What is HEROES Care?

HEROES Care is a collaborative effort among well established non-governmental
organizations (NGOs) designed to provide comprehensive and proactive support for
members of all branches of the military and their families through pre-deployment,
deployment, family reintegration and post-deployment.

The program has established a network of tens of thousands of trained caregivers and
thousands of professional mental health care and service providers dedicated to the
service of military members and their families.

Why HEROES Care?

Among the disturbing developments that have recently occurred, three stand out as
areas of grave concern: the alarming increase in the number of suicides among
members of the military, the effects of PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) and TBI
(Traumatic Brain Injury), on a growing number of military families. Many of these
families suffer due to a lack of a responsive support structure that can recognize and
intervene to assist in crisis situations. Experts agree that a comprehensive, local system of support is needed. Not only was the HEROES Care model designed to meet this need, but to detect and provide mechanisms for action before problems escalate to a crisis level.

How is HEROES Care Different?

The VA has recognized that the collaboration of NGOs is critical in streamlining the
process to provide timely and effective services. This program meets that objective. By
combining the ability of HEROES Care to provide for the financial needs of military
families, the ability of trained Hometown Support Volunteers to provide direct support
and to coordinate community efforts, the resources of local professional mental health
care providers to intervene when appropriate, and job training and placement services
to address the changing needs of the family employment dynamic, the recognized needs
of military families are met where they live.

The structure of HEROES Care was designed to meet two additional criteria:

1. To allow other NGOs with specialized expertise to partner with the program while
maintaining their independence of action and organizational control.

2. To act as an augment to and not as a replacement for any existing federal
or military program.

How does HEROES Care work?

Members of the military enroll on a voluntary basis. Each service member designates an
individual to receive support during deployment as their Primary Care Receiver. This
person can be any family member or ‘significant other’. A volunteer from the local
community who has been trained in care-giving and the deployment cycle is assigned to
that individual. Assignments are gender matched. This Hometown Support Volunteer
(HSV) stays in regular contact with the designated family member coordinating local
support efforts. The HSV has direct access to affiliated organizations which can provide
employment and emergency financial support. The HSV has also been trained to
recognize behaviors that might indicate the need for professional mental health care.
The HSV and can recommend any member of the family or assigned significant other for
this service. The HSV continues in the support relationship for up to two years post-deployment at the discretion of the Primary Care Receiver.

Who are the affiliated service providers and how do they work together?

The program is administered by HEROES Care, a national organization providing
emergency material and financial aid to military families in crisis. Because of the
organization’s nature and mission, HEROES Care is able to act as a point of contact and
control to coordinate volunteer efforts. Members of organizations that would otherwise
be unable to provide coordinated support can do so as HEROES Care Hometown Support
Volunteers.

Give an Hour is a national organization of mental health care providers dedicated to
providing an hour of their time in the support of military families each week. Specific
behaviors exhibited by a care receiver will trigger a contact to the HEROES Care
management team for referral to a local Give an Hour volunteer.

MSCCN is an award winning, national job training and placement service founded by
and for military spouses. Its mission is to find meaningful employment for the family
member left behind as well as service members, Wounded Warriors, and their
caregivers. The HSV refers the care receiver to MSCCN through the HEROES Care
management team.

To learn more about this effective and unprecedented program, visit
www.heroescare.org.

Contact at president@heroescare.org