Military Transition Support Project (MTSP): A community plan for transforming the transition experience of San Diego s military families

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1 Military Transition Support Project (MTSP): A community plan for transforming the transition experience of San Diego s military families Guided by the Operations Committee Supported by

2 Table of Contents Introduction... 1 The Military Transition Support Plan... 5 Element 1: Utilize a holistic Veterans Wellness Model... 7 Element 2: Link to community based supports prior to leaving the military... 9 Element 3: Access to a comprehensive resource directory of social services and employment Element 4: Connect to veteran peer navigator Element 5: Improve connections among all sectors Establishing a Structure for Inclusive Community Leadership and Sustainability Timeline and Process for MTSP Implementation Appendix A: Committee and Workgroup Participants Appendix B: Select National and Local Research and Experts Consulted for Project Appendix C: San Diego 211 Inclusion/Exclusion Criteria Appendix D: The Patriot s Initiative, Rancho Santa Fe Foundation, Vetting Form Appendix E: The Employment and Education Blueprint Appendix F: MTSP Portal Overview... 32

3 Introduction Overview San Diego County has the 3rd highest population of veterans in the United States and is the number one destination for veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. 1 Every year, an estimated 15,000 Sailors and Marines stationed in San Diego leave military service, half of whom are expected to stay in the San Diego community. 2 Studies show that the post 9/11 transitioning population is one of great promise. Individuals are well trained, team oriented, and hardworking, but also in need of support. At a national level, we know: Veterans and their Families are an Asset to our Community Veterans and their Families Face Unique Challenges Current military service members are more likely to have a high school diploma, some college, or an associate s degree compared to the general civilian population 1 9/11 veterans are more likely to be employed than the civilian population (90% and 10%, respectively) 1 Veterans are more likely to vote 2 50% of post 9/11 veterans experience difficulty transitioning to civilian life 3 13% to 20% of post 9/11 service members experience Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and 19% exhibit prevalence of mild Traumatic Brain Injury (mtbi) % of young post 9/11 veterans (ages 18 24) are unemployed (compared to 16.1% for nonveterans of same age) 5 1 Myer, Thomas. Serving Those Who Served: A Wise Givers Guide to Assisting Veterans and Military Families. Philanthropy Roundtable, Voting and Registration in the Election of November 2008, world.com/disability/statistics/veteran statistics.php 3 Greentree, Vivian et al Military Family Lifestyle Survey: Comprehensive Report. Blue Star Families, Tanielian, T. and L.H. Jaycox. The Invisible Wounds of War. Santa Monica CA: RAND Corporation, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Employment Situation of Veterans, Current Population Survey. Table 2A The San Diego community responded to the need to better coordinate and support this population by launching various initiatives, collaboratives, and projects across the philanthropic, public, and nonprofit sector, such as the San Diego Military Family Collaborative and the San Diego Veterans Coalition. Yet, in part due to the county s large size (3.2 million residents, larger than the size of 20 states in America), the response was not comprehensive and coordinated. The Military Family Support Working Group (MFSWG) funders collaborative at San Diego Grantmakers 3 recognized the need to better connect the Sea of Goodwill in the community. MFSWG member Blue Shield of California Foundation (BSCF) funded a planning grant to convene the community to develop a comprehensive community plan to support transitioning military families. BSCF is a national philanthropic leader in the area of veteran and military family well being, stemming from their grant program Blue Shield Against Violence and their efforts to prevent violence in the homes of military families. Their goal in San Diego, as in other parts of California and the nation, is the development of comprehensive and coordinated prevention strategies though cross sectoral partnerships. Additional support was provided by WebMD Healthcare Foundation 1 Military Employment in San Diego: A look at military veterans in San Diego s labor force. San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce. January Estimates provided by Navy Region Southwest and Marine Corp Recruit Depot Operation Committee members. 3 San Diego Grantmakers (SDG) is a nonprofit membership association for organizations and individuals who are strategic about philanthropy and provide significant funding to multiple nonprofits. Military Transition Support Project Community Plan, February

