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Bay Area All-Women Veterans REBOOT Workshop

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EMPOWERING WOMEN VETERANS

Collective Impact Partnership Between Veterans Service Organizations Seeks to Solve Female Veteran Reintegration Issues

Problem: Leaving the military without a REBOOT

Studies show that women veterans face greater challenges than their male counterparts. Yet there are very few programs to help them re-assimilate into civilian life – and many feel left behind according to a report by Disable American Veterans.

That isolation and lack of support is shared by many other women vets, even as their numbers have surged, according to a report released by the Disabled American Veterans, a veterans-service organization. The report highlights ways that military women differ from male counterparts both during and after their service.

“The number of women veterans is growing, and our country is simply not doing enough to meet their health, social and economic needs,” said Joy J. Ilem, DAV’s deputy national legislative director.

The newly launched Transition GPS program is an outstanding improvement upon the former TAP program. However, in its present state it is a singular solution to the transition process and it is imperative to avoid a “one size fits all” mindset.

Need:

The need exists for a holistic solution that addresses the personal, social and professional reintegration needs of transitioning service women/veterans that empowers them to be self-reliant and self-sufficient.

Challenges:

Veterans, particularly women veterans, typically only trust other veterans who can relate to their experience, are respectful to their perceptions, non-judgmental, and can ensure confidentiality. Other issues that impede their success are; childcare, transportation, housing, personal cash, tough living conditions, apathy, reluctance, and a tendency to not ask for help.

Solution:

Self Empowerment First

Reentry into civilian life includes challenges for the veteran, primarily because the move from military to nonmilitary spheres requires stark readjustments: “from danger to safety, from discomfort to comfort, from camaraderie to solitude, from mistrust to trust, from chaos to order.” High levels of vexation exist among veterans caught between military and civilian worlds. Feelings of being disenfranchised are common.

Recognizing this deficiency, a San Diego-based 501(3)(c) organization called National Veterans Transition Services, Inc. created the REBOOT Workshops™ for military veterans. Military veterans undergo an intensive three-week REBOOT program to reorient themselves into roles, routines, and responsibilities in civilian culture.

REBOOT helps build a bridge between military and civilian worlds that the military veteran can traverse. Whereas Basic Training involved behavior modification by which the locus of control was externally-based, by contrast, REBOOT involves cognitive restructuring by which the locus of control is internally-based. Essentially, the veteran does not have to worry about the loss of her former military command, because through REBOOT she will learn to be her own chain of command.

“Essentially, the veteran does not have to worry about the loss of her former military command, because through REBOOT she will learn to be her own chain of command.”

REBOOT is unique from all other government and nongovernmental programs that work to transition veterans in that REBOOT Workshops™ holistically focuses on the reintegration into civilian life of the veteran and separating service member.

REBOOT Workshops™ comprehensively address personal, social, and professional aspects of military-to-civilian life transition via a 15-day course of progressive training that builds upon participants’ military training, skills, and experience.

Through reflections, exercises, discussions with workshop partners and facilitators, and experiential learning, veterans will learn about themselves and their environment as they strive to redefine their new life and their goals and aspirations. As a result, they will develop in all areas, enabling them to be in charge of living a balanced purposeful, meaning, and happy life for them, their family, and friends outside of the military environment.

REBOOT Workshops™ provide extensive personalized training that successfully addresses the personal and social aspects of transition to civilian life. Using research-based, outcome-driven methods drawn from best practices in career planning and cognitive-behavioral techniques, we help service members and veterans set and achieve career/life goals. Training is supplemented with extended follow up that aggregates opportunities, promotes social networking, and facilitates peer support.

Model of Reintegration

REBOOT Workshops™

  • Addresses transition issues at their root
  • Is an evidence-based, metrics driven process that works.
  • Validated by USD, REBOOT Workshops™ have proven to be 97% effective with over 1200 veterans.
  • So far 369 women have graduated from REBOOT.

Collective Impact –

Realizing the needs of women veterans transcends the capabilities of one organizations, Wells Fargo is collectively bringing together two of its long-term VSO invests who have a successful history of working with women veterans: National Veterans Transition Services, Inc’s. REBOOT Workshops™ and Swords to Plowshares Women Veterans Initiative.

“It takes a village to raise a child” – African Proverb

Collective impact is an innovative and proven way to bring diverse organizations together around a common problem. It has been successfully adopted on complicated issues like secondary education, environmental reclamation, and childhood obesity. Collective impact initiatives unite organizations from different sectors through formalized, long-term commitments to a common agenda to tackle tough social problems.

Local Community Support

With the support of Swords to Plowshares, graduates will receive the following supportive services through local VSO’s:

Employment – career coaching, placement assistance
Education
Access to Essential Resources such as:

Childcare
Transportation
Food
Cash
Health and Beauty
Clothing

In addition to conducting REBOOT Workshops, NVTSI will also;

Coordinate Assignment of Mentors
Follow up supportive services
Monitor Peer Networking
 Organize Makeovers – to help women veterans look better on the outside and feel stronger on the inside

Project Oversight: 

Swords to Plowshares and National Veterans transition Services, Inc. aka REBOOT will combine resources and metrology to ensure the successful reintegration of women veterans for this project.

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