Job ID: 289948634  |  Last Updated: 1/6/2021

Care Giver Support Social Worker

VA Sierra Nevada Health Care System
Reno, NV
Applicant Contact
Kelly De Boer
Healthcare Recruiter
(775) 223-5351

Job Description

The Clinical Assessor is assigned to the Caregiver Support Program. This position is primarily responsible for assessing a Veteran's functional needs, including the need for personal care services using standardized assessments--which will assist the Veterans Integrated Service Network (VISN) 15 Centralized Eligibility and Appeal Teams (CEAT) in determining eligibility for the Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers (PCAFC).

Learn more about this agency
This Clinical Assessor position is located within Care Management & Social Work Service.

The Clinical Assessor conducts face-to-face or virtual contact with the caregiver and Veteran to assesses the Veteran's needs for personal care services, particularly Activities of Daily Living (ADLs), supervision needs, protection or instruction, working closely with the Caregiver Support Program Coordinator(s) and/or designee(s) to complete in-home and/or in-office Veteran functional assessments and reassessments in a timely manner.

The Clinical Assessor conducts Veteran, caregiver and family clinical interventions to facilitate the identification of caregiver stress, psychiatric illness, emotional distress and social needs as treatment issues. He/She utilizes professional judgment, including the knowledge of normal and abnormal behavior, as an inherent competency applied in daily interactions with caregivers and the Veterans for which they care.

The Clinical Assessor advises and collaborates with interdisciplinary teams throughout the health care system on caregiver issues; creates educational tools, develops programs and implements training focused on specific caregiver needs/issues; distributes educational materials provided by VA, local, state and national caregiver organizations to Marion VA HCS employees, Veterans, families and caregivers; provides ongoing consultation and support to colleagues regarding caregiver issues; and develops and facilitates caregiver support groups (face-to-face or virtual) and educational programs. The incumbent provides directed clinical treatment interventions as needed and also assists other program staff in providing clinical services, completing documentation and gathering/monitoring data related to the day-to-day operations.

The Clinical Assessor utilizes and assists in collecting and maintaining data monitoring systems to measure the efficacy of the program and assists in analyzing data for reports for local management, VISN Caregiver Support Program Leads, VISN Centralized Eligibility and Appeal Teams (CEAT), the National Caregiver Support Program, VA Central Office (VACO) Care Management and Social Work, and Office of Patient Care Services. Data collected is used to assure compliance with local facility and VACO Caregiver Support Program initiatives, evaluate program progress and outcomes, and continuously modify and improve the program, processes, and use of a national standardized assessment instrument.

The Clinical Assessor in collaboration with CSP staff provides referrals to VA medical and mental health treatment and to other VA services including VA benefits, community-based social services and other non-VA entitlement programs. If appropriate, he/she provides referrals or consults, or in some cases facilitates direct admission of a Veteran to other VA programs including but not limited to the Respite Program, Community Health Care Coordination Program, Hospice, Home Based Primary Care, Telehealth and the Community Nursing Home Program. The Clinical Assessor serves as a consultant for navigating the complex processes caregivers, Veterans, and families encounter when interacting with government and community agencies.

As a Clinical Assessor within the Caregiver Support Program, the employee stays informed regarding current federal and state legislation directed at assisting caregivers to continue to provide caregiving in an environment that is safe for both themselves and the Veteran. The Clinical Assessor maintains a knowledge base of current theory and treatment modalities by reading professional journals, attending conferences, clinic seminars and teleconferences, and materials distributed through VA and private sector sources. The incumbent develops and fosters relationships with community partners to assist with system navigation, maintain collaboration and coordinate services; maintains basic knowledge of local VA medical center programs, community services and VA Central Office caregiver support initiatives.

Work Schedule: 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM Monday through Friday (excluding Federal Holidays)
Financial Disclosure Report: Not required

Travel Required
50% or less - Position may require extensive travel into the community to meet with Veterans, caregivers, community agencies and/or partners who assist and support the Caregiver Support Program.

Supervisory status

Promotion Potential

Job family (Series)
0185 Social Work
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Conditions of Employment
You must be a U.S. Citizen to apply for this job
Designated and/or random drug testing may be required
Selective Service Registration is required for males born after 12/31/1959
You may be required to serve a probationary period
Subject to a background/security investigation
Must be proficient in written and spoken English
Selected applicants will be required to complete an online onboarding process
You must have and maintain a valid, state-issued driver's license.
To qualify for this position, applicants must meet all requirements by the closing date of this announcement, 12/04/2020.

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 the CSWE website to verify if that social work degree meets the accreditation standards for a master 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. Current state requirements may be found by going to
[(1) 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.]
(a) 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.
All states except California use a series of licensure exams administered by the ASWB. Information can be found at The ASWB is the association of boards that regulates social work. ASWB develops and maintains the social work licensing examination used across the country and is a central resource for information on the legal regulation of social work. The ASWB offers three examinations. The master's examination is generally used by states for the independent practice level of licensure or certification, while the advanced generalist and the clinical examinations are used for the advanced practice level of licensure or certification. Differences between the master's and the advanced exams demonstrate the expectation that advanced practice social workers will have a more sophisticated knowledge of practice theory and its application.
(2) 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.
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. Current state requirements may be found on the OHRM website.

Preferred experience: Social Work Licensure

GRADE DETERMINATIONS. In addition to the basic requirements for employment, the following criteria must be met when determining the grade of candidates.

Social Worker, GS-9
(1) Experience, Education, and Licensure. None beyond the basic requirements.
(2) Demonstrated Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities. In addition to the experience above, the candidate must demonstrate all of the following KSAs:
(a) Ability to work with Veterans and family members from various socioeconomic, cultural, ethnic, educational, and other diversified backgrounds utilizing counseling skills.
(b) 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.
(c) 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.
(d) Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships and communicate with clients, staff, and representatives of community agencies.
(e) 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.

Grade Determinations: GS-11 Social Worker
1. (a) Experience, Education and Licensure. 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.
(b) 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.
2.Demonstrated Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities. In addition to the experience above, candidates must demonstrate all of the following KSAs:
(a) Knowledge of community resources, how to make appropriate referrals to community and other governmental agencies for services, and ability to coordinate services.
(b) 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.
(c) 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.
(d) 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.
(e) 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.

References: VA Handbook 5005, Part II, Appendix G39

The full performance level of this vacancy is GS-11.

Physical Requirements: Light lifting, under 15 pounds, Light carrying, under 15 pounds, Straight pulling (1 hour), pushing (1 hour), walking (2 hours), standing (2 hours), Ability for rapid mental and muscular coordination simultaneously, Far vision correctable in one eye to 20/20 and to 20/40 in the other, Hearing (aid permitted), Working closely with others, Working alone.

Contact: Kelly De Boer, HealthCare Recruiter

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