Regional Sponsor Coordinator Scope of Work
Texas/VISN17 is the first region to be activated.
All States and VISNs will open in 2020.
The ETS Sponsorship Program (ETS-SP) assists service members (SMs) transition to civilian life and the post-military community of their choice. Coordinating the services of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), private, nonprofit organizations and local government, the ETS-SP connects transitioning SMs with local sponsors. Sponsors are trained and certified to build relationships and resiliency. The goal is to set conditions for SMs and sponsors to achieve purpose and prosperity, reduce stress and risk, and engage together for continued service to the Nation.
The ETS-SP trains and certifies our sponsors to ensure we provide the most effective sponsorship possible for our SMs/Veterans. The ETS-SP organizes sponsors by region and appoints an ETS-SP Regional Sponsor Coordinator to manage each region. The ETS-SP Regional Sponsor Coordinator, either an organization or an individual, ensures that we lead our program effectively.
Statement of Work Objective
The objective of the initiatives described in this Statement of Work is to enhance the ETS Sponsorhip Program through increased support and access to resources and services provided by the ETS-SP Regional Sponsor Coordinator and the trained volunteer regional sponsors.
When the transitioning SM receives Expiration Term of Service (ETS) orders and departs the military, there is no sponsor in their post-military hometown. The SM/Veteran and family land in a civilian community and transition to this next chapter with no individual assigned to assist them. Sometimes, the challenges of adjusting to civilian life can be overwhelming.
The ETS-SP assigns a trained and certified sponsor to the SM/Veteran approximately six months prior to their ETS; this sponsor lives in or near the post-military hometown. ETS-SP sponsors guide and mentor the SM/Veteran; they enhance the ability of the SM/Veteran to become a contributing member of their new community. ETS-SP sponsors educate SM/Veterans about eligible services, including VA services and non-VA services. They help develop trust between the VA, non-VA services and the SM/Veteran, thus reducing the stigma often associated with seeking mental health and suicide prevention services.
By establishing interpersonal relationships with our SM/Veterans and community members, the ETS-SP extends the camaraderie the SM/Veteran experienced while on active duty to his or her new life as a civilian. The ETS-SP allows our communities to care for our SM/Veterans in a way that truly impacts the SM/Veteran, his or her family, and the community.
- Sponsor Training and Curriculum - In collaboration with the VA, ETS-SP (National) will conduct training for all sponsors. The training will take place virtually over three sessions, each typically about 2 hours. Upon completion of the third session, volunteers will become certified ETS-SP sponsors. Additionally, the ETS-SP (National) will provide continuing education classes for all sponsors. Sponsors are required to participate in one quarterly class, though monthly participation is encouraged.
- Volunteer Sponsor Recruitment and Public Awareness - The ETS-SP (National) will develop and coordinate national campaigns to help recruit volunteers and raise awareness of the ETS-SP.
- Assistance and Quality Assurance - The ETS-SP (National) will offer assistance to each ETS-SP Regional Sponsor Coordinator to help serve SM/Veterans more effectively; the ETS-SP (National) will provide a framework with standards for quality program management. Each ETS-SP Regional Sponsor Coordinator will participate in an assessment process led by the ETS-SP (National). The ETS-SP (National) will establish sponsor volunteer criteria and volunteer policies and ensure compliance by regional programs. The ETS-SP (National) will manage dashboards that provide information to SM/Veterans, sponsors, and Regional Sponsor Coordinators. The ETS-SP (National) will be responsible for the storage of SM files, data, updates, and the ETS-SP analytic platform and tools. The ETS-SP (National) will provide training for the analytic platform and provide access to the permissions-based web and app dashboards for a) SM/Veterans, b) sponsors, and c) Regional Sponsor Coordinators.
- Sharing of Important SM/Veteran Insights- The ETS-SP (National) will provide the Regional Sponsor Coordinator with important insights related to the SM/Veterans in their respective region. This information will allow Regional Sponsor Coordinators to effectively match sponsors to SM/Veterans and will also provide needed/valuable assistance to SM/Veterans.
- Primary VA Point of Contact for SM/Veterans – The VA ETS-SP Coordinator serves as the primary point of contact for the respective region for SM/Veterans enrolled in the ETS-SP who are receiving benefits, medical/mental health care, and other VA services. This VA ETS-SP Coordinator will work directly for the VISN 17 Center of Excellence during the ETS-SP evaluation in Texas (2020-2023). The VA ETS-SP Coordinator will help expedite and synchronize VA services/benefits for SMs/Veterans enrolled in the ETS-SP. He or she will work closely with the VA Transition Care Management teams (primary entry point for the ETS-SP), VA Public Affairs/Outreach initiatives within their respective region, Vet Centers, VBA Advisors, HUD/VASH personnel, and other VA entities as needed.
- Representative to Key Partners (DoD, state, county, city, non-profits). The VA ETS-SP Coordinator will work seamlessly with DoD personnel on military installations (e.g., Soldier for Life-TAP) for the enrollment of active-duty SMs, local government representatives (e.g., Texas Veteran Commission) and community partners in their respective region to ensure the success of the program. The VA ETS-SP Coordinator will monitor the ETS-SP dashboard for TSM and sponsor pairs in their geographical domain and will work closely with the ETS-SP Regional Sponsor Coordinator and designated leads within target cities. The VA ETS-SP Coordinator will attend necessary meetings and conduct outreach with key partners, as approved by VISN 17 COE. The VA ETS-SP Coordinator's efforts will align with the VISN vision, while focusing the majority of his or her time outside the VA.
