Frequently Asked Questions

Why was the Military and Veteran Caregiver Network (MVCN) created?

To meet the recommendation for structured social support for caregivers made in RAND report Hidden Heroes: America’s Military Caregivers. This need for support was based on the finding of high isolation among military and veteran caregivers and the resulting challenges of depression and poor health. Peer support is recognized as one of the best ways to provide structured social support to those facing isolation and challenging life experiences.

The RAND Report was commissioned by the Elizabeth Dole Foundation (EDF) who is the founder of the Coalition for Military Caregivers and the anchor sponsor of the MVCN.

What is the mission of the MVCN?

To reduce the isolation of military and veteran caregivers by providing them with access to structured social support through the delivery of peer support programs and services.

What are the goals of the MVCN?

The mission of reducing military and veteran caregiver isolation will be achieved, and measured, through the specific goals of the MVCN. These goals form the basis for the organization of the MVCN program and services and are used as metrics for program evaluation:

  • To increase caregiver connectedness and engagement with other caregivers through peer support.
  • To increase caregivers knowledge and skills through educational and information resources.

What will be the impact of the MVCN?

By reducing the isolation of military and veteran caregivers through their increased connectedness, engagement, knowledge and skills the MVCN will help caregivers experience a greater sense of hopefulness and wellness.

What programs and services will the MVCN offer?

Three consistent highest-quality peer support programs:

  • Online Peer Support Community
  • Community-Based Peer Support Groups
  • Peer Mentors

Three relevant and up-to-date educational information and resources:

  • Resource Library
  • Master Calendar
  • We Care Magazine

Who does the MVCN serve and support?

The MVCN serves the 5.5 million+ caregivers of wounded, ill or injured military and veterans who served in the Armed Forces. It serves caregivers of all eras (both pre- and post-9/11), all relations, across all locations.

How is the MVCN organized?

The MVCN was created on a hub and spoke model of community practice which:

  1. Combines the highest quality best practices in peer support in a:
  • shared commitment to the mission of reducing caregiver isolation
  • secure, safe, IT platform with vetted caregiver membership
  • certified peer training curriculum in core competencies
  • central Resource Library and Master Calendar
  • program evaluation with metrics for results reporting and accountability
  1. Delivers the highest quality best practices in peer support through:
  • partner led one-to-one and community-based peer support programs
  • local assistance to caregivers in community-based support groups
  • nationwide outreach to caregivers through multifaceted services
  • accessible, moderated, open and closed, online peer conversations created and/or hosted by partners
  • We Care Magazine written by and for caregivers across the county.

Who delivers the MVCN services and support?

The foundation of MVCN’s delivery of services and support is the military and veteran caregiver members themselves.  As a peer-based Network, support is provided to caregivers, by caregivers. Caregivers can choose to serve, or companion, others through their voluntary participation as peers in our Online Peer Support Community discussions, topics, chats and/or webinars.  They can participate as peer members of a Community-Based Peer Support Group or they can receive a Peer Mentor.   Caregivers can also choose to receive training and certification to fill peer roles as Online Community Moderators, Support Group Facilitators and/or Peer Mentors.  

To support this peer-to-peer support, the MVCN development phase has been led by the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) whose model of peer support is internationally recognized for its helpful, best practices in assisting over 50,000+ military and veteran surviving loved ones for more than 20 years.

In the MVCN delivery phase TAPS has partnered with the Coalition for Military Caregivers and hundreds of military and veteran service and faith- and community-based organizations, foundations, agencies, academic institutions and corporations nationwide to create a collaborative community of practice to ensure that the MVCN peer support programs and its educational information and resources are accessible to caregivers of all eras, all relations and at all locations.

How will Caregivers access the MVCN programs and services?

Any individual caring for a pre- or post-9/11 wounded, ill or injured military member or veteran can access the educational and information services of the MVCN by clicking on the Resources, Calendar or Magazine sections on the web site.

Some MVCN services are restricted to peers and require that caregivers become members. Caregivers can become a member and access the Online Peer Support Community, Peer Mentoring or Community-Based Peer Support Groups by clicking on the Connect Now button under the Online Peer Support Community section of the MVCN web site.

How will organizations become partner members of the MVCN?

Organizations can become partner members of the MVCN by sending an informational request to Contact Us on the MVCN web site.

Who provided input on these services and resources?

The MVCN is very proud to have an Advisory Council composed of volunteer members who are majority pre- and post-9/11 caregivers of all relationships and of nationally recognized subject matter experts and advocates in caregiving and peer support. This Advisory Council and the input of caregiver staff, members and partners will ensure that hearing and responding to the voice and need of the caregiver is the primary focus of the MVCN.

How will the MVCN programs and services be monitored?

All MVCN partners involved in the delivery or support of a service or program will receive a Guidebook on how to supplement their existing assistance to military and veteran caregivers with its secure IT platform, certified training and vetted evaluation tools.

All MVCN services and programs will be evaluated by participating caregivers regularly and input, output and outcome data will be publically reported.

What organizations are currently partners in the MVCN?

The MVCN draws from the membership of the EDF Coalition for Military Caregivers and the EDF Impact Councils and other collaborative entities and individual organizations committed to supporting caregivers. Its lead program partners during its organizational year have included: American Legion Auxiliary, Association of the US Army, Blue Star Families, Easter Seals/Dixon Center, Military Officers Association of America (AUS), Operation Homefront, Wounded Warrior Project, and the USO.

Dozens of other organizations have contributed significantly to the MVCN and they are listed under About Us under Donors and Partners on the MCVN web site.

How is the MVCN financed?

At this time the MVCN is supported by grants from its anchor donor, the Elizabeth Dole Foundation, and the program specific donor partnership of the Bob Woodruff Foundation, the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation and the Wounded Warrior Project. Important in-kind contributions have been made by Booz-Allen-Hamilton, Deloitte, Edelman Public Relations, Project Management Institute D.C. Chapter, and the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS).