Federal Government Jobs

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Social Worker – Care Giver Positions

The federal government is hiring a large number of Social Workers and caregivers, mostly at the Veterans Administration. These high paying job opportunities are available for those who know how to apply and tap this lucrative job market. Jobs are available at thousands of locations with excellent career advancement opportunities?


This article features positions that engage in professional casework in the specific sense that their first purpose is to provide direct social work services to individuals and families. The term “casework” is used to designate practice associated with service to individuals and families as distinguished from methods of problem solving and prevention associated with group practice, work with community organizations, administration, consultation, research, etc.

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Social Worker – Caregiver Careers (GS-0185)

There are currently over 529 vacancy announcements, some with multiple positions, advertised nationwide in this occupational group. The federal government employs 18,884 in this occupation of which 111 work overseas. The Department of Veterans Affairs is the largest employer with 16,772 followed by the Department of the Army with 1,185. HHS employs 125.

The Caregiver Support Program (CSP) is one of the Veterans Health Administration’s (VHA) most rapidly growing service areas, as a result of infrastructure modernization, programming innovation, and expansion of population-served by the Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers (PCAFC) under the MISSION Act. The Social Worker will provide consultation on the administrative and clinical considerations of the program.

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.

English Language Proficiency: Social Workers must be proficient in spoken and written English as required by 38 U.S.C. 7402(d), and 7407(d).

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.

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.

(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.

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.

Typical Job Titles:

  • Behavioral Health Social Worker
  • Social Worker
  • Social Worker – Caregiver
  • Substance Abuse Clinical Counselor

If you are looking for a challenging position in this field explore these opportunities. The following link will take you to the GS 0185 Social Worker Occupational Description that includes links to the current job announcements on USAJOBS.

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Disclaimer: The information provided may not cover all aspects of unique or special circumstances, federal and postal regulations, and programs are subject to change. Our articles are time sensitive. Over time, various dynamic human resource guidance and factors relied upon as a basis for this article may change. The advice and strategies contained herein may not be suitable for your situation and this service is not affiliated with OPM, the postal service or any federal entity. Neither the publisher or author shall be liable for any loss or any other commercial damages, including but not limited to special, incidental, consequential, or other damages.

About The Author

Dennis V. Damp is a retired federal manager, business owner, career counselor and veteran. Damp’s The Book of U.S. Government Jobs was awarded “Best Career” title by the Benjamin Franklin Awards Committee. Damp is the author of 28 books, a recognized employment expert, and a retired federal manager with 35 years of service. He worked for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and held numerous supervisory and management positions and was responsible for recruiting, rating and interviewing applicants, outreach and hiring. His last government position was technical operations manager at the Pittsburgh International Airport’s air traffic control tower.