4 and the Rancho Santa Fe Foundation. This plan became the Military Transition Support Project (MTSP). The one year planning project focused on supporting transitioning military families 6 months prior to leaving the military through 12 months post service. It was designed to convene and connect San Diego s currently siloed sectors, including military, social services, public officials, businesses and philanthropy, to transform the transition experience for military families. Goals of the Military Transition Support Project Planning Grant The four goals of the Blue Shield of California Foundation grant: 1. Develop a framework and strategic plan for a transformed transition experience. Convene systems and nonprofit collaboratives to coordinate services that holistically support service members and their families as they transition from active duty to civilian life. 2. Identify an ongoing strategy for transition support service coordination. Identify a network hub to ensure the model s implementation and propose how the model can be sustainably funded. 3. Convene the community. Convene the community to review and refine the emerging framework and strategic plan. 4. Share the process with other communities. Document the framework and plan s development and share with regions across the nation. Overview of the Planning Process MTSP is guided by an Operations Committee, which oversees MTSP s overall framework. The process was informed by local and national research as well as key advice from local and national experts (see Appendix B). The individual elements of the plan were developed by workgroups that included representatives invited by the Operations Committee (see Appendix A for a list of participants). Each workgroup included members who have transitioned from the military. The committee and workgroups ensured that national best practices were considered when tailoring a local approach to transforming the transition experience. The following table provides an overview of the Operations Committee and its five workgroups: Group Purpose Operations Committee Oversee the work of the project to ensure it can be executed both within the military and the community. Design an online and one on one support model that helps service members Navigation/ and their families find needed health and human services and employment, Technology based on a Veterans Wellness model. Quality, Comprehensive Develop a process for reviewing and ensuring existing service provider quality Family Services and uncover gaps in services. Employment/ Coordinate a regional approach to providing transitioning military families Education with access to civilian employment and educational opportunities. Mental Health Ensure that mental health services, programs and principles are interwoven into the framework. Sustainability Identify ongoing financial support to grow and sustain this delivery model. * Note: The original plan identified a Communications Workgroup to establish a strategy for increasing awareness of this new service delivery model to service members, veterans, their families and the community at large. It was decided that the communication plan will be best developed during the Beta and pilot. Military Transition Support Project Community Plan, February

5 In addition to the Operations Committee, which met every other week from July 2013 to February 2014, and the workgroups, which met an average of 4 times each, the project hosted two large community convenings. One convening, the Call for Stakeholder Input, was held on October 3, 2013 to review the work done to date, gather community feedback, and launch the second half of the planning process. The convening was attended by nearly 100 stakeholders, invited by the Operations Committee, and included representation from elected officials at the city, county, state, and federal levels, military leaders and service members from Navy Region Southwest and Marine Corps, and individuals in the nonprofit and philanthropy sectors. The second convening, the Call for Action, was held on February 18, This convening brought together an even broader population of key stakeholders from all sectors to discuss and build community excitement and support for the model. Exhibit 1: Photograph of the Call for Stakeholder Input Convening, October 3, 2013 Military Transition Support Project Community Plan, February

6 The Military Transition Support Project Plan The overarching goal of MTSP is to link active duty military families to comprehensive wraparound services in the community before they leave the military, helping them to successfully transition to civilian life. Key elements of the overall San Diego design include: 1. Utilization of a holistic Veterans Wellness Model. A core goal of the project is to ensure that all participants obtain and retain a living wage job. The MTSP Veterans Wellness Model recognizes that this is only achievable if all aspects of a person s wellness are addressed, including: physical and mental health, basic needs, and personal/social connections. 2. Linkage to community based supports prior to leaving the military. Representatives from MTSP will present information during the Navy s federally mandated transition classes and service members will have a choice to opt in to the project. When fully implemented, this presentation ensures that 100% of all service members (an estimated 6,000 a year) that stay in San Diego have the opportunity to connect to the MTSP comprehensive support model. Implementation in the Marine Corps federally mandated transition classes will be based on successes of the beta and pilot phases in the Navy (see section entitled Timeline and Process for MTSP Implementation for details on the phases of implementation). 3. Access to a comprehensive resource directory of social services and employment opportunities. This project builds on the work already underway by nonprofit coalitions, businesses, philanthropy, and institutes of higher learning, and incorporates them into the existing 211 San Diego database (the most comprehensive, central listing and referral source for social services in the region). This will create a comprehensive one stop online career and social services platform designed specifically for veterans and their families. 4. Connection to veteran peer navigators. These individuals are at the heart of the model as they help transitioning military families navigate through the various systems, services, and benefits, providing needed support. Navigators will be veterans with a Master s level social work degree or interns in the final year of their Master s in social work degree, ensuring the highest level of support for transitioning military families. Navigators will provide ongoing support to families as needed and proactively check in with families at 3, 6, 9 and 12 months to ensure that military families receive needed services and supports to successfully transition into civilian life. 5. Improved connection between public, nonprofit, and philanthropic resources to continue developing an integrated system of support. These elements are woven throughout the overall project model (see Exhibit 2). This model includes two pathways for entry into the program: (1) one for service members via the Transition Goals, Plans and Success (TGPS) course, the federally mandated 5 day transition course, and (2) through community based organization outreach to military families. For purposes of this presentation, the pathway is a linear, step wise process (Exhibit 2). The dotted lines indicate where families may skip steps to immediately access services. In practice, individuals may enter at different points. For example, they may come back to the MTSP model after they separate from the military. The remainder of this report provides an overview of the five key elements of the plan in more detail. Military Transition Support Project Community Plan, February

