Senior Social Worker Suicide Prevention - #19528371

Department of Veterans Affairs

Date: Feb 22, 2021
City: West Haven, CT
Contract type: Full time
Department of Veterans Affairs

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VA Connecticut Healthcare System is seeking one full-time Suicide Prevention Coordinator Social Worker located at the VA Connecticut Health Care Center, West Haven CT.

The Suicide Prevention Coordinator (SPC) serves to facilitate suicide prevention strategies within the medical center to help ensure that all appropriate measures are being taken to prevent suicide in our patient population.

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Duties include but are not limited to:

  • Provides follow up on all consults received from the National Veteran's Crisis Line; conducts clinical/risk assessments and implements appropriate interventions for referred Veterans. Provides clinical interventions, as appropriate, adjunctive to the MHTC.

  • Documents all clinical interventions in the medical record.

  • Provides consultation to inpatient and outpatient providers hospital-wide related to risk assessment, intervention and requirements for enhanced services. Develops relationships with facility Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom/Operation New Dawn Coordinators, Patient Safety Managers, Homeless Veteran Coordinators, local Vet Center and CBOC staff, residential care and mental health teams to assure that Veterans are assessed for suicide risk as appropriate and that preventative interventions are in place identifies and intervenes with high risk Veterans who refuse care including implementation of the SPC mail program.

  • Participates in Environment of Care Rounds, assisting the team in determining actions that should be taken to improve the safety of the hospital environment.

  • Tracks and reports all suicide attempts and completions; completes related issue briefs as required. Monitors VHA performance monitors and measures related to the Suicide Prevention Program to assure they are met or exceeded. Initiates and maintains high risk for suicide patient record flags for Veterans who meet criteria.

  • Facilitation of high risk for suicide patient record flagging committee meetings, reviewing all flagged Veterans at least every ninety days.

  • Track enhanced services for high risk Veterans related to clinical follow up and safety plans.

  • Coordinate enhanced services for high risk Veterans discharged from other facilities.

Work Schedule: Monday-Friday. Hours: 8:00am-4:30pm.

Financial Disclosure Report: Not require.

Travel Required

Occasional travel - Expected travel between between all VACT facilities.

Supervisory status


Promotion Potential


  • Job family (Series)

0185 Social Work

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  • Requirements



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


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 to verify that the social work degree meets the accreditation standards for a masters 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

  • English Language Proficiency: Candidates must be proficient in spoken and written English to be appointed as authorized by 38 U.S.C. ยง 7403(f).

Grade Determinations: You must meet the following grade requirements in addition to the basic requirements.

Senior Social Worker, GS-12:


  • The candidate must have at least two years of experience post advanced practice clinical licensure and should be in a specialized area of social work practice of which, one year must be equivalent to the GS-11 grade level. Senior social workers have experience that demonstrates possession of advanced practice skills and judgment. Senior social workers are experts in their specialized area of practice. Senior social workers may have certification or other post-masters training from a nationally recognized professional organization or university that includes a defined curriculum/course of study and internship or equivalent supervised professional experience in a specialty.


  • Senior social workers must be licensed or certified by a state at the advanced practice level which included an advanced generalist or clinical examination, unless they are grandfathered by the state in which they are licensed to practice at the advanced practice level (except for licenses issued in California, which administers its own clinical examination for advanced practice) and they must be able to provide supervision for licensure.

Demonstrated Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

In addition to the experience above, candidates must demonstrate all of the following KSAs: September 10, 2019 VA HANDBOOK 5005/120 PART II APPENDIX G39 II-G39-9

  • Skill in a range of specialized interventions and treatment modalities used in specialty treatment programs or with special patient populations. This includes individual, group, and/or family counseling or psychotherapy and advanced level psychosocial and/or case management.

  • Ability to incorporate complex multiple causation in differential diagnosis and treatment within approved clinical privileges or scope of practice.

  • Knowledge in developing and implementing methods for measuring effectiveness of social work practice and services in the specialty area, utilizing outcome evaluations to improve treatment services and to design system changes.

  • Ability to provide specialized consultation to colleagues and students on the psychosocial treatment of patients in the service delivery area, as well as role modeling effective social work practice skills.

  • Ability to expand clinical knowledge in the social work profession, and to write policies, procedures, and/or practice guidelines pertaining to the service delivery area.

Assignments. For all assignments above the full performance level, the higher-level duties must consist of significant scope, complexity (difficulty), and variety and be performed by the incumbent at least 25% of the time. Senior social workers are licensed or certified to independently practice social work at an advanced level. Senior social workers typically practice in a major program area such as but not limited to: Polytrauma Rehabilitation Center or Polytrauma Network Site; a Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation Center, or a national VHA referral center, such as a national Center for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder or a national Transplant Center, or other program areas of equivalent scope and complexity. The senior social worker may be assigned administrative responsibility for clinical program development and is accountable for clinical program effectiveness and modification of service patterns. Assignments include clinical settings where they have limited access to onsite supervision such as CBOCs or satellite outpatient clinics. The senior social worker collaborates with the other members of the treatment team in the provision of comprehensive health care services to Veterans, ensures equity of access, service, and benefits to this population, ensures the care provided is of the highest quality. The senior social worker provides leadership, direction, orientation, coaching, in-service training, staff development, and continuing education programs for assigned social work staff. They serve on committees, work groups, and task forces at the facility, VISN and national level, or in the community as deemed appropriate by the supervisor, Social Work Executive or Chief of Social Work Services. This assignment is to be relatively few in number based on the size of the facility/service and applying sound position management. This assignment must represent substantial additional responsibility over and above that required at the full performance grade level and cannot be used as the full performance level of this occupation.

References: VA Handbook 5005/120, Part II, Appendix G39.This vacancy is above the full performance level.

Physical Requirements: The work is generally sedentary. The work requires intermittent standing and walking, with periods of bending and sitting. The work requires light lifting and carrying of light items (under 15 lbs.) such as charts, notes, reports and binders. Simple grasping and fine manipulation is required when using a keyboard to access a computer. Work is typically performed in both a clinical and community-based setting which may expose the incumbent to the communicable diseases common to the Veteran population. The work environment is adequately lighted and heated. The incumbent may be required to work an irregular tour and/or weekends as the need arises performs related duties as assigned.


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: 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:

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