skills, establish healthy boundaries, learn how to effectively communicate with landlords and PHAs and navigate the recertification process as needed. Complies with criminal conflict of interest laws and Executive Branch Standards of conduct to avoid conflicts of interest while serving as the HUD-VASH Case Manager. The incumbent adheres to professional ethics guidelines and completes annual ethics training. Actively participates in Homeless Program conference calls, monthly national HUD-VASH calls and VISN calls. The incumbent develops relationships with the local Continuum of Care and actively participates in Coordinated Entry case conference meetings. Responsible for ensuring a culture of safety by participating in mandatory Prevention and Management of Disruptive Behavior training, reporting all incidents of Veteran threats, aggression or violence including those witnessed in the community and completing required safety training to include suicide risk reduction. Provides outreach services to engage homeless Veterans, especially those who are chronically homeless and are highly vulnerable. Conducts comprehensive bio-psychosocial assessments to ensure appropriateness of placement into the program, determine acuity status and identify needs. Performs site visits of HUD-VASH residences to ensure that Veterans reside in safe environments in compliance with local housing codes. Collects and submits HUD-VASH Program participant data within three business days as outlined by HOMES evaluation procedures. Documents all contacts in the Veterans CPRS file in accordance with local documentation policies. Develops an individualized Housing Stability Plan with each HUD-VASH Veteran that identifies Veteran goals using their own words and steps to achieve those goals. Assists Veterans through the voucher application process from referral to voucher issuance, helps Veterans complete application packets and assists in obtaining all necessary documentation required by the Public Housing Authority (PHA). Provides housing search assistance to include transportation to view units as needed. Makes regular home visits based on the Veterans acuity level to assess housing stability, social and community integration and recovery progress. Involves Veterans in the development of disaster planning and provides relevant local emergency response resources. Obtains Release of Information (ROI) consents when possible, with all community providers and housing stakeholders to ensure comprehensive coordination of services and collaboration. Meets regularly with landlords and PHA officials, conducting landlord outreach events as needed. Assists Veterans with pursuing employment to increase their income and integrate into the community. Assists Veterans in determining eligibility and applying for non-service-connected pension, service connected compensation, applying for mainstream entitlement benefits and/or state and county benefits. Provides individual, family and group counseling as appropriate. Work Schedule: Monday - Friday, 8:00 - 4:30 Telework: Ad-Hoc Virtual: This is not a virtual position. Functional Statement #: 436B-56081-A, 436-56081-A Relocation/Recruitment Incentives: Authorized Permanent Change of Station (PCS): Not Authorized Financial Disclosure Report: Not required Requirements Conditions of Employment You must be a U.S. Citizen to apply for this job. All applicants tentatively selected for VA employment in a testing designated position are subject to urinalysis to screen for illegal drug use prior to appointment. Applicants who refuse to be tested will be denied employment with VA. Selective Service Registration is required for males born after 12/31/1959. Must be proficient in written and spoken English. You may be required to serve a probationary period. Subject to background/security investigation. Selected applicants will be required to complete an online onboarding process. Must pass pre-employment physical examination. Participation in the seasonal influenza vaccination program is a requirement for all Department of Veterans Affairs Health Care Personnel (HCP). Participation in the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccination program is a requirement for all Veterans Health Administration Health Care Personnel (HCP) - See "Additional Information" below for details. Qualifications Applicants pending the completion of educational or certification/licensure requirements may be referred and tentatively selected but may not be hired until all requirements are met. Basic Requirements Citizenship: Be a citizen of the United States. (Non-citizens may be appointed when it is not possible to recruit qualified citizens in accordance with chapter 3, section A, paragraph 3g this part) English Language Proficiency: Candidates must be proficient in spoken and written English to be appointed as authorized by 38 U.S.C. § 7403(f). 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 the social worker position GS-0185 series in the 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 by going to http://vaww.va.gov/ORHM//T38Hybrids. Exception: VHA may waive the licensure or certification requirement for persons who are otherwise qualified, pending completion of state prerequisites for licensure/certification examinations. This exception only applies at the GS-9 grade level. For the GS-11 grade level and above, the candidate must be licensed or certified. At the time of appointment, the supervisor, chief social work or social work executive will provide the unlicensed/uncertified social worker with the written requirements for licensure or certification, including the time by which the license or certification must be obtained and the consequences for not becoming licensed or certified by the deadline. For appointments at the GS-9 grade level, VHA social workers who are not licensed or certified at the time of appointment must become licensed or certified at the independent, master's level within three years of their appointment as a social worker. Most states require two years of post-MSW experience as a prerequisite to taking the licensure/certification exam, and VHA gives social workers one additional year to pass the licensure/certification exam. In states such as California, Washington, and others where the