7 Exhibit 2: Military Transition Support Project Overview Military Transition Support Project Community Plan, February

8 1 Element 1: Utilize a holistic Veterans Wellness Model MTSP is guided by a Veterans Wellness Model. Adapted from Berglass and Harrell s seminal work in 2012 and the Community Blueprint, both of which highlight national best practices in developing community plans to support military members, veterans, and their families, MTSP emphasizes the key interrelated dimensions of employment/education, physical/mental wellbeing, fulfillment of material needs, and social/personal Exhibit 3: The Interrelated MTSP relationships. 4,5 MTSP emphasizes that education and employment Veterans Wellness Model are driving forces to achieving the ultimate goal of Veteran Self Sufficiency. However, it also recognizes that all dimensions are interrelated and mutually supportive and must be sufficiently satisfied to ensure a successful transition to civilian life. This model assumes that wellness is the dynamic and multi dimensional quality of one s existence overall, as informed by both civilian and military experiences and circumstances. 6 A brief description of each pillar is presented below: Education and Jobs. From the onset of this project, employment has been a central focus of the work, generally referred to by Berglass and Harrell as purpose. Employment as a protective factor has been well documented. With protective factors such as employment, spiritual faith, living stability and social support in place, veterans were 92% less likely to report severe violence than veterans without these factors. 7 See the text box on the following page for details of how MTSP collaborated and convened the employer community to connect service members and their families to comprehensive community support. Basic Needs. A key transition point for many service members and their families is taking over the personal responsibility of fulfilling basic needs. While on active duty, financial and legal support, shelter and access to goods and services (e.g., food, transportation) are largely provided by the military. In the civilian world, the individual must learn to fare independently and navigate the often confusing array of services, benefits and opportunities. MTSP will assist with linking families to local community based and public resources through both the MTSP portal and the MTSP Navigators. Mental and Physical Health. While the majority of veterans return home with few postdeployment problems, a significant percentage face challenges with mental health and/or reintegration to civilian life. Research demonstrates that at any given time, 1 in 3 returning 4 Berglass, Nancy and Margaret C. Harrell. Well After Service: Veteran Reintegration and American Communities. Center for New American Security, April initiatives/community blueprint 6 Berglass, Nancy and Margaret C. Harrell. Well After Service: Veteran Reintegration and American Communities. Center for New American Security, April Elbogen, Eric B, and Sally C. Johnson. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, Are Iraq and Afghanistan veterans using mental health services? New data from a national random sample survey June 25, 2012 Military Transition Support Project Community Plan, February

