Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert Wilkie commended the Veterans’ Family, Caregiver and Survivor Federal Advisory Committee on March 27 for recommendations that will assist in the department meeting its commitment to improve the experiences of all those it serves.
The committee, chaired by former U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Dole, a noted advocate for military caregivers, offered cross-cutting recommendations addressing several areas that affect Veterans’ families, caregivers and survivors.
The recommendations range from an effort to identify all federal programs available to Veterans and their families, caregivers and survivors, to increased coordination in resource distribution to those who require them most, as well as implementation of the expansion of caregiver stipends with more standardization.
“VA is not only listening to our Veterans, but more intentionally to the voices of their families, caregivers and survivors,” Wilkie said. “Thanks to the valuable work of this committee, we are understanding and taking action on their concerns and needs as we improve the delivery of care, benefits and services. The committee’s recommendations are vital to VA as we meet our customer service mission.”
VA’s 2018 accomplishments on behalf of Veterans, families, caregivers and survivors include the following:
- Establishment of the Center of Excellence for Veteran and Caregiver Research.
- Creation of the Veteran Family Community Engagement Directorate.
- Distribution of the specific “quick start guides” for caregivers and survivors as part of the national Welcome Kit.
The committee advises VA’s Secretary, through the Chief Veterans Experience Officer, on matters related to Veterans’ families, caregivers and survivors across all generations. A key element of the committee’s work is to engage Veteran family members, research experts and family service providers to better understand their needs and identify ways VA can provide them with a positive experience in their use of care, benefits and services.
Learn more about VA’s support to Veterans’ families, caregivers and survivors through the VA Welcome Kit, which includes a “quick start guide” for caregivers.