prerequisites for licensure exceed two years, social workers must become licensed at the independent, master's level within one year of meeting the full state prerequisites for licensure. Failure to Obtain License or Certification: In all cases, social workers must actively pursue meeting state prerequisites for licensure or certification starting from the date of their appointment. Failure to become licensed or certified within the prescribed amount of time will result in removal from the GS-0185 social worker series and may result in termination of employment. Loss of Licensure or Certification: Once licensed or certified, social workers must maintain a full, valid, and unrestricted independent license or certification to remain qualified for employment. Loss of licensure or certification will result in removal from the GS-0185 social worker series and may result in termination of employment. Social Worker GS-09 Experience, Education, and Licensure: None beyond the basic requirements Demonstrated Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities: In addition to the experience above, the candidate must demonstrate all of the following KSAs: Ability to work with Veterans and family members from various socioeconomic, cultural, ethnic, educational, and other diversified backgrounds utilizing counseling skills. Ability to assess the psychosocial functioning and needs of Veterans and their family members, and to formulate and implement a treatment plan, identifying the Veterans problems, strengths, weaknesses, coping skills, and assistance needed. Ability to implement treatment modalities in working with individuals, families, and groups to achieve treatment goals. This requires judgment and skill in utilizing supportive, problem solving, or crisis intervention techniques. Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships and communicate with clients, staff, and representatives of community agencies. Fundamental knowledge 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. Social Worker GS-11 Experience and Licensure: Appointment to the GS-11 grade level requires completion of a minimum of one year of post-MSW experience equivalent to the GS-9 grade level in the field of health care or other social work-related settings, (VA or non- VA experience) and licensure or certification in a state at 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 one year of professional social work experience in a clinical setting. Demonstrated Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities: In addition to the experience above, candidates must demonstrate all of the following KSAs: Knowledge of community resources, how to make appropriate referrals to community and other governmental agencies for services, and ability to coordinate services. Skill in independently conducting psychosocial assessments and treatment interventions to a wide variety of individuals from various socio-economic, cultural, ethnic, educational and other diversified backgrounds. Knowledge of medical and mental health diagnoses, disabilities and treatment procedures (i.e. acute, chronic and traumatic illnesses/injuries, common medications and their effects/side effects, and medical terminology) to formulate a treatment plan. Skill in independently implementing different treatment modalities in working with individuals, families, and groups who are experiencing a variety of psychiatric, medical, and social problems to achieve treatment goals. Ability to provide consultation services to new social workers, social work graduate students, and other staff about the psychosocial needs of patients and the impact of psychosocial problems on health care and compliance with treatment. Preferred Experience: This position requires a valid, current driver's license. References: VA Handbook 5005/120, Part II, Appendix G-39 Dated September 10, 2019 The full performance level of this vacancy is GS-11. The actual grade at which an applicant may be selected for this vacancy is GS-9-11 Physical Requirements: Must be able to meet the physical demands of the position, reasonable accommodations may be made to enable qualified individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. They must have good manual dexterity, must be able to express or exchange ideals by means of spoken and written word. Must be able to view and read information on computer screens. Education IMPORTANT: A transcript must be submitted with your application if you are basing all or part of your qualifications on education. 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: http://ope.ed.gov/accreditation/. 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. For further information, visit: http://www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ous/international/usnei/us/edlite-visitus-forrecog.html. Additional Information Receiving Service Credit or 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. Selected applicants may qualify for credit toward annual leave accrual, based on prior work experience or military service experience. This credited service can be used in determining the rate at which they earn annual leave. Such credit must be requested and approved prior to the appointment date and is not guaranteed. This job opportunity announcement may be used to fill additional vacancies. This position is in the Excepted Service and does not confer competitive status. 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. Pursuant to VHA Directive 1193.01, VHA health care personnel (HCP) are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 subject to such accommodations as required by law (i.e., medical, religious or pregnancy). VHA HCPs do not include remote workers who only infrequently enter VHA locations. If selected, you will be required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and submit documentation of proof of vaccination before your start date. The agency will provide additional information regarding what information or documentation will be needed and how you can request a legally required accommodation from this requirement using the reasonable accommodation process. If you are unable to apply online or need an alternate method to submit documents, please reach out to the Agency Contact listed in this Job Opportunity Announcement.