9 service members will screen positive for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and/or major depression. 8 These numbers are higher in combat veterans. MTSP addresses this consideration by use of Master s level social workers and/or final year social worker interns as Navigators. Social workers are not only skilled in motivational interviewing and service coordination.they are also trained in how to assess and observe military families to identify early warning signs and get needed help. Social and Personal Connections. Underlying social support is another key protective factor for transitioning military families. This refers to feelings of being nurtured and supported by others. Those transitioning out of the military may lose their primary source of support and will need to re establish a support network in the midst of addressing the other pillars of wellness. MTSP will assist with linking military service members and their families to social supports through both the MTSP portal and the MTSP Navigators. Organizing San Diego s Employers to Support Transition The Employment and Education workgroup convened business associations, education and workforce stakeholders, and veteran support organizations to identify the employment and training initiatives underway to support veterans and to determine new linkages to expand veteran employment options. The expanded and connected employment resources available are captured below and will be made available seamlessly through the MTSP website portal: 1. Those who want to prepare for their civilian career options: Access to online skills assessment and industry matching tools, such as ERISS, ONET, HOLLAND CODE, the Armed Services Vocational Exam Coaching by a sector leader in the area of interest (program organized by the Economic Development Corporation and the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce) Access to community resources for resume writing and interview skills training Access to education and vocational training veteran resource centers 2. Those who are ready to find an employer: Learn more about San Diego s high growth industries with linkages to existing education and employment navigators Directory of small/mid sized companies looking to hire (Society for Human Resources Management maintained directory) Access to current employment website directories, such as the San Diego Workforce Partnership job bank, ONET, Cal JOBS 8 Williamson, Vanessa and Erin Mulhall. Invisible Wounds: Psychological and Neurological Injuries Confront a New Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America. Issue Report, January Military Transition Support Project Community Plan, February

10 2 Element 2: Link to community based supports prior to leaving the military The family, defined as the service member and their spouse, children and, perhaps, parents, is the target population for MTSP. The focus of this initiative is 6 months prior to transition through 1 year after. The planning process identified two means to outreach to military families: (1) at the federally mandated Transition Goals, Plans, Success (TGPS) course (formerly the Transition Assistance Program or TAP, also called Transition Readiness Seminar by the Marines Corp see text box), 9 and (2) at community based organizations and other locations that military families frequent. While the TGPS outreach method, as described below, may primarily reach the individual service member, the ultimate goal is to engage the whole family in the process. Accessing MTSP via TGPS: the Service Member Focused Approach. All service members are federally mandated to attend a 5 day transition course designed by the Department of Defense to better plan and prepare for transition to civilian life. Spouses are welcome to attend the class, but few take the opportunity. When they do, they may be bumped from the spot, as preference is given to service members. During the course, service members are acclimated to services and supports beyond the fence line including a Veterans Affairs benefits briefing, financial planning training, and job search skills training. MTSP consulted with Dr. Susan Kelly, Principle Director of the Transition to Veterans Program Office within the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense, who revealed that a key to the new TGPS program is to create a warm hand off to three key entities: (1) Veterans Affairs, (2) the Department of Labor, and (3) the community. The MTSP model effectively creates the warm hand off to the community by funneling all community services to one point, the MTSP portal and Navigators. These resources centralize and more readily connect service members to needed supports after they leave the military. The overarching process during TGPS is for the militarycontracted TGPS facilitator to present the MTSP opportunity on the first day of class. The leading message for the presentation is that the MTSP will funnel all community services and supports, including job opportunities, into one centralized website portal (described further below). Service members staying in San Diego will have the option to opt in to MTSP while sitting in the class. To opt in, service members will provide basic contact information and consent to be contacted by the Navigator, an MTSP associated individual who will offer one on one support and proactive check ins to the transitioning military family. Those not opting in will still have access to the portal, but will not be Tailoring MTSP to Sailors and Marines To effectively develop a service member approach, care will be taken to tailor it to the Navy Region Southwest and the Marine Corp transition processes. While both services address DoD transition requirements, they are implemented in different ways, with different chains of command. Therefore, MTSP is beginning the process by testing it within the Navy Region Southwest TGPS and then, based on its success, will approach the Marines to adapt it to their Transition Readiness Seminar (TRS or the Marine Corp Transition Assistance Program). See the Timeline and Process for MTSP Implementation section later in this report for details on the Beta. 9 Note: The Navy, Air Force, Army and Coast Guard refer to the 5 day mandatory as TGPS the same name as the program developed by the Department of Defense (DoD), the Department of Labor Veterans Employment & Training Service (DOL VETS), the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The Marine s refer to their TGPS program as a Transition Readiness Seminar (TRS). Military Transition Support Project Community Plan, February

