Social Worker

United States Department of State
An Equal Opportunity Employer
How to Apply

Announcement Number: SWLNA-2017-0002
Position Title: Foreign Service Social Worker LNA
Open Period: 11/2/2016 – 11/15/2016
FP – 0185 – 02/02
Salary: $83,173 – $122,142
Promotion Potential: 02
Duty Locations: Worldwide – Limited Non-Career Social Workers are presently serving in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Pakistan.
Position Information: Work Schedule is Full-Time – Limited Non-Career Appointment (LNA), which is restricted by statute to a maximum of five years.
Supervisory Status: Yes

Who May Apply

Must be a U.S. citizen. Potential applicants should read the entire announcement to ensure that they meet all of the requirements and understand a Foreign Service career.

Applicants may not reapply for one year after the previous application for the same position.

If a State Department Suitability Review Panel denied suitability in the last two years, you may not apply (except Diplomatic Security Special Agent (SA) candidates whose denial was based solely on the unique requirements for SAs.)

Job Overview


About the Agency

The U.S. Department of State, our country’s lead foreign policy agency, provides a rich international experience whether at home or abroad, and opportunities to become responsible leaders. Each day, our employees make a difference as they contribute to our global society and defend and advance our country’s interests and values. They work on the business of diplomacy and high priority issues that impact the safety, security, and prosperity of our world – human rights, environment, energy, food security, public health, and technology – all while experiencing a unique opportunity. Our talented workforce reflects and champions all of our strengths and diversity – personal, professional, and educational. We offer a workplace that values and rewards leadership, collaboration and innovation, and personal and professional development.

The State Department’s Bureau of Medical Services (MED) maintains and promotes the health of employees and their accompanying family members who represent United States government (USG) agencies abroad. Foreign Service (FS) Medical Officers, Medical Officers/Psychiatrists, Medical Providers, Social Workers, and Laboratory Scientists are assigned to selected posts overseas. Many of these posts have significant health risks and local medical care that is inadequate by U.S. standards. The incumbent of this position serves as a Social Worker on the Mental Health Programs staff and as a resident professional counselor providing services for employees at FS posts. The Social Worker will have multifaceted responsibilities at post which include but are not limited to the following: assessments of psychiatric problems, including substance abuse; Post-traumatic stress disorder counseling, job stress counseling, cross-cultural adjustment issues counseling, crisis management consultation, conflict mediation/resolution, consultation on violence in the workplace, and crisis management training for employees assigned to hardship posts.

Individuals must be willing to serve worldwide, primarily high threat locations. Limited Non-Career Social Workers (SWLNA) presently serve at unaccompanied posts in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Pakistan. Family members are not permitted to accompany SWLNAs to post. However, at some locations, adult eligible family members (EFMs) may be approved to accompany the SWLNA to post if they will fill certain mission-critical positions. EFMs must be employed/hired in the mission before traveling to post.


Serves as a psychiatric Social Worker for posts such as Afghanistan, Iraq, and Pakistan. Provides crisis intervention, problem assessment, and brief counseling for employees under Chief of Mission authority. Coordinates efforts with Regional Medical Officer/Psychiatrist.

Provides crisis management training for employees. Provides supportive counseling and debriefings to employees.

Coordinates service provision with the Bureau of Medical Services’ Family Liaison Office, Office of Casualty Assistance, Regional Bureaus, and Human Resources.

Serves as technical expert on troubled employees and provides clinical guidance to post management on sensitive situations such as interpersonal relations on the job, job stress, violence in the workplace, medical illness, medical disability, and family problems.

Mediates job performance issues and disputes between employees and supervisors. When indicated, coordinates resources within the State Department to provide further assistance.

Advises and counsels employees of the possible administrative consequences of activities adversely affecting job performance caused by personal problems. Refers such employees for consultations with the appropriate office responsible for effecting disciplinary actions and explaining appeal processes and rights.

Maintains liaison and provides expert assistance to specialists responsible for the administration of other specific employee programs including, but not limited to, disciplinary actions, leave administration, reasonable accommodations, conduct/suitability, disability retirement, and career development.

