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Calaveras County Grand Jury Calls For Improvements In Veterans Services Office

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Calaveras, CA– Calaveras County Veterans Services Office (CCVSO) has been reviewed by the Calaveras County Grand Jury (CCGJ) for improvement opportunities. The Grand Jury has identified areas that could enhance and expand its offerings. With a small staff serving over 4,000 veterans in the county, any turnover in office staff impacts the quality and quantity of services provided. To address this, the Grand Jury suggests implementing succession planning and increasing support staff to ensure consistent operations during staff turnover or absences.

Currently housed in rented office space in Valley Springs, CCVSO offers walk-in services for veterans, with appointments available electronically or via telephone. Funding for county Veteran Services Offices in California comes from county budgets, supplemented by state appropriations. In the fiscal year 2022-2023, CCVSO had a budget of $235,301 and 3.5 full Time Equivalent employees. CCVSO staff assists veterans, spouses, and family members in accessing entitled benefits, providing support through the complex U.S. Veterans Administration claims filing process.

The Grand Jury emphasizes the need for succession planning, as the sudden loss of experienced staff members disrupts the department’s operations. While attempts have been made to create a Policies and Procedures Manual for CCVSO, staff turnover has hindered its completion. The Grand Jury recommends that CCVSO staff finalize and implement this manual, including a personnel succession plan, by December 31, 2023.

Additionally, due to part-time administrative support, employees are burdened with clerical duties. To alleviate this, the Grand Jury recommends that the Calaveras County Board of Supervisors and the County Executive Officer provide funding for an additional administrative position by December 31, 2023.

Responses to the Grand Jury’s recommendations are requested within 60 days from elected county officials and within 90 days from governing bodies. The Grand Jury’s findings and recommendations are aimed at improving the services provided by CCVSO and ensuring efficient operations to benefit veterans in Calaveras County. A website about the grand jury can be foundĀ here and additionally, the full report can be found here.