11 contacted by the Navigator. Service members are also encouraged to complete a short check list or needs assessment that will help the Navigator develop a transition plan. The transition plan will be a living document and a roadmap to guide subsequent follow ups and contacts. TGPS facilitators will remind service members at the end of each day of the MTSP opportunity, the checklist, and the opt in process. Accessing MTSP via Community Based Organizations (CBOs): the Military Family Focused Approach. The other pathway for accessing MTSP is via the families. Research shows that military spouses are a key support during transition. 10 However, many of these individuals do not attend the TGPS classes, either because they do not know of it or there is not sufficient space in the classes to accommodate them. MTSP will outreach to transitioning military families through existing nonprofit collaborations, such as the San Diego Military Family Collaborative, which focuses primarily on active duty families, and the San Diego Veterans Coalition, which focuses primarily on veterans. Combined, these two groups convene over 200 community based organizations (i.e., nonprofits) to work on shared goals and initiatives. Their members will be trained on the MTSP intake process (description of the project, the needs assessment and the website portal) so that they can in turn notify their clients. MTSP will focus on outreach via the CBOs in the Pilot Phase of the project, after the beta is completed with the service member focus. The pilot is described in the Timeline and Process for MTSP Implementation section later in this report. 3 Element 3: Access to a comprehensive resource directory of social services and employment A key to MTSP success is a fully operational MTSP portal that will effectively funnel all services and supports of the Veterans Wellness model into one central location. This internet enabled portal will provide the most comprehensive resource listing of veteran oriented community based services and employment options in the San Diego region. The portal is leveraging the 211 San Diego data system, the most complete listing of community based organizations and public supports and programs (http://211sandiego.com). The portal will be both the central location to opt in to the program and an opportunity for individuals and families to self navigate to needed services. The key elements of this portal and central resource directory include: Comprehensive resource listing. Employment resources (websites, employers seeking veteran employees and other features) will be added to the existing data. 211 San Diego will routinely collect information on social services to deliver on all aspect of the MTSP Veteran Wellness model. Service quality vetting. The plan includes two levels of vetting about the quality of the services available to transitioning military families. Level 1 is the standard national Alliance of Information and Referral Systems (AIRS) inclusion/exclusion criteria utilized by 211 San Diego to include organizations in their data system (see Appendix C). The inclusion/exclusion criteria identifies key elements of an organization based on their self report and due diligence by 211 staff. 10 Kelty, R., Kleykamp, M., & Segal, D. R. (2010). The military and the transition to adulthood. The Future of Children, 20(1), Military Transition Support Project Community Plan, February

12 Level 2 is an external vetting conducted by The Patriot s Initiative, an initiative of the Rancho Santa Fe Foundation (http://thepatriotsinitiative.org/). This vetting process measures program effectives through 7 dimensions: legal and organizational status, accreditations, financial condition, efficiency, transparency, accountability, governance, leadership and staff commitment, and measuring effectiveness (see Appendix D). Organizations are awarded qualified or provisional status. This status is listed on each service description in the portal as an extra level of quality assurance for military families navigating services. In addition to the front end of the portal, which is how veterans and their families will navigate to services, the portal will host a case management process for service providers (that is not viewed by families) to assist Navigators in linking transitioning military families to needed services and supports. See Appendix G for details on the portal s elements. Integrating Employment into a Comprehensive Social Service Portal The San Diego region is widely supportive of the large veteran population, as evidenced in the existing work by the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation, the Society for Human Resources, San Diego Workforce Partnership, San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce Military Affairs Advisory Council, and a host of other entities focused on helping this population transition successfully to a job. However, transitioning families are currently faced with a number of veteran focused employment websites, none of which are tailored to the San Diego region. MTSP brought existing entities and efforts together to provide a central organizational structure to coordinate efforts. The Employment and Education workgroup developed an Employment Blueprint (see Exhibit E) that will guide the long term vision and work of a coordinated, robust employment system that supports connecting transitioning military families to employment opportunities. Ongoing Employment and Education coordination will include: Providing military cultural competency workshops and trainings for employers and hiring managers Posting online resources about federal and state tax incentives and credits for hiring veterans Identifying flexibility in hiring criteria based on skills obtained in the military Testing out basic civilian education courses based on military skills and training Military Transition Support Project Community Plan, February