Participates as a Family Advocacy Team member reviewing and giving advice and counsel on cases of spouse abuse.

Provides support services, including hospital/home visits as needed to patients.

Facilitates support groups in the workplace for employees with cancer, employees dealing with elderly relatives, single parents, and other groups, as requested.

Designs, facilitates, and conducts appropriate training activities, such as orientation for employees under Chief of Mission authority, Community Liaison Officer training, and supervisory training. Works with managers on an ongoing basis to develop leadership skills.

Develops educational outreach programs to ensure an awareness of the benefits of Mental Health Services. Offers outreach in the form of videos, workshops, panel discussions, and health fair presentations. Maintains handout literature and a lending library on mental health, stress management, parenting, aging, and other issues of interest to employees.

Performs other duties as requested by M/MED and M/MED/MHS.

Performs all duties with scrupulous regard for confidentiality and with the goal of assisting employees to maintain effective work performance.

Travel Required

  • Not Required

Relocation Authorized

  • No

Job Requirements

Key Requirements

  • Be a U.S. citizen and available for worldwide service.
  • Be able to obtain a Top Secret Security Clearance.
  • Be able to obtain an appropriate Foreign Service Medical Clearance.
  • Be able to obtain a favorable Suitability Review Panel determination.*
  • Be at least 20 years old and at least 21 years old to be appointed.
  • LNAs do not lead to permanent employment with the State Department.


Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

Education, work experience and other qualifications are evaluated for evidence of the following knowledge, skills, abilities and other requirements that have been identified as important to successful job performance as a Limited Non-Career Social Worker. Not all of these attributes need to be met by a candidate; the attributes will be used as a set to evaluate candidates.

  1. Knowledge of human behavior, adjustment, and psychological disorders and the differential influences of the society, culture, and environment.
  2. Knowledge of the theories, principles, and techniques of clinical social work, including such areas as crisis and trauma interventions, cognitive behavioral interventions, and family systems therapy.
  3. Knowledge of mental health diagnoses and disabilities, including acute, chronic, and traumatic illnesses and injuries.
  4. Knowledge of psychosocial treatments in working with individuals and groups who are experiencing a variety of stress, psychiatric, medical, family, and social problems.
  5. Knowledge of community resources, how to make appropriate referrals to community and other governmental agencies for services, and how to coordinate services.
  6. Skill in independently interviewing, assessing, and diagnosing the nature and severity of psychological and social problems presented by employees.
  7. Skill in independently formulating a treatment plan and assistance needed.
  8. Skill in counseling employees and groups who may be disturbed, distraught, or angry, and also to assist supervisors and others to work effectively with them.
  9. Skill in independently providing psychosocial treatment to a wide variety of individuals from various socio-economic, cultural, ethnic, educational, and other diversified backgrounds.
  10. Skill in responding to crises by using independent judgment and problem solving in crisis intervention techniques.
  11. Skill in providing guidance to management in dealing with crises.
  12. Skill in providing consultation services to other staff about the psychosocial needs of patients and the impact of psychosocial problems on health care.
  13. Skill in assisting employees and management in finding flexible options and solutions for difficult personnel problems.
  14. Skill in functioning well within a complex organization. Skill in applying systems theory and working tactfully and cooperatively at all levels in order to provide effective consultation to supervisors and employees.
  15. Knowledge and skill in the use of computer software applications for drafting documents, data management, and tracking.
  16. Experience in working in high-stress environments.
  17. Prior military experience or experience with other U.S. agencies working abroad would be valuable but not essential.

Also, general skills are required in:

Active listening, social perceptiveness and interpersonal ability, good judgment and decision making, critical thinking, service orientation, good time management, strong reading comprehension, persuasion and negotiation, solving complex problems, learning strategies and the ability to teach.

Successful applicants must consistently meet a high standard for English, both written (overall structure as well as grammar, spelling and punctuation) and spoken (overall structure as well as delivery, clarity and succinctness).

Other desirable attributes include empathetic personality, unflappable, self-confidence, ability to maintain confidentiality, interest in Foreign Service work, loyalty to the United States, accepting of non-scheduled work hours, mobile, ability to handle stress, tolerant of travel, and tolerant of living away from family.

