Social Work in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)
Social workers are important providers of services to service members, veterans, and their families. The United States Department of Veterans Affairs is the largest employer of master’s level social workers in the United States. Social Workers have worked in the VA since 1926. Today, social workers offer a variety of services to veterans and their families, including resource navigation, crisis intervention, advocacy, benefit assistance, and mental health therapy for conditions such as depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and drug and alcohol addiction.
Social workers in the VA also ensure continuity of care through admission, evaluation, treatment, and follow-up processes, and they provide assessment, crisis intervention, high-risk management, advocacy, and education to veterans and their families. Social workers offer a particular skills set and knowledge base that is beneficial, if not indispensable, to veterans who may return from war with a host of challenges. Veterans are served well by social workers’ person-in-environment perspective and their ability to solve multi-factor problems.