The USC Center for Innovation and Research on Veterans & Military Families (CIR) draws on the expertise of USC School of Social Work faculty and other government, industry and community partners to produce actionable research and recommendations that inform the social, economic, education and policy issues impacting veterans and their families. If you are interested in writing a policy brief, review our submission guidelines and contact Claudia Bustamante at

CIR Policy Brief Submission Guidelines

More Than a House: Ending Veteran Homelessness by Addressing Failed Transition Policies

201412_PB coverDecember 2014

Nathan Graeser, MDiv, MSW

Gisele Corletto, MSW

In this policy brief, the authors discuss tackling the veteran homelessness problem holistically. More than providing housing, veteran policies must address the underlying causes of homelessness, which in many cases is a lack of preparation and awareness of the full spectrum of challenges associated with transitioning from military to civilian life.

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A National Veterans Covenant: Community as the Catalyst and Resource

veterans covenant-cover NEWApril 2013

This position paper provides an overview of how to develop an immediate initiative that can better meet the nation’s sacred duty to those who have served the country at times of peace and war.

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USC CIR’s Call to Action: Answering the President’s Call to Improve the Lives of Veterans, Service Members, and Their Families

201211_FN coverNovember 2012

In this field note, USC CIR reports on the steps that the USC School of Social Work is taking to address the urgent need for competent behavioral healthcare for veterans and military families.

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The Transgender Veteran Experience: Policy Impacts on Treatment

201210_PB coverOctober 2012

Nikola Alenkin, Ph.D, LCSW

In this policy brief, the author discusses VA policy regarding transgender veterans, and the impact that this policy has on healthcare for this population.

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Healthcare for Veterans in the Era of Patient Protection and the Affordable Care Act of 2010

201209_PB coverSeptember 2012

Hyunsung Oh, MSW

Joseph Chicas, MSW

Jeffery N. Wilkins, MD

Kathleen Ell, DSW

In this policy brief, the authors discuss how the Affordable Care Act (ACA) of 2010 will affect veteran healthcare access, particularly regarding OEF/OIF veterans.

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From War to the Workplace: Helping Veterans Transition to Civilian Work Settings

201206_PB coverJune 2012

Joseph Chicas, MSW

Paul Maiden, PhD

Hyunsung Oh, MSW

Sherrie Wilcox, PhD

David Young, PhD

In this policy brief, the authors discuss how unemployment poses a significant barrier to reintegration and describe the challenge that many veterans face in translating their military skill set to the civilian workforce. They also propose recommendations to address veteran unemployment and close the gap in understanding regarding military job skills among civilian employers.

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Navigating the Department of Veterans Affairs with Invisible Wounds: How to Overcome the Stigma of Delay, Deny, & Hope You Die

201204_PB coverApril 2012

Susan Thompson, JD

In this policy brief, the author describes the difficulties that veterans with invisible wounds face in obtaining treatment or benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs, and proposes recommendations for improving VA service to veterans and their families.

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Increasing Understanding of Infants and Young Children in Military Families Through Focused Research

201203_PB coverMarch 2012

Kathleen Mulrooney, MA, LPC

Dorinda Silver Williams, MSW, LCSW-C

In this policy brief, the authors examine the impact of deployments on infants and young children in military families and offer recommendations for future research.

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Fighting a War Created at Home: How Stereotypes and Stigma Hinder America’s Veterans

201110_PB coverOctober 2011

Derek Blumke

In this field note, the author examines the origins of veteran stereotypes and stigma and offers an approach to counter the inaccurate perception of veterans that many Americans share.

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The Military Child Within the Public School Education System

201109_PB coverSeptember 2011

Hazel R. Atuel, PhD

Monica Christina Esqueda, MEd

Linda Jacobson

In this policy brief, the authors explore the particular needs of military children as well as the issues they face in the public school system. Finally, they propose some practical approaches to help alleviate the stress and challenges that these children encounter in the school environment.

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Overcoming Barriers to Employment for Veterans: Current Trends and Practical Approaches

201108_PB coverAugust 2011

Rick Little

Nikola Alenkin, PhD, LCSW

In this policy brief, the authors discuss the barriers and prejudice that veterans face when seeking employment in the civilian workforce, and explore a practical approach to solving these problems.

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Addendum – Together We Stand, Divided We Fall: Connectedness, Suicide, and Social Media in the Military

201106_PB addendum coverJune 2011

Anthony Fulginiti, MSW, LCSW

Eric Rice, PhD

This addendum to our most recent CIR Policy Brief, entitled “Together We Stand, Divided We Fall: Connectedness, Suicide, and Social Media in the Military,” includes feedback from several branches of the military regarding the link that is often made between deployment or combat exposure and suicide.

We are very grateful to the service representatives who contacted us and were willing to take the time and energy to clarify this issue. As always, we welcome and encourage feedback on our policy briefs–it is our intention to provoke dialogue on these issues in order to enhance our understanding of them and highlight needed changes.

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Together We Stand, Divided We Fall: Connectedness, Suicide, and Social Media in the Military

201106_PB coverJune 2011

Anthony Fulginiti, MSW, LCSW

Eric Rice, PhD

In this policy brief, the authors discuss the potential use of social media to encourage community and familial connectivity in order to prevent suicide among servicemembers and veterans.

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Safety on the Homefront: Adequately Addressing Violence in Families Impacted by Military Service

201105_PB coverMay 2011

Glenna Tinney, MSW, DCSW (CAPT, MSC, USN, Ret.)

Kathleen M. West, PhD

In this policy brief, the authors discuss the U.S. justice system’s need to consider the effects of combat service, traumatic brain injury (TBI), reintegration difficulties, and post traumatic stress symptoms in cases of family violence involving servicemembers, veterans, or military families.

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Ensuring Behavioral Healthcare Capacity and Quality for Servicemembers, Veterans and Military

201103_PB coverMarch 2011

Jan A. Nissly, PhD

Kelly L. Turner, PhD

In this policy brief, the authors discuss the development of a high-capacity behavioral health workforce to care for our nation’s servicemembers, veterans, and military families. Topics include the impact of war on behavioral health, the strain on traditional service systems, and current responses to increasing capacity. Recommendations for ways to maximize progress in behavioral healthcare capacity and quality are also offered.

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The Courts and Military Families: Urgent Action Needed


201102_PB coverFebruary 2011

Kathleen M. West, PhD

In this policy brief, the author discusses the ways in which Family and Drug Courts have been impacted by the recent influx of children from families with members in military service.

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