Education, Specialized Experience and licensure Requirements

In addition to the general requirements for employment in the Foreign Service, an applicant must have at the time of application:

A Master’s in Social Work (MSW) from a graduate program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE);

At least five years of progressively responsible experience in clinical psychiatry, earned within the last 10 years; and

Applicants must possess the highest level of independent clinical licensure for professional Social Work practice level (LICSW, CSW, LCSW, etc.) in any U.S. state.

Education must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education in order to be credited towards qualifications. Education completed in foreign colleges or universities may be used to meet the education requirements if you can show that the foreign education is comparable to that received in an accredited educational institution in the United States. It is your responsibility to provide such evidence when applying. Click on the link for a list of accredited organizations recognized as specializing in interpretation of foreign education credentials.

Security Clearance

Top Secret

How to Apply

We are currently accepting applications for this position.

Apply now at

You should submit your application early, not waiting for the deadline, as application packages must be complete, submitted, and received by the closing date to be considered. There are no exceptions.

  1. From this Vacancy Announcement, click on “Apply.” Go to the USAJobs Log In screen and log in to your USAJobs account or follow the link and instructions to create an account.
  2. Follow the USAJobs Application Process and provide your required USAJobs federal online resume. USAJobs will transfer you to the State Department agency online application site. Follow the instructions and answer the online questions. Your Accomplishments Questionnaire and Statement of Interest responses must be completed in the online application. You may save your work and can return to the application from USAJobs at any time prior to the deadline.
  3. The application system allows up to four methods to submit required documentation: Transfer documents from a USAJOBS portfolio; upload documents from your computer; resubmit documents from a previous application; or fax. If you are submitting documents by fax, you must follow the fax directions, and generate and use the fax coversheets for your set(s) of documents.
  4. After you attach all of your required supporting documentation, answer all the required application questions, and complete the application steps, please review the entire application packet, including the links for your submitted documents.
  5. Confirm and submit your application package, which will be used to evaluate your qualifications for this position.

Application Submission Deadline: 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the closing date of this announcement to complete the application process and successfully submit any documentation required in this Vacancy Announcement. If you are having technical difficulty with the application process, please contact the Monster Government Services (MGS) Help Desk by calling 1-866-656-6830 or by emailing The MGS Help Desk is available Monday through Friday from 7 am to 7 pm Eastern Time. For more information on the FSS hiring processes, please visit our FAQs at If you have any questions regarding FS careers, please visit our Careers.State.Gov site and post your question(s) on the appropriate Forum in the Connect section:

How You Will Be Evaluated

Candidates will be evaluated on their total background including experience, education, awards, training, and self-development as it relates to the position. Selection for this position will be made only from among candidates possessing the best qualifications. Part-time work experience will be prorated.

To preview questions please click here.

Required Documents

It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure all required documents are uploaded and the application is fully completed before the closing deadline of this announcement. Any missing required documents or incomplete applications will result in your application not being considered further.

  1. USAJobs Résumé Builder is the résumé format that is accepted for this Vacancy Announcement.
  2. Completed online application including the required Accomplishments Questionnaire and Statement of Interest narratives in the online application.
  3. Uploaded/faxed all required supporting documentation including proof of educational achievements, certifications, professional licenses, or completed forms as required in this Vacancy Announcement to qualify for this position.
  4. If claiming a 5 pt. veteran’s preference, you must submit a copy of your DD-214. If claiming a 10 pt. veteran’s preference, you must submit your VA letter and SF-15, in addition to your DD-214.

For SWLNA, required attachments include:

  1. Transcripts and foreign equivalency documentation, if required.
  2. Proof of current Certification.

Accomplishments Questionnaire and Statement of Interest

These required questions provide an opportunity to describe examples and accomplishments from your education, life, and/or work experience that demonstrate your qualifications for becoming an FSS. Examples can be drawn from any part of your professional or personal experience. The information you give may be used in your oral assessment should you be invited and is an important factor in the competitive evaluation of applicants. Each response is limited to 300 words or fewer (maximum length 2,000 characters) for each item. You should compose your replies carefully, as one of the skills necessary to succeed as an FSS is the ability to write clearly and concisely. Answers to the all of the items in the Accomplishments Questionnaire and Statement of Interest are required and must be completed in the online application.

