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USC military social work center receives grant

Bustamante Claudiaby Claudia Bustamante
A woman in the U.S. Navy registers for information at an education fair in California. (Photo/Dominique Pineiro)
A woman in the U.S. Navy registers for information at an education fair in California. (Photo/Dominique Pineiro)

The Center for Innovation and Research on Veterans & Military Families (CIR) at the USC School of Social Work has received a grant from Prudential to build on its community engagement efforts to strengthen veterans’ reintegration into the civilian community.

The $300,000 award will allow CIR to continue its mission to train behavioral health practitioners on the best practices that will help returning veterans develop meaningful careers — the biggest challenge to a successful transition home.

“Prudential’s generous gift recognizes the value of our work in both preparing USC student veterans for careers in military social work and outreach to employers about the benefits of hiring veterans,” said Anthony Hassan, CIR director and clinical associate professor. “We are proud of our partnership and together will guide community behavioral health practitioners, build responsive community networks and identify solutions for veterans’ successful employment transitions.”

Prudential has a history of helping military veterans transition to civilian life. Through its Veterans Initiatives, the company is committed to creating sustainable programs for veterans, as well as advocating and collaborating with corporate peers, military and veteran service organizations and government agencies.

Earlier this year, Prudential helped sponsor a daylong conference at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, that brought together more than 300 behavioral health practitioners to share best practices in meeting the needs of veterans in the workplace. The conference’s keynote address was given by Hassan, who emphasized that practitioners and employers should understand core military cultural concepts in order to be most effective.

“Prudential’s contribution to the Center for Innovation and Research on Veterans & Military Families is a reflection of the company’s broad commitment to help veterans return to civilian life,” said Steve Robinson, vice president of Prudential Veterans Initiatives.

This is the second gift from Prudential that CIR has received. In 2011, the company gave $900,000.

CIR promotes the health and well-being of service members, veterans and military families through research, education and outreach that encourages successful transitions to civilian life. Among the company’s priorities are rapidly increasing the number of behavioral health providers trained to treat the challenges veterans and their families face, as well as mental health research that can be translated into clinical practice.

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