On June 16, 1926, Brigadier General Frank T. Hines, Director, U.S. Veterans Bureau, issued General Order No. 351 establishing a Social Work Department in VA Central Office. In its inaugural year, 36 new positions were authorized for VA social workers. Today, there are 12,000 social workers who provide professional support and services to Veterans throughout various mediums in VA, to include treatment responsibilities in all patient care areas.
The Office of Care Management and Social Work Services supports and advances the mission of VA by providing comprehensive psychosocial support services to Veterans, their families and caregivers. These services include assessment, crisis intervention, high-risk screening, discharge planning, case management, advocacy, education, supportive counseling, psychotherapy, resource referrals, research, program development and resource acquisition.
Professional social workers and trainees provide care in all settings across the Veterans Health Administration’s continuum of care, including inpatient, outpatient, residential and community-based care settings. Social workers are key interdisciplinary team members in mission-critical, specialty care program areas including Primary Care, Geriatrics and Extended Care, Intimate Partner Violence Assistance, Caregiver Support, Fisher House, Transition and Care Management, Homeless, Telehealth, and Mental Health.
VA deeply appreciates VA social workers and acknowledges how social work values closely align with VA ICARE values and characteristics. Social workers touch and better the lives of thousands of Veterans each and every day through their integrity, commitment, advocacy, respect, and excellence. On behalf of VA, I would like to express my personal appreciation to our VA social workers for your extraordinary support and ongoing commitment to our Nation’s Veterans.