13 4 Element 4: Connect to veteran peer navigators According to Berglass and Harrell, community models that report the greatest success are those with a personal touch to their program (including the Augusta Warrior Project and the Charlotte Bridge Home program). 11 A key element of MTSP is a connection to a veteran peer Navigator who can help new veterans and their families make their way through the various systems, services, and benefits, providing needed support. The Navigator role has four key features: Peer based. From the national literature and Veteran s Forums hosted by the County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency, 12 we know that the best Navigator for someone transitioning to civilian life is someone who has lived through the transition themselves. Lead with employment. Employment is frequently the most pressing concern for service members and their families during transition. The other elements of the Veteran Wellness model (basic needs, mental and physical health, social and personal connections) will be addressed through the lens of securing and retaining employment. Provide high level support when needed. Navigators will be either an experienced Master s level social worker or interns on their final year of their Master s in social work. These Navigators must be veterans, explicitly trained to work with the military population. They will both connect transitioning families to needed services as well as identify early warning signs that could derail an individual s and a family s ability to meet the goal of self sufficiency. Navigators will be able to provide clinical support for those who may have a higher level of need, thereby filling a critical service gap in the community. Proactive check ins. In addition to ongoing assistance for identified families, Navigators will conduct proactive check ins with all transitioning families who have opted in to MTSP at 3, 6, 9 and 12 months. At each contact, the Navigator will review the initial needs assessment tool completed during the TGPS class and provide additional support as needed. Why a Social Worker? Social workers are trained to focus on the systems that people connect to (employment, basic needs and services) through effective outreach, referrals and case management. They are trained in key practices such as motivational interviewing and early identification to ensure that the holistic Veterans Wellness model that leads with jobs and connects strongly to basic needs, personal/social supports and physical/mental health is fully realized. Additionally, social workers can provide clinical support when needed to fill a critical service gap in the San Diego community. The diagram below highlights how Navigators will interact, given the different pathways that transitioning military families may engage in MTSP. 11 Berglass, Nancy and Margaret C Harrell. Well After Services: Veteran Reintegration and American Communities. April County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA), Behavioral Health Services (BHS) Veterans Issues Regional Forums Transcripts Military Transition Support Project Community Plan, February

14 Exhibit 4: Military Transition Support Project, Pilot Program Navigator Schematic (Navy Region Southwest only) Military Transition Support Project Community Plan, February

15 5 Element 5: Improve connections among all sectors The final component of the MTSP plan is to maintain strong connections between Community Based Organizations (CBOs), public entities, and the private sector. In a White Paper issued by The Office of Warrior and Family Support, Office of the Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff, the federal government broadly acknowledged the need to develop effective public private partnerships to employ the strengths of multiple stakeholders toward a common objective. 13 Leveraging what Major John Copeland and Colonel David Sutherland call the Sea of Goodwill, 14 we acknowledge the need to nurture the connections among all sectors to create an all in mentality to support the military family as an asset for our community. Two key, interrelated steps will be pursued to support improved connections: Ongoing oversight by an effective public private coalition. This project will continue to convene and be guided by a Governance Council, an expanded version of the current Operations Committee. This cross sector council will ensure that the needs of the military families are firmly at the center of the work, leaving issues of trust and turf at the door. A governance structure will be enacted to ensure that members of the military, County Health and Human Services Agency, the Veterans Affairs office, private industry, philanthropic members, and nonprofit coalitions are coordinating their overall efforts, while acknowledging their own personal interest and boundaries for participation (see following section entitled, Establishing a Structure for Inclusive Community Leadership and Sustainability ). Ongoing support of coalitions and collaborations that nurture relationships and connections between support services. This project identified opportunities to support the ongoing, deep work within the two major conveners of the nonprofit sector: the San Diego Military Family Collaborative and the San Diego Veterans Coalition. Both organizations have a sub focus on the transition issue and are the nexus of community based services on either the active duty or veterans side. Close partnership with and between each of these groups will be critical to communication with the larger CBO sector. These groups are also critical to the effective outreach to transitioning service members and military families, reconnecting service members to comprehensive, coordinated support. 13 Expanding Public Private Partnerships. Washington, D.C.: Office of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Warrior and Family support, May 17, 2010), Major Copeland, John W., and Colonel Davis W. Sutherland, Sea of Goodwill, Matching the Donor to the Need. Washington, D.C.: Office of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Warrior and Family support, May 17, 2010), 1. Military Transition Support Project Community Plan, February

