Blueprint for Improving the Role, Collaboration, and Impact of New York State’s Division of Veterans’ Affairs
July 6, 2017
Today, every U.S. state has a Division of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) dedicated to assisting veterans with the numerous issues they may face, including New York State.
However, because the specific needs of each state’s veteran population are different, wide variations exist across DVAs in terms of budget, structure, staffing, and breadth of services offered. These variations make it difficult to evaluate the performance of New York State’s DVA without assessing it against DVAs of comparable states. To date, there has not been a study to evaluate how well the New York State DVA is performing, whether its annual budget is sufficient, and whether its budget allocations reflect the needs of its members. In 2017, NYSHealth awarded a grant to the Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) at Syracuse University to conduct a national survey of DVAs and a comprehensive analysis of state-specific veterans’ offices to better evaluate the performance of New York State’s DVA.
Under this grant, IVMF will conduct a survey of each state’s DVA to inform the performance, role, funding, and impact of the New York State DVA. It will also compile state-specific case studies to identify best practices and define essential characteristics that exemplify a high-functioning DVA office. IVMF will conduct a background information scan of state veterans’ services and programming; conduct case-study analyses of DVAs in New York and other comparable states; and administer an online survey of all national state DVA directors. Based on its findings, IVMF will prepare a final report with recommendations that establish a blueprint vision and plan for improving the functioning of New York’s DVA.