Join us for part one of the three-part series, Veterans Advocacy in Pennsylvania.
"We have learned that trauma is not just an event that took place sometime in the past; it is also the imprint left by the experience on mind, brain, and body."
Bessel van der Kolk, MD, The Body Keeps The Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma
What are our obligations as advocates when working with individuals who have experienced trauma?
How can we ensure that we zealously advocate for survivors, obtaining all the necessary information, prevent re-traumatization, and protect ourselves from vicarious trauma and burnout?
A trauma-informed approach to services acknowledges the prevalence and impact of trauma and attempts to create a sense of safety for all participants, whether or not they have a trauma-related diagnosis. Through trauma-informed, client-centered advocacy we have the ability to help an individual feel safe and empowered to make their own choice, collaboratively with an advocate they trust. Furthermore, in understanding the impacts of trauma, advocates can be aware of its impact on our own lives so that we can mitigate the effects of vicarious trauma and burnout.
The first part of this program focuses on recommendations drawn from a review of core components of evidence-based therapeutic intervention models. Advocates show you how to apply these recommendations to your practice and provide effective strategies for engaging with clients sensitively to avoid re-traumatizing the individual through actions and words.
The second part of this conversation will include a panel on Veterans Treatments Courts and their impact on Pennsylvania Veterans. The focus will be on the history of Veterans Treatment Courts, how they are run in Pennsylvania, and their impact.
Become an Accredited VA Representative before the next session to have the course count toward your VA CLE requirement.
If you are interested in providing advice and/or representation to veterans in VA benefits matters, you MUST be accredited through the US Department of Veterans Affairs Office of General Counsel. In order to become accredited, you must fill out VA Form 21A (found here). Once you fill out the form and submit it to the Office of General Counsel (more information can be found here), you will receive notice of your accreditation. Within the first twelve months of your accreditation, you are required to take a three-hour CLE on veterans law. The second CLE in this series will count toward that CLE requirement. You must have already obtained your attorney ID number prior to taking the initial required CLE course. If you have any questions, please contact us.
Co-sponsored with the PBA Military & Veterans' Affairs Committee.
We extend our gratitude to the Series' planning team:
- Lisa Grayson, Esq., Co-Chair, PBA Military & Veterans Affairs Committee
- Stephan K. Todd, Esq., Co-Chair, PBA Military & Veterans Affairs Committee
- Brendan Auman, Homeless Program Manager, Government Action Committee on Veterans, PA Dept. of Community & Economic Development
- Samantha Cossman, Regional Program Outreach Coordinator, PA Dept of Military and Veterans Affairs, PA VETConnect
- Richard Prebil, Esq., Staff Attorney, Legal Aid, Veterans Advocacy Project
- Thomas J. Reed, Professor Emeritus & Staff Attorney, Veterans Law Clinic, Widener University Delaware Law School
- Craig Swineford, Veterans Services Specialist, Pa Dept Of Military and Veterans Affairs, Region 3
- David Trevaskis, PBA Pro-Bono Coordinator
- Michele Vollmer, Professor, Penn State Law
All attendees will receive the course book as a digital download. A printed copy of the course book is available, at a discount to attendees, for $40. Additional copies are available at full price. If you wish to purchase the printed version of the course book, please call PBI Customer Service at 800-932-4637. Please allow up to two weeks after the program for the printed versions of the course book to be shipped.
Recorded in April 2022.