- Primary Clinical Representative to ETS-SP Regional Sponsor Coordinator and designated leads within target cities. The VA ETS-SP Coordinator is a licensed provider in the VA and will serve as a clinical representative to the program in their respective region. He or she will help to facilitate training sessions, as well as provide any needed clinical consultation/supervision directly to sponsors and key partners related to specific SM/Veterans. He or she will monitor the ETS-SP dashboard for TSM and sponsor pairs. As necessary, the VA ETS-SP Coordinator will conduct a warm-handoff to VA or non-VA services that can further assist in providing clinical services to specific SM/Veterans.
The ETS-SP Regional Sponsor Coordinator will assess, resource and execute programs that meet their particular local situation requirements. The ETS-SP Regional Sponsor Coordinator will assist in recruiting, onboarding, and supervising sponsors assigned.
1. Sponsor Management
a. Recruitment of Sponsors
- Create and utilize a framework to connect to potential sponsors.
- Create and announce web-based and paper-based materials specific to the ETS-SP. Provide details and background and describe next steps for interested participants. The ETS-SP (National) will provide the ETS-SP recruiting flyer template and facilitate relationships with partners such as the U.S. Army Soldier for Life (SFL) and U.S. Army Retirement Service Office (RSO).
- The ETS-SP Regional Sponsor Coordinator will recruit based on their situational assessment. Examples include setting up open-house type events, in-person meetings, conference calls, and webinars to promote the ETS-SP, develop interest, as well as to recruit and select potential sponsors.
b. Onboarding of Sponsors
- Conduct intake/welcome of newly applied sponsor candidates
- Monitor the status of sponsor candidates through each stage of training to ensure successful completion and certification.
c. Maintaining the Relationship
- Use the matching tool provided by the ETS-SP (National) combined with your unique understanding of the certified region sponsors to make the best possible match between the sponsor and SM/Veterans.
- Within ten days after sending the initial email to the SM/Veteran, confirm that contact has been made between the SM/Veteran and sponsor.
- Review monthly updates from sponsors, identifying and addressing challenges that may arise for the sponsor or SM/Veteran.
- Keep lines of communication open in the region; be available to answer questions from sponsors and/or SM/Veterans.
- Identify sponsors or SM/Veterans who have become unresponsive. Follow the ETS-SP (National) protocol for non-responsive participants.
- Establish formal process for graduation of the SM/Veteran from the program using guidelines from the ETS-SP (National). This process should provide an opportunity for the sponsors and SM/Veteran to reflect upon the relationship, discuss next steps for the SM/Veteran, and provide feedback on the benefits of the program.
d. Support of Sponsors
- The ETS-SP Regional Sponsor Coordinator will be responsible for disseminating relevant, helpful information to sponsors and Veterans in their region.
- Social media
- Text messages
- Schedule monthly, bi-monthly or quarterly meetings for sponsors per sub-region. These meetings will provide an opportunity for ETS-SP Regional Sponsor Coordinators to share information, while also providing the sponsors an opportunity to share and learn from other sponsors’ experiences.
- Direct sponsors, as needed, to collaborative networks, state resources, and local community resources.
- Identify areas/topics that may need to be addressed in additional training sessions for sponsors.
- Ensure sponsors remain current on all ETS-SP dashboard entry requirements, track activity and alerts.
- Engage sponsors who are not actively involved with a SM/Veteran. Invite all sponsors to all events and training. Counsel or terminate sponsors if warranted. Follow the ETS-SP (National) protocol.
e. Recognizing Sponsors
Plan ways to recognize and reward both active and inactive sponsors. Examples may include monthly newsletters with sponsor highlights, ongoing reinforcement, asking for feedback, and discussing program outcomes.
Partnership. In order to enhance or expand direct services, the ETS-SP Regional Sponsor Coordinator will collaborate with veteran services, organizations, and individuals, including the following:
- Texas Veterans, Texas Workforce, and Texas Human and Health Services Commissions
- Veteran Administration hospital systems, clinics and Vet centers
- Programs that support Veterans and their families
- Community-based Veteran programs
- Programs for suicide prevention screening and assessment, intervention, and post-intervention assistance
3. Program Maintenance
The ETS-SP Regional Sponsor Coordinator will participate in monthly or bi-monthly meetings led by the ETS-SP (National) for the following purposes:
- Share information about their regional activities;
- Share information about other suggested practices to enhance the ETS-SP’s ability to provide direct services to SM/Veterans and their families;
- Provide feedback on all aspects of the ETS-SP; and,
4. Single Point of Contact.
- Keep the ETS-SP (National) Updated. If the ETS-SP Regional Sponsor Coordinator is an organization, not an individual, the Regional Sponsor Coordinator will designate a single point of contact to receive and transmit information for effective implementation and monitoring of the ETS-SP. The ETS-SP (National) should be informed if there is a change of this single point of contact no later than ten days prior to the point of contact change.
- Sub-Regional Coordinators (City-level). If the ETS-SP (National) identifies an entity responsible for a large region or state, the ETS-SP Regional Sponsor Coordinator will identify and coordinate with other organizations as needed to ensure all responsibilities are accomplished. All identified organizations must be included on a memorandum of agreement between the ETS-SP Regional Sponsor Coordinator and ETS-SP (National).