Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration Licensed Professional Mental Health Counselor (HUD/VASH) in Fort Harrison, 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 This is an open continuous announcement. Applications will be accepted on an ongoing basis until 9/29/23, candidates will be considered as vacancies become available. 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. Reassesses for changes in the Veteran's needs, acuity level and preferences for care at least quarterly. Empowers and respects the Veteran's right to self-determination while helping the Veteran identify and articulate their strengths, needs, abilities and preferences. Coordinates care including serving as an advocate on behalf of the Veterans with landlords, PHAs, VA services and community providers. Ensures comprehensive service delivery by linking and referring Veterans to VA and/or community services based on the Veterans needs and wants. Coordinates care of Veterans with high-acuity and high-risk mental health and behavioral factors with relevant providers in the VA and community. Utilizes Housing First, Harm Reduction and other evidence-based practice models to promote Veteran engagement and self-efficacy. Assists Veterans in development of their self-identified goals and assists Veterans in removing barriers to achieve their stated goals. Works with Veterans to develop structure and meaningful purpose to their day. 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. 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. Develops relationships with the local Continuum of Care (CoC) and actively participates in Coordinated Entry case conference meetings. Responsible for following local policy and SOP for the HUDVASH Program. This includes following policies and documentation requirements for CARF and JC accreditation. Takes responsibility for improving professional skills, participating in planning and executing specific staff development projects, attending seminars and institutes, and participating in training programs of other disciplines as requested. Responsible for ensuring a culture of safety by participating in mandatory Prevention and Management of Disruptive Behavior (PMDB) 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. Work Schedule: Monday - Friday 8:00 AM - 4:30 PM Telework: Ad-hoc Virtual: This is not a virtual position. Functional Statement #: 436B-53448-A Relocation/Recruitment Incentives: Authorized Permanent Change of Station (PCS): Not authorized PCS Appraised Value Offer (AVO): Not authorized Financial Disclosure Report: Not required Requirements Conditions of Employment You must be a U.S. Citizen to apply for this job. 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 VA Handbook 5005, Part II, Chapter 3, Section A, paragraph 3.g.). Education. Hold a master's or doctoral degree in: Clinical Mental Health Counseling; Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling; Clinical Mental Health Counseling and Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling; or a related field, from a program accredited by the Council on Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). Examples of related mental health counseling fields include but are not limited to Addiction Counseling; Community Counseling; Gerontology Counseling; Marital, Couple, and Family Counseling. CACREP defines the date when graduates are considered to have graduated from a CACREP accredited program. Additional information may be obtained from http://www.cacrep.org/directory/. NOTE: Traditional Rehabilitation counseling programs that are accredited by CACREP do not meet the LPMHC qualification standards as Traditional Rehabilitation counseling differs from Clinical Rehabilitation counseling. Licensure. Persons hired or reassigned to LPMHC positions in the GS-0183 series in VHA must hold a full, current, and unrestricted license to independently practice as a Licensed Professional Mental Health Counselor, which includes diagnosis and treatment. NOTE: It is VHA policy that a LPMHC who does not yet have a license that allows independent practice must be supervised by a licensed independent practitioner of the same discipline who is a VA staff member and who has access to the electronic health record. Exception. VHA may waive the licensure requirement for persons who are otherwise qualified, pending completion of state prerequisites for licensure. This exception only applies up to the full performance level. For grade levels at or above the full performance level, the candidate must be licensed. English Language Proficiency. LPMHCs must be proficient in spoken and written English in accordance with VA Handbook 5005, Part II, chapter 3, section A, paragraph 3.j. May qualify based on being covered by the Grandfathering Provision as described in the VA Qualification Standard for this occupation (only applicable to current VHA employees who are in this occupation and meet the criteria). Grade Determinations: Licensed Professional Mental Health Counselor, GS-9 (Entry Level) Experience, Education, and Licensure. The GS-9 grade level is the entry grade level for LPMHCs with less than one year of experience (post-master's degree) or for LPMHCs at the master's or