Sent: Wednesday, November 08, 2017 10:24 PM
Subject: SSVF Special Program Update: VA and Coordinated Entry Systems (CES) Memo - November 3, 2017
Attachments: 10172017 -- VA Medical Center Participation in the Continuums of Care Coordinated Entry System.pdf; 7844648 - attachment.pdf
On October 17th, VA’s Deputy Under Secretary for Health for Operations and Management released a memo to Network Directors, Network Homeless Coordinators and VA Medical Center staff which issued guidance regarding the roles and responsibilities of the VA medical center homeless programs in each of their local Continuum of Care (CoC) and the CoC’s coordinated entry systems. As a follow up to last week’s summary, the SSVF Program Office is attaching the Memo and the Implementation Assessment Checklist that had been sent to the VAMCs. The checklist is a tool for VAMCs to indicate progress toward the implementation of the memo. SSVF grantees may review these documents and share them with other community partners.
Within the guidance, VA recognizes that coordinated entry systems are a critical element in our continued efforts to end Veteran homelessness, as it ensures coordination of community-wide services for Veterans experiencing homelessness, system-wide awareness of the availability of housing and services, and easy access to and appropriate prioritization for these resources by Veterans who are in critical need. The memo emphasizes that VA’s participation is essential to the success of this national effort and addresses in detail, the VA medical center’s required level of participation in several key components to a fully-developed CES: case conferencing, By-Name-Lists (BNL), assessment tools, and data sharing. While the guidance emphasizes participation in these elements to the fullest extent possible, it also recognizes the real challenges that VA medical centers are presented with as a result of the frequent mismatches in the geographical catchment areas between CoCs and VA medical centers, as well as instances where larger VA medical centers are tasked with coordinating services with multiple CoCs. The memo addresses these challenges when outlining the specific requirements of each key component, recognizing that while full participation may not be feasible in each area of CES for these reasons, the goal is to be as fully participatory as possible.
SSVF grantees are required to participate in coordinated entry in each community that they serve. Therefore, SSVF grantees are often aware of the established processes and partnerships. SSVF grantees may serve as a facilitator where new partnerships need to be developed and can be a resource to CoCs and VAMCs. We know from the Community Planning Survey that many communities have a coordinated entry system or are in the process of developing one to meet the January 23, 2018 deadline. Please note that a webinar will be held for VAMCs next week to learn more about the guidance and their role. It is then anticipated that each VA medical center will be reaching out to their partner CoCs about this guidance and the subsequent collaborative effort that will be required to meet the requirements. We encourage SSVF grantees to reach out to their VAMC and CoC partners to review the memo together. Grantees may reach out to their SSVF Regional Coordinator if a community that they serve needs assistance with this guidance and/or coordinated entry implementation.
SSVF Program Office
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