Karol Meza-Englebrecht, California State University, Long Beach May, 2012 Exposure to war and combat has been linked to an increased prevalence of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among both male and female servicemembers (Feczer & Bound, 2009). The literature on female combat-related PTSD suggests that certain deployment stressors ( Military Sexual Trauma, Traumatic Brain Injury) may place women at higher risk for PTSD (Foster, 2009; Suris & Lind, 2008; Zinzow, Grubaugh, Monnier, Suffoleta-Maierle & Frueh, 2007). PTSD is associated with a variety of issues such as substance use, suicide and impairment in family functioning (Bryan & Corso 2011; Foster, 2009; Guerra & Calhoun 2010). The purpose of this project was to develop a program, identify possible funding sources and write a grant proposal to fund a program that will provide psychosocial and family services to veteran mothers suffering from Posttraumatic Stress Disorder at Veterans Village of San Diego (VVSD), Oceanside. The program was designed to help veteran mothers to improve mental health functioning by helping them cope with their symptoms and ease their transition from military to civilian life. Women veterans suffering from PTSD are a vulnerable population. They are at high risk for stigma, gender discrimination, oppression, and social injustice. Instilled in social work profession are values of service, advocacy and empowerment of disenfranchised groups. If funded, this program will support these three values by providing high-quality and gender/family-oriented services to women veterans. This program may close some of the gaps between needs and social services available for women veterans and their families at VVSD in Oceanside. Current research studies indicate that returning service members from ethnic minority groups are less likely to receive quality treatment than their Caucasian counterparts (Grubaugh, Elhai, Ruggiero, Egede, Naifeh, & Frueh 2009). The literature also indicate that despite the fact that VA services have improved in order to meet women veterans’ needs, female servicemembers continue to encounter and perceive obstacles to accessing health care (Washington, Yano, Simon & Sun, 2006). Given that women are a minority in the military service, not the least of which come from ethnic minority groups, this program will provide culturally sensitive services to women from all races/ethnicities and cultural backgrounds. Target Population Mother veterans from Operation Enduring Freedom/ Operation Iraqi Freedom conflicts with a PTSD diagnosis receiving services the Veterans Village of San Diego (Oceanside location). Strategies to select Funding Source Funding was sought at the local, state, and federal levels using foundation databases and Internet search engines. Selected Funding Source Health Net, Inc. Corporate Giving Program. Sources for Grant Need Assessment Literature review, Oceanside VA clinic, VVSD, California Research Bureau, U.S. Census Bureau, VA’s National Center for PTSD. Projected Budget $ 137,110.00 Program Summary The proposed program is aimed at improving the mental health functioning of women veterans and at helping them transition from military to civilian life. The program incorporates individual counseling for veterans, conjoint family therapy, a PTSD psychoeducational group for children and partners, and case management services. Program Objectives 1. To decrease female veterans’ PTSD symptoms and improve their overall functioning. 2. To provide PTSD psychoeducational classes to veterans’ families. 3. To improve Female veterans’ relationships with their children Program Evaluation This program will utilize following standardized measurement tools: the PCL-M, GAF, and PSS. In addition, a PTSD knowledge-based questionnaire and a qualitative interview will be designed and administered. Program Design Grant seekers and writers must put forth effort in ensuring that the components of the program are in line with both the needs of host agency and the desires of the funding source. It is important to find balance between these two elements given that this can be the difference between a program being funded or not Budgeting Knowledge of expenses associated with running a program is fundamental. Without this understanding grant writers will not be able to comprehend how much funds are needed to achieve the goals and objectives set for a program. Grant Writing To write a grant is not an easy task. It requires the writer to engage in activities such as planning on how to conduct research and obtain information from organizations and experts working with the population of interest, researching about the issues impacting the target population, collaborating with the host agency, and funding source and organizing the grant itself. Two of the greatest challenges this writer faced were finding existing programs for female veterans to use as a framework for the development of this project and difficulties in defining reachable and measurable objectives that reflect the program’s goals and the needs of the host agency. The writing of this grant, nevertheless, allowed the writer to acquire knowledge in development of goals and objectives, program evaluation budgeting and location of funding sources. Bryan, C. J., & Corso, K. A. (2011). Depression, PTSD, and suicidal ideation among active duty veterans in an integrated primary care clinic. Psychological Services, 8(2), 94-103. doi:10.1037/a0023451. Grubaugh, A. L., Elhai, J. D., Ruggiero, K. J., Egede, L. E., Naifeh, J. A., & Frueh, B. (2009). Equity in Veterans Affairs Disability Claims Adjudication in a National Sample of Veterans. Military Medicine, 174(12), 1241-1246. Guerra, V. S., & Calhoun, P. S. (2010). Examining the relation between posttraumatic stress disorder and suicidal ideation in an oef/oif veteran sample. Journal Of Anxiety Disorders, doi:10.1016/j.janxdis.2010.06.025 Feczer, D., & Bjorklund, P. (2009). Forever Changed: Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in Female Military Veterans, A Case Report. Perspectives in Psychiatric Care, 45(4), 278-291. Foster L K, Vince S. California’s Women Veterans: The Challenges and Needs of Those Who Served (2009). California: California Research Bureau, California State Library. Suris, A., Lind, L. (2008). Military Sexual Trauma. Trauma, Violence and Abuse, 9 (4) 250-269. Washington, D. L., Yano, E. M., Simon, B., & Su, S. (2006). To Use or Not to Use. JGIM: Journal Of General Internal Medicine, 21S11-S18. doi:10.1111/j.1525-1497.2006.00369.x Zinzow, H. M., Grubaugh, A. L., Monnier, J., Suffoletta-Maierle, S., & Frueh, B. (2007). Trauma among Female Veterans: A Critical Review. Trauma, Violence & Abuse, 8(4), 384-400.