doctoral level) who are graduates not yet licensed at the independent practice level. Unlicensed LPMHCs at the GS-9 grade level have completed the required education listed in in basic requirements above and are working toward completion of prerequisites for licensure. Demonstrated Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities (KSAs). In addition to the basic requirements, the candidates must demonstrate all of the KSAs below: Ability to engage in intake and assessment, problem identification, diagnosis, treatment planning and implementation, continuum of care, evaluation and follow-up. Knowledge of current Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) of Mental Disorders in formulation of treatment goals and application of appropriate clinical interventions using professional counseling practices. Basic knowledge of professional counseling practice with emphasis on human development principles through cognitive, affective, behavioral or systemic interventions, and strategies that address high risk behaviors, wellness, personal growth, and career development across the life span. Ability to use a wide variety of individual, group, or family counseling interventions; demonstrates sensitivity to diversity and possesses multicultural counseling skills. Ability to serve on an interdisciplinary team with focus on the intrapersonal, interpersonal, and relational functioning of individuals, groups and families and on the counseling approaches, strategies, and techniques that will best help patients function effectively. Basic skill in the use of computer software applications for drafting documents, data management, maintaining accurate, timely and thorough clinical documentation and delivery of services, such as Telehealth. Ability to learn and utilize software programs in use by VHA. Knowledge and understanding of existing relevant statutes, case laws, ethical codes, and regulations affecting professional practice of counseling. Ability to communicate effectively, both orally and in writing, with people from varied backgrounds. Licensed Professional Mental Health Counselor, GS-11 (Full Performance Level) Experience, Education, and Licensure. In addition to the basic requirements, candidates must have at least one year of post-master's or post- doctoral degree mental health counseling experience (VA or non-VA experience) & must be licensed to practice at the independent practice level. Demonstrated Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities (KSAs). In addition to meeting the KSAs for the GS-9 grade level, the candidate must demonstrate all of the KSAs below: Ability to make professional evaluations, decisions, and recommendation for treatment planning and implementation. Advanced knowledge and mastery of the fundamentals of the counseling process which includes defining patient/family problems and maintaining an effective counseling relationship. Ability to provide subject matter consultation to colleagues and trainees on the counseling process within various specialty areas, build on the foundation of competence through regular meetings and discussions to explain assignments, review progress of cases and confer about the counseling perspectives and orientation. Ability to provide complex crisis intervention and stabilization to patients who are in psychological distress. Requires independent judgment and skill. Ability to establish goals/treatment through a collaborative process with the patient utilizing advanced counseling skills, including evidenced- based practices, screening, and psychosocial assessment. Ability to use a wide variety of individual, group, or familial counseling interventions; demonstrates sensitivity to diversity and possesses multicultural counseling skills. Ability to fully utilize the current DSM in making diagnoses and formulation of treatment goals and application of appropriate clinical intervention using professional counseling practices. Ability to develop and facilitate psychotherapy and psycho- education groups that include life skills, family support, and community integration. This may include evidence-based psychotherapy. Preferred Experience: Experience working with; the homeless population, veterans, mental health & substance use disorders, and multi-disciplinary teams. References: VA HANDBOOK 5005/106 PART II APPENDIX G43 The full performance level of this vacancy is GS-11. The actual grade at which an applicant may be selected for this vacancy is in the range of GS-09 to GS-11. Physical Requirements: Traveling throughout the medical center and the community is required, as is performing activities involving sitting, walking, and standing, bending and carrying such items as books, papers, and files. It may be necessary to travel into the community where he/she conducts interviews with the Veterans, their families, representatives of community health and welfare agencies and law enforcement agencies. Must possess current driver's license and drive a government vehicle in carrying out professional duties when deemed necessary. 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 to fax a document you do not have in electronic form, view the following link for information regarding an Alternate Application.