Guidelines for CARE

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One of the unique aspects of Arizona’s Military/Veteran Resource Network is the application and vetting process based upon the Guidelines for CARE. These guidelines were created with input from service members, veterans and family members from all branches and components, as well as key stakeholder organizations from the military, government and community.

These guidelines provide a picture of what it means to be equipped to meet the needs of an individual or family with a military background or affiliation. This vetting process provides organizations with the opportunity to illustrate how they go beyond a “military/veteran-friendly” label.

The Guidelines for CARE include:

Guiding Principles

Ethical Considerations

Four key areas of focus (C.A.R.E.):

Connect to the culture

Ask the right questions at the right time

Respond effectively

Engage in the Military/Veteran Resource Network

Guidelines for CARE – Guiding Principles:

1. Military service often fosters resilience and strength in service members, veterans and family members.

2. Military service impacts the individual and the family. A “military family” can include a service member or veteran, their spouse/significant other and children, as well as parents, siblings, extended family and friends.

3. The military is a distinct culture. While service members, veterans and their families experience the same life circumstances and events as civilians, both positive and negative, they also have a unique set of life experiences relating to service, deployment and reintegration that are distinct from civilian life.

4. As a community, we are committed to providing the best care and support to all those who serve. Since changes in military status affect eligibility for programs, resources and benefits, we seek to build a continuum of care that addresses the needs of the entire military, veteran and family population.

5. No one organization can meet all needs for the entire military and veteran population. Stronger collaboration between military, government and community partners supports service members, veterans and their families in connecting to the right program, resource and/or benefit at the right time. Organizations should also focus on collaboration to maximize available resources and minimize duplication of effort.

6. There should be no wrong door to which a service member, veteran or family member goes to for help. Each individual and organization should have at least the basic knowledge on the military/veteran systems of care to assist in connecting that individual or family to a more appropriate resource so that no one is turned away.

7. As a network of individuals and organizations who provide care and support to the military and veteran population, our goal is to assist service members, veterans and family members in being informed consumers who are empowered to make decisions to access those programs, resources and benefits that will meet their needs.

8. 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.

Guidelines for CARE – Ethical Considerations:

1. The interest of the service member, veteran and family member should come first, above the interest of the provider or organization, financial or otherwise.

2. Any potential conflicts of interest should be disclosed up front.

3. Respect the service member, veteran and/or family member by providing accurate information that will assist them in making informed decisions about the care and support they access.

4. Organizations should only offer programs, services and resources that they are equipped or trained to deliver. 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).

5. Organizations that outreach to the military/veteran population have an obligation to equip their personnel and organizations with the training necessary to understand: a) the unique aspects of the military experience b) the issues affecting these individuals and their families and c) the specific military/government programs and benefits available to this population. Organizations should consult with subject matter experts when necessary.

6. Outreach and messaging to the military and veteran population should be truthful, not misleading nor designed to incite fear, should always accurately and appropriately cite sources and present information in context.

7. Organizations should be 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.

8. Coordination of care and follow up is essential when service members, veterans and family members are accessing multiple systems of care.  Partners need to be actively engaging with other providers and systems as appropriate, while still respecting the confidentiality of the individual or family.

In addition to the universal Guidelines for CARE, ACMF and our partners have developed sector-specific guidelines for the following (with more under development):

  • Behavioral Health
  • Employers
  • Employment Service Providers
  • Faith-Based Communities & Organizations
  • Housing & Homeless Providers
  • Higher Education
  • Counties, Cities & Towns
  • Libraries
  • Veteran Service Organizations (VSOs)
  • Veteran Courts
  • Health Plans
  • Healthcare Providers

To apply as an organization to join the Military/Veteran Resource Network, click here for more information or email


Development and implementation of the Guidelines for CARE was 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