Community of Practice


Through its community-based services portfolio, the Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) recognizes both the responsibility to help communities deliver best-in-class care for veterans while establishing a means to share insights and best practices among community service providers. The IVMF has developed both the AmericaServes initiative (a national movement of coordinated community networks transforming the way veterans and their families access and navigate services), and its Community of Practice (CoP), consisting of three distinct levels: local, regional, and national, whereby the learnings from one continuously informs and improves the others. The CoP aims to diffuse and accelerate learnings nationally, drive service delivery performance, and enhance outcomes to military-connected clients. AmericaServes communities are actively engaged in improving their level of professional competencies to serve clients, as well as building greater organizational capacity to extend their reach. Comprised of over 1,000 local, regional, and national organizations spanning 20+ service sectors, the CoP is an interconnected learning network of over 2,500 practitioners who share a passion for serving military-connected families.

Additional support presents a key opportunity to set a national example and standard for inclusion in the veteran’s community. Building upon the collaborative momentum and early success of the CoP, the demand for learning opportunities to meet the needs of communities where they are has become increasingly evident. A core principle of the CoP is the notion of shared learning practices and continuous improvement. The CoP will continue to work with communities to develop and host an annual learning symposium, scheduled for spring 2020 at the National Veterans Resource Center in Syracuse, NY. The CoP will sponsor attendance at relevant conferences and engagements offered by partner organizations and continue professional development and networking opportunities for community partners and IVMF staff. This will also lend an opportunity to recruit experts in various fields of interest to share their knowledge with the communities and build greater capacity within the CoP structure. As the CoP continues to build capacity in knowledge and best practices, the need to develop a repository to store and share these learnings and create open space for discussions and new ideas will continue to grow. Also unique to IVMF’s community portfolio is the extent to which data is collected, analyzed, and translated into measurable impact. A fast-growing need is the development of a nationwide data commons to serve as a shared resource to support local, regional, and national reporting, insights, continuous learning, and data-driven decision-making.

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