Accomplishments Questionnaire

  1. Clinical skills: Describe a specific complex clinical case which demonstrates your skills in diagnosing and treating patient mental health problems.
  2. Crisis management skills: Describe an example in which your skills significantly contributed to the positive outcome of a complex or difficult clinical crisis situation.
  3. Organizational skills: Describe a specific achievement demonstrating your planning and organizational skills in the setting of a multidisciplinary mental health team or practice.
  4. Leadership and teamwork skills: Discuss your abilities to participate as a team member working toward a common goal, as well as examples of your ability to lead a team in the accomplishment of a goal.
  5. Public speaking and teaching skills: Describe specific examples demonstrating your public speaking and teaching abilities as part of an assignment or work-related task.

Statement of Interest

Required narrative Statement of Interest which discusses your:

  • Motivation for joining the Foreign Service,
  • Comments about your work experience, including special skills (e.g. computer), current licenses, honors, awards, special accomplishments, and/or training (with date completed) relating to this position, and
  • Experience living or working in a multicultural environment, overseas or in U.S.

Additional Information

What To Expect Next

Once submitted, your application status on USAJobs will change from “received” to “referred” or “not referred” after the close of the announcement. This status on USAJobs will not be updated further. All “referred” applicants will be notified via his/her account in Monster Government Services (MGS) about the outcome of the initial application review for further consideration for this position. Additional notifications to applicants concerning the application status will be by e-mail from the U.S. Department of State.

Due to the high volume of applications, we ask all applicants to remain patient and await communication. It is not uncommon for several months to pass before you are informed of the results of your applications. We recommend adding the Department of State domain ( as an approved sender.

For more information in the Foreign Service selection process, please visit


Review our benefits

Health and medical coverage, federal retirement benefits, paid leave, a chance to see the world and experience different cultures. Overseas benefits include tax-free housing.

Not all benefits are available to LNA positions. The Student Loan Repayment program and the Language Incentive Pay program, if language is a hiring prerequisite, are not included under the LNA program.

For information on FS salary, please visit Foreign Service Salary Info on

Other Information

*The Department of State Suitability Review Panel and standards are defined in Chapter 3 of the Foreign Affairs Manual. For more information please visit:

**For more information about Veteran’s Preference and how it is applied in the FSS Selection Process, please visit:

No applicant will be considered who has previously been separated from the Foreign Service under sections §607, §608, §610 or §611 of the Foreign Service Act of 1980, as amended, or who resigned or retired in lieu of separation under these provisions. In addition, no applicant will be considered who has previously been separated for failure to receive a career appointment under section §306 of the Foreign Service Act of 1980, as amended, or who resigned or retired in lieu thereof. An FSS separated for failure to receive a career appointment under section §306 may not re-apply to be an FSS in the same skill code, but may apply for another skill code (or to be a Foreign Service Generalist). Executive Branch agencies are barred by 5 US Code 3303 as amended from accepting or considering prohibited political recommendations and are required to return any prohibited political recommendations to sender. In addition, as mandated by 5 US Code 3110, relatives of federal employees cannot be granted preference in competing for these employment opportunities.

It is the policy of the federal government to treat all of its employees with dignity and respect and to provide a workplace that is free from discrimination whether discrimination is based on race, color, religion, sex (including gender identity or pregnancy), national origin, disability, political affiliation, marital status, membership in an employee organization, age, sexual orientation, or other non-merit factors.

The Department of State provides reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities. Applicants requiring reasonable accommodations for any part of the application or hiring process should so advise the Department at, within one week of receiving their invitation to the oral assessment. Decisions for granting reasonable accommodations are made on a case-by-case basis.

This job originated on For the full announcement and to apply, visit Only resumes submitted according to the instructions on the job announcement listed at will be considered.



Department of State
2401 E Street, NW
SA-1 – Room L-216
Washington, DC