"This work is important, because whether it's a secular group advising families facing foreclosure or faith-based groups providing job training to those who need work, few are closer to what's happening on our streets and in our neighborhoods than these organizations. People trust them. Communities rely on them. And we will help them."
-- President Barack Obama, National Prayer Breakfast, February 2009
Welcome to the Center for Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Our mission is to develop partnerships with, provide relevant information to, and expand participation of faith-based, nonprofit, and community/neighborhood organizations in VA programs in order to better serve the needs of Veterans, their families, Survivors, caregivers, and other beneficiaries.
Center for Faith-based and Neighorbood Partnerhships
In 2009, President Obama appointed a diverse Advisory Council for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships and asked them to make recommendations for strengthening the social service partnerships the Government forms with nongovernmental providers, including strenthening the consitutional and legal footing of these partnerships. While Council members differed on some important issues in this area, they were able to come to agreement on a number of significant recommendations.
In in response to the Advisory Council's recommendations, on November 17,2010, President Obama issued Executive Order (E.O.) 13559, Fundamental Principles and Policymaking Criteria for Partnerships with Faith-based and Other Neighborhood Organizations, which amended E.O. 13279 (December 2002), Equal Protection of the Laws for Faith-based and Community Organizations. E.O. 13559 outlines principles and policymaking criteria to guide Federal agencies in developing policies to ensure equal protection of the laws for faith-based an other community organizations.
The Department of Veterans Affairs is now proposing to amened regulations first promulgated in 2003 implementing E.O. 3279 at 38 CFR Part 61 ("Equal Protection of Laws for Faith-based and Community Organizations") to conform with E.O. 13559. The proposed rule is available at www.regulations.gov. Other changes required by E.O. 13559 do not require new regulations and will be made through changes in VA guidance documents, practices and communications strategies.
Center for Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
810 Vermont Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20420