2023 Job Aid – Working with Veterans and for the VA as a Social Worker
Best 2023 Veterans Social Work Guide – What It’s Like & How to Increase Your Social Work with Veterans Successes
Social work for veterans provides a career path with many options. The VA has multiple programs and ways that it supports veterans. So a social worker could be working in or managing an outpatient and inpatient medical/surgery program, providing social and emotional support services to homeless veterans, or working with families of veterans in a caregiver support program.
If you want to make a positive difference in the lives of those who have served our country in the military, then becoming a veteran social worker is a great career option. You have the opportunity to help former military members transition from a structured military life to civilian life, work through traumatic experiences, and live happier and healthier lives.
Below, we’ll tell you what types of duties you can expect, and the minimum qualifications needed to become a “veterans affair social worker”.
Veterans Affairs Social Worker Jobs
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is the largest employer of master’s level social workers in the country. Over 17,300 VA social workers are employed at the various programs and agencies under the Veterans Affairs umbrella.
Social work with veterans is an integral part of the services the VA provides to those who have exited military service. These services include crisis intervention, high-risk assessment, integration guidance, psychotherapy, advocacy, and more.
If you have been wondering about veterans affairs social work or how to become a VA hospital social worker, you’re at the right place. This Social Work Portal article will guide you through everything you should know before you hit the ground running.
See Also: Mental Health Intake Assessment
Table of Contents: Social Work Veterans Jobs
Keep on scrolling down this page to read each section or click any link below to go directly to that section.
- What Are Different Types of Veterans Affairs Social Worker Jobs?
- Veterans Affairs Social Worker Requirements
- What Types of Issues Does a VA Social Worker Help With?
- What Are the Advantages of Social Work with Veterans?
- Conclusion | Guide to Becoming a VA Social Worker
- FAQ | Social Work for Veterans
Don’t Miss: What Does It Mean to Be a Freelance Social Worker?
Are you a VA hospital social worker and would like to share your personal veterans affairs social worker requirements with other new and experienced social workers? Or are you a military & veterans social worker and would like to share your experience? If so, contact the Social Work Portal Team.
What Are Different Types of Veterans Affairs Social Worker Jobs?
As the employer of most MSW social workers, the US Department of Veterans Affairs would have many different types of social service positions. Whether you want to become a VA hospital social worker, offer psychotherapy for PTSD sufferers, or work with disabled veterans, you’ll find a lane of veterans social services that fits your area of interest or expertise with the VA.
How big is the VA? The Veterans Health Administration itself is the largest integrated healthcare system in the country. It includes medical centers and outpatient sites and provides support to over 9 million veterans.
Another arm of the VA is the Veterans Benefits Administration. Some of the social services it provides that have a need for a veterans social worker are education and vocational rehabilitation and employment.
Here are some of the different programs listed on the VA site where veterans administration social worker job opportunities exist:
- Mental health
- Spinal cord injuries and disease
- Emergency department
- Outpatient and inpatient medical/surgery
- Polytrauma rehabilitation
- Long term care
- Palliative care
- Therapeutic and supportive
- Suicide prevention
- Veterans justice outreach
- Recovery implementation
- Mediation and residential foster homes
- Home-based primary care
- Caregiver support
Social workers for veterans will provide many support services in relation to their work helping veterans in these various programs. A veterans administration social worker provides:
- Assessments to identify support needs
- Diagnosis of mental health disorders
- Treatment for various disorders (substance abuse, PTSD, depression, etc.)
- Provide education and support resources (financial, shelter, etc.)
- Help veterans transition from the military to civilian life
- Case management and counseling
- Advocacy within the VA and help with benefits applications, etc.
- Support for long-term care needs
- Family and one-on-one counseling
All-in-One Client Assessment & Case Management Hub (for Social Workers, Case Managers, Clinical Workers) Coming in a few weeks: HIPAA-compliant all-in-one platform to manage your clients, conduct assessments and intakes, and many more. Click here to be notified: https://www.socialworkportal.com/Case-Management-Toolkit/
All-in-One Client Assessment & Case Management Hub
(for Social Workers, Case Managers, Clinical Workers)
Coming in a few weeks: HIPAA-compliant all-in-one platform to manage your clients, conduct assessments and intakes, and many more. Click here to be notified: https://www.socialworkportal.com/Case-Management-Toolkit/
Related: Mental Health Questionnaire Assessment Tools
Do you have questions about what a military & veterans social worker does, social worker veterans affairs jobs, or how to get a social worker VA hospital job? If so, contact the Social Work Portal Team.
Veterans Affairs Social Work Requirements
What do you need to do to become a veterans administration social worker?
You may have wondered about the degree requirement when you read that the VA is the largest employer in the country of master’s level social workers. Does that mean that a Master of Social Work degree is required to do social work with veterans for the VA?
Yes, to work as a veterans affair social worker, you need a minimum of a master’s degree. According to the VA’s page for veterans social work employment:
“In compliance with Public Law 106-419, VA social workers appointed after August 14, 1991, must be licensed at the master’s level to independently practice social work in a state. VA social workers have a master’s degree in social work (MSW or MSSW). Some are also limited licensed master social workers (LLMSW), licensed master social workers (LMSW) or licensed clinical social workers (LCSW).”
