One of the unique aspects of Arizona’s Be Connected program is the application and vetting process based on the Guidelines for CARE. These guidelines were created with input from service members, veterans and their family members from all branches and components, as well as key stakeholder organizations from the military, government, and community.
The guidelines provide a comprehensive picture of what it means to be equipped to meet the needs of an individual or family with a military background or affiliation and provides organizations with the opportunity to illustrate how they go beyond a military/veteran-friendly label.
There are four focus areas of C.A.R.E.:
- Connect to the culture
- Ask the right questions at the right time
- Respond effectively
- Engage in the military/veteran community
The guiding principles include:
- Military service fosters resilience and strength in service members (active duty, Guard, Reserve), veterans, family members, caregivers, and survivors.
- Military service impacts the person serving, the family (spouse/significant other and children, as well as parents, siblings, extended family and friends) and the community.
- The military is a distinct culture. While service members, veterans and their families experience the same typical life events as civilians, both positive and negative, they also have a unique set of life experiences relating to military service, deployment, reintegration and transition that are distinct from civilian life and have an impact on their social determinants of health.
- As a network of military, government and community partners, we are committed to providing the best care and support to all those who serve. No one organization can meet all needs for all service members, veterans and their families. Our ecosystem of care connects people to the right resource at the right time, regardless of status or eligibility.
- There is no wrong door for service members, veterans, family members and helpers. Be Connected opens doors for all.
- Our goal is to assist service members, veterans and family members in being informed consumers who are empowered to make decisions to access resources to positively impact their social determinants of health.
- Every service member, veteran and family member has an individual experience and perspective which should be acknowledged and incorporated into the provision of care and support.
- The community has an important role in the lives of our service members, veterans and families. The community benefits from their contributions and can be an essential part of building support for all who serve.
The ethical considerations include:
- The interest and privacy of the service member, veteran and family member come first, above the interest of the provider or organization, financial or otherwise.
- Any potential conflicts of interest are disclosed upfront.
- Respect the service member, veteran and/or family member by providing accurate and detailed information that will assist them in making informed decisions. Outreach and messaging to the military and veteran population should be truthful, not misleading or designed to incite fear, should always accurately and appropriately cite sources and present information in context.
- Organizations are cautious about promising outcomes. Information should clearly state if a program or service is evidence-based or independently documented to be effective. Statements about the effectiveness of programs or services should include information on success rates and the documented source of this information.
- Organizations only deliver programs, services, and resources that they are equipped or trained to provide. Outreach and engagement of the military and veteran population should be within the scope of the role and function of the individual (training & experience) and the organization (policies, practices, procedures).
- Organizations that outreach to the military/veteran population equip their personnel and organizations with the training necessary to understand the distinct aspects of the military experience and culture through training and consultation with subject matter experts.
- Coordination of care, follow up and transition planning are essential. Organizations actively engage with other providers and systems as appropriate (e.g. warm handoffs), while still respecting the confidentiality of the individual or family.
- Service members, veterans and family members are never turned away empty-handed. At a minimum, they are provided with the Be Connected support line through a warm handoff or information card.
In addition to the universal Guidelines for CARE, the Coalition and its partners have developed sector-specific guidelines for the following (with more under development):
- Behavioral Health
- Employment Service Providers
- Faith-Based Communities and Organizations
- Housing and Homeless Providers
- Higher Education
- Counties, Cities and Towns
- Veteran Service Organizations (VSOs)
- Veteran Courts
- Health Plans
- Healthcare Providers
If you are interested in applying as an organization to become a Be Connected Partner Organization, please complete a partner pre-application and a member of our team will be in contact. If you have questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Development and implementation of the Guidelines for CARE were made possible in part by grants from Vitalyst Health Foundation, a Phoenix-based public foundation focused on Arizona health policy and strength‐based community development. For additional information, please visit VitalystHealth.org.