16 Establishing a Structure for Inclusive Community Leadership and Sustainability A key strength of the MTSP planning process was that no one entity owned the process. Rather, the overall project was collectively directed by an Operations Committee, comprised of public sector representatives, nonprofit collaborations, and key infrastructure providers (i.e., the social service technology of 211 San Diego). During the early phases of MTSP implementation, the Operations Committee resolved to keep the process neutral and maintain a coalition structure in which different key functions would be pursued by different core entities, with oversight by a Governance Council (formerly the Operations Committee). This coalition structure will be revisited on a regular basis with the anticipation that MTSP will transition into an existing organization for ongoing support. Exhibit 5: Key Elements and Roles of the MTSP Implementation Coalition Technology Navigators Resource Development Director Evaluation/ Research Marketing Governance Implementation Director Council Quality Assurance Nonprofit Collaboration Employment The responsibility of each of the above coalition elements (represented by the pie pieces) are described in the following table. Military Transition Support Project Community Plan, February

17 Exhibit 6: Coalition and MTSP Project Elements Description Project Element Description of Responsibilities Implementation Director Resource Development Manager Navigators Technology Nonprofit collaboration, connectivity Employment Team Maintain annual implementation plan for pursuing the different elements of the project Develop Memorandum of Understandings (MOUs) between team leads (pie pieces) Manage and coordinate MOU identified activities to ensure execution Facilitate Governance Council meetings Collect Key Success Indicators from managing partners and assemble monthly dashboard Conduct administrative duties as needed Oversee annual convening and community updates Develop pilot and long term funding/sustainability strategy Identify private (local and national philanthropy) and public (city, county, state and federal) funding opportunities Work with grantwriters to execute the proposals and ensure overall integrity of the supporting coalition s work Navigator Supervisor Supervise Navigators and track their progress, identify opportunities for improvement Provide direct clinical support as needed to achieve the Veteran Wellness Model Sit on Governance Council and provide feedback on the Navigator function Navigators Manage caseload of those seeking support to connect to needed services (use technology for this purpose) Provide clinical support under Navigator Supervisor (using a clearly identified scope of practice) Conduct proactive check ins at 3, 6, 9 and 12 months with all who sign up Work collaboratively with existing Peer to Peer Support (i.e., Courage to Call), Coaches (i.e., San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation), and mentors Build out a dedicated portal within 211 for this project (building on work already done by San Diego Veterans Coalition) includes user friendly site organization for transitioning military families and case management for navigators and other service providers Support San Diego Veterans Coalition and San Diego Military Family Collaborative to: Continually map nonprofit programs and services to identify gaps Facilitate improved linkages among providers in networks to improve integration of services for families Assist with Quality Assurance process for all membership (encourage nonprofits to be registered with The Patriots Initiative) Communicate project progress and challenges to membership for coordination Coordinate with CBOs to ensure military family sign up for MTSP Ongoing coordination with San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce and San Military Transition Support Project Community Plan, February

18 Project Element Marketing Quality Assurance Evaluation/research Description of Responsibilities Diego Regional EDC to match transitioning service members with professional coaches Coordinate brown bag lunches with industry trade associations to conduct military cultural competency tranining and provide information about available federal and state tax incentives and credits Develop a professional coach survey to standardize the participation process and incentivize recruitment Develop a contract for service member and coaches to agree on specific accountability measurements, including number of times both parties agree to meet (pre and post job placement) Coordinate quarterly meetings of employment and education stakeholders to ensure that (1) linkages between education and business systems continue to take place, and (2) advocacy goals are developed that address hiring credential and education credit barriers, including the option to test out of education credits based on military experience (Formerly Referred to as Communications ) Ongoing assessment of communication needs and ongoing focus groups with service members in beta and Pilot Program to design, prepare and launch an outreach strategy to connect with transitioning military families Ongoing coordination with the The Patriot s Initiative external rating process to ensure vetting results of organizations to the website portal Conduct annual summative evaluation that will: Analyze the 211 web use and Navigator data (understand who uses elements of the program, who successfully transitioned, who fell through the cracks, what services are missing, etc.) Conduct a sample of interviews with MTSP users to understand experience Conduct annual interviews with Governance Council members (info governance and organization) Governance during initial launch phases As noted above, the MTSP coalition structure (similar to Empower San Diego and the new Open Places Initiative) will continue during the early phases of the project, and its efficacy will be reviewed on an annual basis. Because MTSP is currently not housed in any single organization, the following governance structure was developed to separate fiscal responsibilities from decision making responsibilities. The key components include: Governance Council: Comprised of military, public, nonprofit and philanthropy, this body will continue to advise the project and ensure that it meets the needs of the whole community. All paid staff (Implementation Director, Resource Development Director and the Navigator Supervisor) as well as the fiscal agent will report directly to this committee. Clear roles and responsibilities for both the Council and the employees will be delineated during implementation. This group will be an expanded version of the Operations Committee, with more key community partners added to the overseeing body to assure community input, Military Transition Support Project Community Plan, February

