Frequently asked questions

General

Are there any schools recommended by the AVASW?


As an association, we are not able to endorse any schools. We encourage you to start with your local schools and expand your search from there. If you are looking for programs which work directly with the VA, you may ask if your university has internship agreements with local VA facilities. Please keep in mind, the school must be accredited. Here are some great resources: https://www.cswe.org/Accreditation/Directory-of-Accredited-Programs.aspx https://www.socialworkers.org/Practice/Military-Veterans/Military-Veterans-Related-Resources/Schools-of-Social-Work




Are there internship opportunities at the VA?


I'm glad to hear that you are interested in interning at the VA. The VA has many opportunities for internships throughout the country. The next best step would be to connect with the Field Education/Internship office at your school to discuss placement at a VA. It is up to the school to innitiate an internship program with the VA so you will need to work with your school to determine if VA placement is possible. Every VA should have a point of contact for social work internships that your school can work with.




Can I councel with just a MSW or LMSW and,
while at the VA, have a supervisor and eventually earn my clinical license?


The general answer is Yes, you can be hired by
the VA and receive clinical supervision to work toward your license to
practice independently. Each state has their own regulations and procedures
so you should investigate that after you are hired. Also, the VA only
requires that you be licensed to practice independently in "a state". It
does not have to be the state where a VA facility is located. You may want
to investigate licensure to practice independently from a state other than
the one you are working in. Some states do not have a residency requirement
to obtain their social work license to practice independently.




Are there any resources to help with employment at the VA


The job posting typically lists a contact for questions/concerns about the application process. Here is another great resource for the hiring process: https://www.vacareers.va.gov/ApplicationProcess/NavigatingHiringProcess




Are there programs to help pay for Veterans to attend college outside of the GI Bill?


*As a Veteran, you can apply for employment at the VA. *As a Veteran with an BSW, you may qualify for Social Work Associate positions. *Once employed, your VA Education department may have funds available to pay for your courses however, full payment is not something that is usually offered. *If you pursue you MSW, the VA does offer 2nd year MSW students an internship if the school has an affiliation agreement with VA. This internship offers is usually paid via stipend. *If you pursue you get hired on with VA after completion of your MSA, there may be an opportunity for you to apply for a Student Loan Forgiveness program whereby, you may be eligible to have any student loans paid off. *Scholarships are offered through various Service organizations, community and national programs. Search for those as well.





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