Justice Outreach and Community Collaborations: Serving Our Returning Heroes
A host to major military bases and other U.S. Department of Defense facilities, the San Diego region is home to more military veterans than most other communities across the country. As a result, local social workers see more than their share of discharged veterans needing various types of support and social services.
SDSU Alumni Association Social Work Chapter President Michelle Foy at a chapter event last fall.
"We want to provide support for our heroes,” says SDSU Alumni Association Social Work Chapter President Michelle Foy. “We don't want them to be falling between the (service) gaps.
That’s why Foy and other chapter leaders have organized an event called “Justice Outreach and Community Collaborations: Serving Our Returning Heroes." Set for Tuesday September 27, from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. at the Parma Payne Goodall Alumni Center, the event features speakers from the Veterans Justice Outreach Team. The team includes a judge, a deputy city attorney, a public defender and veterans services and justice outreach coordinators, all of whom encounter veterans who have somehow ended up in the criminal justice system.
"A lot of veterans have post-traumatic stress disorder and brain injuries and what's happening is they're coming home and exhibiting behaviors that are labeled as criminal behaviors and they're ending up in courts and prisons,” Foy explains. “A lot of people have recognized this and realize that what they need is treatment. They don't need to be criminalized."
NOT JUST ABOUT VETS
Foy says the intent of the chapter event is to increase awareness of the problems veterans face and their broad effects.
"Because it impacts every program we're working in,” she points out. “It's not just about vets. It's about our families, it's about our communities, it really affects every level of social services from individual treatment to working with families to working with children - every layer of social services gets affected by this, so you need to have a better understanding of why this is going on and what help is out there.
“We want our social work alumni and others to be aware of what's going on and to be able to refer people to the right services when they run into these issues because they're going to run into these issues."
Foy says anyone interested in better serving veterans is welcome to attend her chapter’s event, but registration is required by September 22. The evening includes dinner at a cost of $24.50 for SDSU Alumni Association members and students, and $27.50 for all others. For more information visit the Social Work Chapter website
or with questions, contact chapter leaders at firstname.lastname@example.org