19 leadership, and ownership. Decisions about MTSP funds and other key decisions will be made by voting members of the Council. 15 Fiscal Agent: A qualified 501(c)3 fiscal agent will hold and administer the funds, but will have no decision making authority of fund use. They will report on fiscal health of MTSP directly to the Governance Council. Key paid staff: During the beta, consultants will serve as the Implementation Director, Resource Development Manager and Navigator Supervisor. All will be paid by the fiscal agent and report to the Governance Council. Exhibit 6: Governance Structure of the MTSP Coalition Sustainability Members of the Operations Committee are working on identifying a blend of public, private, and philanthropic dollars to support both the initial launch of MTSP and its long term sustainability. The Military Family Support Working Group at San Diego Grantmakers is actively pursuing local and national philanthropic funds for the beta and pilot phases, and Operation Committee public sector partners are considering appropriate timing and resources for ongoing support. 15 Many public agency participants can advise, but not direct, the allocation of resources and funds. Thus, final funding decisions will be made by voting members of the Council in the presence of the whole Council. Military Transition Support Project Community Plan, February

20 Timeline and Process for MTSP Implementation The Operations Committee developed a phased approach to launch MTSP to ensure that the different elements of the project are sufficiently tested for effectiveness before large scale implementation. Evaluation, learning, refining and preparation to scale are keys to ultimate success. There are three phases: Phase 1: Beta test to develop key elements (pending funding: anticipated April December 2014) This focused approach will provide the optimal environment for the MTSP Implementation Director, MTSP Navigator Supervisor, and Navy Region Southwest TGPS facilitator, to co create the process and closely monitor its success. It will be launched in 8 classes within one of the three installations of the Navy. It is estimated that this will reach approximately 200 service members staying in San Diego (50 individuals per class, with approximately half staying in San Diego). Key steps during the beta test include: Build the MTSP internet portal self navigation model for military family use Test the peer Navigator model (i.e., veterans who are working on their Master s level social work degree and specializing in military and veterans). This will include adapting key existing assessment tools Pilot within the Navy Region Southwest TGPS course Test and understand how transitioning military families use MTSP resources (self navigation via website portal, Navigator support, higher level of clinical support) Identify service gaps in community services and begin to further build the capacity of local nonprofits to meet the needs of transitioning veterans and their families, including strengthening their existing networks through San Diego Veterans Coalition and San Diego Military Family Collaboration Evaluate the process and preliminary results of MTSP support Report results to the Governance Council, Navy Region Southwest leadership and funders Determine best ways to communicate with military families beyond those in the TGPS classroom (i.e focus groups, interviews about best outreach) Phase 1 details: Navy Region Southwest offered time during TGPS to present the MTSP opportunity to all transitioning Sailors. Every week in San Diego s Navy installations (Point Loma, Coronado and Naval Base), five classes of 50 individuals are held. 16 In a given year, approximately 6,000 individuals receive this course and an estimated 60% (or 4,000) will stay in San Diego. The Navy s offer to present the MTSP opportunity is unprecedented across the United States, and offers a unique opportunity to comprehensively introduce all community supports to transitioning service members in a timely fashion before they leave service. The conditions to MTSP participation, currently being codified via a Memorandum of Understanding with Commander of Navy Region Southwest, stipulate that no 16 TGPS classes are only held on weeks with 5 consecutive non holiday days. Military Transition Support Project Community Plan, February

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