The Texas Veterans Commission (TVC) sponsored the Public Policy Research Institute (PPRI) to conduct its legislature mandated Needs Assessment (sec 434.017 of the Texas Government Code) of Texas veterans and their families. This work was conducted to help establish the resource allocation priorities for TVC’s Funds for Veteran Assistance (FVA) grants by identifying the priority needs and barriers for the Texas veterans and their families.
PPRI’s multi-method and multi-stage needs assessment design helped achieve the project goals by using the following state-of-the art social science methods:
- A Texas Veterans Needs Assessment Survey conducted via two distinct methodologies and samples in December 2019-January 2020 and June 2020 with a total dataset of 15,664 completed responses;
- A Texas Veterans Organizational Needs Survey conducted in December 2019- January 2020;
- An asset mapping of veteran resource inventories in Texas conducted in April-June 2020; and
- A series of 17 focus groups with Texas veterans and families during October-December 2020 with a total sample of 201 focus group participants.
The substantive content and protocols for the above components were developed by PPRI in close collaboration and coordination with TVC staff. For each of the above outlined components, PPRI submitted a detailed report to the TVC at the completion of data collection and analysis. The final deliverable was a comprehensive report which triangulated data from all the above components and project phases to reach evidence-based conclusions and a set of actionable recommendations. Findings were presented to the TVC and legislative committees in February 2021.
Valuable findings from the final report:
- Although not directly lined with any of TVC’s FVA grant areas, healthcare support emerged as the single most important need area for all FVA regions, as both a priority and an unmet need.
- The highest priority needs of Texas veterans only marginally vary across each FVA region and the key barriers are very closely connected with the key needs in each region. Some needs such as clinical counseling services, veterans’ employment services, short-term financial assistance, and integrative therapies were common in all FVA regions.
- The veterans in each FVA region stated that an inadequate understanding of benefits and not knowing where to get help were two interconnected top barriers to obtaining appropriate services.
- Texas veterans need information about TVC services as well as the services of TVC community-based organizations that are grant supported by TVC and FVA.