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VHA Social Work

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Engages Veterans and caregivers in a discussion to elicit personal experiences and encourage planning for future health care needs.

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VA Social Work

The mission of VA Social Workers is to assist Veterans, their families and caregivers in resolving Social Determinants of Health (SDOH) challenges to health and well-being. Social Work is woven into the fabric of VA health care, providing clinical interventions and services across the VA continuum of care.

Social work is an integral part of your overall VA care. Social workers are available to assist you in a variety of settings to include the primary care clinic, during hospitalization, at Emergency Department visits, in mental health and rehabilitation units and upon enrollment in specialty medical programs.


History of VA Social Work
The United States Department of Veterans Affairs is the largest employer of master’s level social workers in the United States. Social Workers have been employed in the VA since 1926. Veterans Bureau General Order 351 dated June 16, 1926, established the VA Social Work Service in VA Central Office outlining its organization and functions. Ms. Francis Foster, a neuro-psychiatric social worker from Cincinnati, was hired to begin setting up the National Social Work program and to assist in the transition of social work staff from the Red Cross to VA. The first-year staffing consisted of fourteen social workers who were placed in psychiatric hospitals and twenty-two placed in regional offices throughout the country. From this modest beginning, social work has evolved into a health care profession embedded in all patient care areas across the Veterans Health Administration (VHA), helping Veterans, service Members, their families and caregivers and survivors to achieve their highest level of personal wellness.

What We Do

Social Work Career

VA Traineeships

picture of social workersWhat We Do

How Social Workers Help Veterans

VHA social workers provide a variety of clinical programming including but not limited to: resource navigation, crisis intervention, advocacy, case management, benefit assistance, mental health related interventions, treatment for substance use dependence and support around housing instability and homelessness. If the Veteran has questions or problems, the social worker will be able to help or can refer the Veteran to the right resource to assist.

Find out what social workers do.

picture of Social WorkersSocial Work Career

Consider VA For Your Social Work Career!

Veterans Health Administration (VHA) is the largest integrated health care system in the United States, providing care at 1,293 health care facilities, including 171 VA Medical Centers and 1,112 outpatient sites of care of varying complexity (VHA outpatient clinics). VHA is the largest employer of Master’s level social workers in the United States.

Reasons to consider VHA for Your Social Work Career; innovative programs, training, mobility, salary, benefits and opportunity. There are many positions available to professional social workers interested in serving Veterans and military families.

Learn more about VA social work career opportunities.

words traineeship  VA Traineeships

Social Worker Trainee Programs

Many universities and colleges with social work programs have affiliation agreements for students to complete field placements at VA facilities.

The Social Work Internship program has a focus on the generalist scope of clinical practice that social work offers to the client population of Veterans and their families. The VA provides students with a unique opportunity to explore and learn about many areas of social work in one agency setting.

Discover social work intership opportunites

VA Social Workers – over 90 years of Serving Veterans   sw logo

VA is the largest employer of Social Workers in the Nation with over 17,300 master's prepared social workers on staff. The VA has a rich history of social work innovators and leaders, as well as the profession’s commitment to improving social conditions and quality of life opportunities for Veterans, their families and caregivers and survivors.

In 2016, social workers at VA medical facilities nationwide took part in a variety of activities as part of the 90th Anniversary of VA Social Work, to highlight the key role social workers play in helping our nation's Veterans obtain needed care and services. The theme for the anniversary was, "VA Social Work: 90 Years of Excellence."

Social Work in VA celebrates 90 years - The Story of just one Veteran who has made it his career

 

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