Some might say that a career in social work takes a special kind of commitment to serve others. For VA Social Worker Elizabeth Minot, serving others is more than a commitment, it’s her mission, “These Veterans served our country and when they find themselves in difficult positions, perhaps without a place to live – that unsettled me. I had to do something to help change that.”
What is a typical day like as a Social Worker with HUD VASH?
“There is no typical day – every day is unique. Your day might start out with a visit to a shelter, meeting with Veterans who are homeless and providing outreach services. You might answer an urgent call to seek out a Veteran in need in the community – you go where they are. There are times when your job is really difficult; you meet Veterans who have not been engaged in care before, and need care coordination that could span addiction and mental illness issues at once. Getting them linked up with resources and providing basic needs to improve their quality of life is key.”
Why Choose VA?
Elizabeth is part of a Patient Aligned Care Team (PACT), an interdisciplinary team that brings together specialists with their unique areas of expertise and care. That level of support is something she really appreciates, “Being part of the team gives me a great opportunity to learn a lot from colleagues and understand my role in delivering care. I feel like I am appreciated and valued. I have had some of the most fantastic supervisors and team members who supported me during challenging situations. They were able to get involved to ensure excellent care for the Veteran and my ability to continue in my role.”
Most of all, Elizabeth would like you to know that many Veterans are reluctant to ask for help – they are trained to be independent and are used to being self-reliant. The role a social worker can provide is to help Veterans realize that this is a benefit that Veterans have earned through their service to their country. If you have a passion for your work and want to be able to make a real difference, VA could be the place for you. And, it might just be rewarding for you too. It is for Elizabeth, “The relationships I build with Veterans, that’s my reward. It is so special – you don’t get this in another job. You are changing people’s lives, watching a Veteran sign a lease, hold their own keys and walk into their apartment for the first time, wow, that’s when you realize you are changing people’s lives – there is no reward greater than that.”
If you have a Master’s degree in Social Work and an interest in serving Veterans, e-mail your CV and desired location to VACareers@va.gov.
Learn more at VACareers.va.gov, or search Social Worker HUD VASH opportunities near you.