The best gifts we can give at-risk veterans are practical tools for living and the hope and support to help them succeed.

Recently I had the honor to share my experiences and the tools I have developed for working with veterans with the 5th Judicial Circuit Court of Florida’s Veterans Treatment Court and surrounding supporting agencies. What a blessing to spend a couple days with people devoted to helping our most at-risk veterans make a successful transition home from traumas and trials to true triumphs.

Together We Help Veterans Come Home

We talked about best practices, how trauma develops and impacts veterans, transition issues, and my tool, The Ladder UPP, a life skills tool for peer support and mentoring.

Helping a veteran come home requires a true community effort.

I’ll be writing more on vet courts, but I wanted to share the following today. Here are some key components to a fully developed and effective Veterans Treatment Court.

5 Key Components to an Effective Veterans Treatment Court

Mentoring – mentoring is vital. And having enough mentors for weekly meetings with your veterans is just as vital! Ideally, a mentor will be reasonable for no more than 1-3 veterans.

Career Planning – not just job placement, but true career planning. Learning to live after trauma means finding a new, successful, motivating identity, and that means a focus on not just finding a job but a true career.

Coordination with faith-based organizations, the VA, and non-profits – become a clearing house for all the resources in your community available to veterans. Coming Home is more than Vet Court, the VA, etc. it means helping a veteran tap into a comprehensive and wide-ranging support network that often gets lost in noise and the fog of life.

Family Education – how you educate and mentor the veteran’s family might be just as important as what you do with the veteran. If their home environment doesn’t change, little that you do will be effective in the long run.

Long-term follow up – mentoring shouldn’t end when the program is over, in many ways graduation is just the beginning. Make sure mentoring continues and you have a resource to pass the accountability of your veteran on to.

April 10, 2018

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