The Senior Social Worker is assigned administrative responsibility for clinical program development and is accountable for clinical program effectiveness and modification of service patterns. The senior social workers are also assigned in settings with no access to social work supervision, such as community-based outpatient clinics (CBOCs) or satellite outpatient clinics. They may be assigned to work with special patient populations with highly-complex health or mental health problems. Senior Social Workers in the Healthcare for Homeless Veterans Program (HCHV) work independently in the field and are expected to make clinical decisions in complex cases with no immediate supervision or access to resources. Social Workers for the VA Supportive Housing (VASH) program work with clients in their homes, providing advanced level clinical services and long-term case management. This position involves problem-solving skills and the ability to maintain an ongoing therapeutic relationship, at times, over several years. Functions of the position include, but are not limited to: Display a high level of professionalism and organizational stewardship in all dealings with the community as a Department of Veterans Affairs representative. Become familiar with relevant accreditation standards, including the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) and the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Facilities (JCAHO). Interviews veterans and their family members/significant others to establish facts about the Veteran's situation, presenting problems and their causes, and the impact of such problems on the Veteran's functioning and health as part of a comprehensive psychosocial assessment. Interprets and explains VA's treatment and benefit programs, identifies viable treatment options, and assesses high-risk factors, acuity, and needs for services. Monitors and assists veterans in maintaining appointments at VAMC and other community agencies for medical, psychiatric, substance abuse, vocational, and other services consistent with Veteran' goals associated with healthful independent living. Refers veterans to appropriate VA and other government/community services: including local shelters, food banks, employment services, veterans benefits, and social security applications. Assists veterans who encounter problems obtaining assistance from the VA and other service delivery agencies by increasing their problem solving/social interaction skills. Evaluate the client's situation, including the Veteran's reaction and ability to deal with it, arrive at a reasoned conclusion, and make a psychosocial diagnosis based on assessment, professional judgment, and advanced practice skills. Assesses risk factors and develops a preliminary disposition plan involving the Veteran and family or significant others. Assesses severe and complicated cases involving psychiatric illness, catastrophic medical condition, dementia, and other high-risk diagnoses, making decisions and recommendations for agency actions. On an inpatient/outpatient basis, finds a suitable means of treatment to help veterans and significant others cope with stressful situations--aimed at helping veterans find practical solutions to problems. Develops psychosocial treatment plans in coordination with interdisciplinary team members, including goals for psychosocial clinical treatment. Using known resources and initial assessment of the Veteran's likelihood of accepting different types of assistance, makes initial and continuing decisions regarding the use of VA, non-VA services, and referrals to determine the preferred course of agency actions. Provides consultation and makes a recommendation to the interdisciplinary team on the course of action. Independently concludes appropriate actions, where actions can have a severe impact on the Veteran's life, based on the senior social worker's advanced practice skills, professional judgments, and expertise regarding the Veteran's self-care capability, the family support system, and the Veteran's health care needs and possible consequences. Including long-term institutional or nursing home care or separation from family members. Participates in professional peer review, case conferences, research studies, or other organized means and remains active in and accepts responsibility for developing and maintaining professional standards of treatment. Initiates and effects changes in methods and interventions, promoting efficient practices and improve patient outcomes. Effectively uses professional skills, objectivity, and insight. When dealing with antagonistic, indifferent, or evasive veterans and their significant others, the senior social worker deals constructively with positive and negative reactions, understands disparate values, and reaches veterans and their families from different social and ethnic groups. Communicates confidence in the Veteran's ability and worth, helping the veteran address problems utilizing larger support systems as appropriate. Participates in the assignment of veterans to treatment teams and programs. Consult with other specialists in planning treatment for veterans with co-morbidities. Work Schedule: Monday - Friday, 8 AM- 4:30 PM; occasional weekends and holidays required. Financial 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.