Evaluation of a Holistic Program for Military Service Members and their Families

Grant Winners

  • Angela Yehl, Psy.D. – Institute for the Study of Human Service, Health and Justice
  • Elda Veloso, Ph.D. – Abraham S. Fischler School of Education
  • James Pann, Ph.D. – Abraham S. Fischler School of Education
  • Marcelo Castro, Ph.D. – Abraham S. Fischler School of Education
  • Stephen Messer, Ph.D. – Center for Psychological Studies
  • Jacob Connolly, M.S. – Center for Psychological Studies
  • Blake Benson, B.S. – Center for Psychological Studies

Deans

  • Kim Durham, Psy.D. – Institute for the Study of Human Service, Health and Justice
  • H. Wells Singleton, Ph.D. – Abraham S. Fischler School of Education
  • Karen S. Grosby, Ed.D. – Center for Psychological Studies

Abstract

Award Winners

Approximately 2 million U.S. troops have been deployed to combat zones since September 2001 (Tan, 2009). Many soldiers and marines returning from Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) and Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF)/Operation New Dawn (OND) have encountered serious difficulties upon their return home since a great number do not successfully access needed services (Institute of Medicine, 2010; Hoge et al., 2004). Current literature calls for "holistic" treatments involving coordination of support services to address the underutilization of mental health services and inadequacies in current mental health models for veterans (Robinson, 2004). The current proposal attempts to address this by securing funding to implement a formal program evaluation of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) OIF/OEF Community Outreach Program using the Context, Input, Process, and Product Evaluation (CIPP) theory-based evaluation model (Stufflebeam, 2000; 2003). The holistic program, which will be evaluated in this study seeks to link veterans and their family members with needed services including: mental health treatment services (i.e., individual, group, and family therapies), case management services, employability and economic supports (e.g., access to VA benefits, job skills, housing), legal aid, and peer/community support services all within a closely-coordinated community-based wraparound system of care. Given the relative dearth of knowledge regarding how an integrated community-based holistic approach is implemented and experienced by returning veterans and their families, a formative and summative evaluation study of the community-based wraparound program created by this unique partnership between veterans' services organizations and the community will be of immense value. The data collected in the evaluation of the VFW OEF/OIF Outreach Program will be analyzed using both qualitative and quantitative methods, and the results will be discussed in the context of previous studies on access and utilization of services by military veterans and their families.