We continue to receive dozens of responses to our VA questionnaire. Recently, in October-November, VA clinical social workers have reported wide diversity in terms of the number of clinical social workers per site, ranging from 20% under 25 at a site to 30% over 100. What work are they doing there? 72% report that they are employed at least part-time in Mental Health; but only 17% work in the area of PTSD and 17% in Homeless Outreach (including part-time assignments), and another 23% in Homeless Outreach.
59% of respondents report they have never received advisories from the national office regarding clinical practice or professional pay advancement. Another 77% report that, to their knowledge, the union has never advocated for clinical social workers. Fully 43% could not describe the Special Advancement for Achievement program by which (under federal law) they are entitled to consideration for pay increases, and for which the BCD credential is a Tier One certification. These results continue to portray a system in which the education, training, and professional capabilities of clinical social workers, per the professionals themselves, are not being properly utilized for the benefit of many thousands of needy and deserving veterans and their families.