Easter Seals and the National Conference of State Legislatures Bring State Policy Options for Female Veteran Reintegration to Forefront

Community Solutions Necessary to Meet the Needs of this Growing Veteran Population

Aug 03, 2015, 12:00 ET from Easter Seals

SEATTLE, Aug. 3, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, Easter Seals released Call to Action: Support Community Efforts to Improve the Transition to Civilian Life for Women Veterans, a white paper aimed to educate policymakers and others about the need to expand community-based solutions to meet the reintegration challenges women veterans face. The white paper was released at the National Council of State Legislatures (NCSL) summit in Seattle as part of the newfound partnership between the two organizations.

The goals of the partnership are to brief state policymakers about current needs of women veterans, one of the fastest growing veterans' populations, and to offer solutions states can adopt to assist female veterans and the estimated 200,000 women in military who will transition into civilian life over the next several years.(1) The Call to Action white paper offers recommendations for state and federal policymakers to invest in community-based solutions to improve the transition to civilian life for female veterans.  Current challenges include finding and maintaining employment and housing, and maintaining health and family wellness.

"Far too many women veterans who could benefit from reintegration services are unable to access those supports when they need them most," said Katy Neas, Easter Seals Executive Vice President for Public Affairs. "Easter Seals is working to close that gap through a best practice model that works individually with women veterans and provides directs services or connects them to available supports to help them thrive during their transition."

CALL TO ACTION
We all share a responsibility in assisting female veterans and all veterans during their transition into civilian life – businesses, foundations, private citizens and governments. The Call to Action report explains how government and state elected leaders can play a great role and suggests legislators specifically can authorize and fund state care coordination programs for women veterans and fund community asset-mapping and service coordination efforts.

BEST PRACTICE
The most effective community-based veteran reintegration programs are those that base operations at credible, local nonprofit organizations that coordinates and deploys both public and private resources and stakeholders to address the needs and recognize the skills of service members, veterans and their families.(2)

The Easter Seals approach is one that:

  • Is veteran-centered.
  • Includes care coordinators.
  • Leverages existing resources and supports in the community.
  • Includes emergency financial assistance when necessary.
  • Provides ongoing preventative and follow-along supports.

This approach is found in all Easter Seals Military & Veterans Services:

  • Caregiver Services and Supports: programs and supports for military and veteran caregivers.
  • Community OneSource: national information and referral service for veterans and military families.
  • Employment Programs and Job Training: assistance to help veterans and military families achieve and maintain meaningful employment.
  • Health and Wellness: medical rehabilitation services to help veterans live as independently as possible.
  • Reintegration and Supportive Services: care coordination services to assist veterans and military families during transition.
  • Respite Services: specialized time-off options to support veteran caregivers and military families.
  • Women Veterans Financial Assistance Project: assistance in meeting urgent and financial needs of women veterans.

About Easter Seals Dixon Center
We believe our veterans and military families can succeed where they live.  Our mission is to ensure that's possible in every community. We work to break down barriers, drive a new conversation about the potential of our veterans, engage organizations and communities, and connect veterans and military families with what they need for meaningful employment, education and overall wellness. Our national credibility and community-based reach – through 74 affiliates and 550 service sites – provide an unmatched, accessible resource and support for veterans and military families. Learn more at EasterSealsDixonCenter.org. 

About Easter Seals
Easter Seals is the leading non-profit provider of services for individuals with autism, developmental disabilities, physical disabilities and other special needs.  For nearly 100 years, we have been offering help, hope, and answers to children and adults living with disabilities, and to the families who love them. Through therapy, training, education and support services, Easter Seals creates life-changing solutions so that people with disabilities can live, learn, work and play.  To learn more about Easter Seals and services in communities nationwide, visit www.easterseals.com.

About National Council of State Legislatures (NCSL)
Since 1975, NCSL has served as the bipartisan organization serving the legislators and staffs of the states, commonwealths and territories. It provides research, technical assistance and opportunities for policymakers to exchange ideas on the most pressing state issues and is an effective and respected advocate for the interests of the states in the American federal system.

(1) Women Veterans: The Long Journey Home, Disabled American Veterans, 2014, http://www.dav.org/wp-content/uploads/women-veterans-study.pdf
(2) Well After Service: Veteran Reintegration and American Communities, Center for a New 
American Security, 2012, http://www.cnas.org/files/documents/publications/CNAS_WellAfterService_BerglassHarrell.pdf  

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SOURCE Easter Seals



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