To learn more about the jobs available for veterans affairs social services, you can visit this page: https://www.vacareers.va.gov. Once there, you can search for a keyword, such as “social work” or “social work veterans,” to find available job postings.
Popular Article: Different Process Types & Social Work Notes Documentation Examples
Do you have any questions or feedback about this article on social work for veterans and military families of veterans? If so, contact the Social Work Portal Team.
What Types of Issues Does a VA Social Worker Help With?
As a social worker for veterans, you’ll be helping former military members with several types of social and mental health support. This support can make a huge difference to their overall well-being and quality of life.
Those that serve in the military and then transition to civilian life will have various needs and potential mental health problems. As a social worker for veterans, you’ll become very familiar with these.
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): PTSD is not uncommon in those who have served in combat or been through other traumatic situations.
- Depression: It’s not always an easy transition from the structured environment of the military to a less structured civilian life. It can feel lonely and cause veterans to fall into depression.
- Homelessness: It’s estimated that almost 13% of the adult homeless population in the US are veterans. Social workers for veterans help individuals address the reasons for their homelessness and refer them to resources and programs that offer housing.
- Disabilities: Military members in combat zones can suffer traumatic injuries that leave them disabled. A VA social worker will provide mental health support through psychotherapy and other means to help veterans adjust and cope.
- Substance Abuse: Substance abuse can often happen as a result of dealing with other issues, such as problems integrating into civilian life or a mental health disorder.
- Other Individual & Family Needs: Veteran social workers help address many other types of issues that veterans are experiencing, such as anxiety, family conflicts, difficulty getting veterans benefits, and more.
Read More: What Is GAD? How to Identify It with Anxiety Disorder Tests
Do you have any questions about the things that a veterans social worker does to help veterans and their families? Or do you have feedback on social worker veterans affairs best techniques and practices? If So, contact the Social Work Portal Team.
What Are the Advantages of Social Work with Veterans?
Being a social worker for veterans social services can be a challenging, yet very rewarding career. There are several complex issues that veterans face, and being a military and veterans social worker gives you the ability to help many former service members through these issues so they can lead happier lives.
Plus, you have multiple career path options when you become a VA social worker. The Department of Veterans Affairs is large and runs several programs and facilities offering support for veterans.
When working for the VA as a social worker, here are some of the advantages that the agency notes:
- Loan repayment and tuition assistance for VA employees with federal student loans
- Access to modern telehealth tech and other types of technology
- A wide range of VA social worker job opportunities in various areas
- Support for work-life balance
- Ability to advance your career
Related: Overview of the PHQ4 Test & PHQ-4 Scoring
Do you conduct social work for veterans and military families and would like to share your feedback and experience? Or are you a social worker VA hospital practitioner and would like to share best practices? If So, contact the Social Work Portal Team.
Conclusion | Guide to Becoming a VA Social Worker
If you have a Master of Social Work degree and are a licensed social worker, then you can qualify for one of the many jobs available as a VA social worker. Due to the size of the US Department of Veterans Affairs, there is a replenishing need for social workers in hospitals, outpatient facilities, support programs, psychotherapy offices, and many other areas.
Social work with veterans can be very fulfilling because you have a chance to better the life of someone that served the country in the armed forces. But beyond that, these are individuals who often need guidance and mental health support to improve their well-being. You have the opportunity to make a big difference in the lives of veterans and their families.
We hope this veterans affairs social services and social work guide will be helpful to you. Let us know if you have any feedback.
Don’t Miss: Guide to the Duties of a Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Worker
FAQ | Social Work for Veterans
Is the VA the largest employer of social workers?
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is the largest employer of master’s level social workers in the country. Over 17,300 master’s prepared VA social workers are employed at the various programs and agencies under the Veterans Affairs umbrella.
How do I become a VA social worker?
To qualify as a VA social worker for veterans, you first need to earn a master's degree in social work and be licensed in your respective state.
Then, you can visit this page: https://www.vacareers.va.gov. Once there, you can search on a keyword, such as “social work” or “social work veterans,” to find available job postings
What are the duties of a social worker for veterans?
Social workers for veterans will provide many support services in relation to their work helping veterans in various programs. A veterans administration social worker provides:
•Assessments to identify support needs
•Diagnosis of mental health disorders
•Treatment for various disorders (substance abuse, PTSD, depression, etc.)
•Provide education and assistance for support resources (financial, shelter, etc.)
•Help veterans transition from the military to civilian life
•Case management and counseling
•Advocacy within the VA and help with benefits applications, etc.
•Support for long-term care needs
•Family and one-on-one counseling
Where can a military and veterans social worker work?
Here are some of the different programs listed on the VA site where veterans administration social worker job opportunities exist:
•Spinal cord injuries and disease
•Outpatient and inpatient medical/surgery
•Long term care
•Therapeutic and supportive
•Veterans justice outreach
•Mediation and residential foster homes
•Home-based primary care
Note: Content on Social Works socialworkportal.com website is copyrighted.
Social Work Portal Disclaimer: Social Work Portal is not a social work agency and we do not refer social workers. This web site is provided for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute providing medical advice or professional services. The information provided should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, and those seeking personal medical advice should consult with ... Read our full disclaimer here: Social Work Portal Disclaimer.
Image sources: Stock.adobe.com