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SOAR Strategic Planning

Because SOAR is built on collaborations as well as training, the first step in starting a SOAR program is to bring key community partners together to agree upon and establish a SOAR Process and create a SOAR action plan. The SAMHSA SOAR TA Center can assist you every step of the way.

Strategic Planning Meetings 

Strategic Planning Meetings bring together key state and/or local community partners to collaborate, agree upon a SOAR Process for the submission and processing of SSI/SSDI applications, and develop an action plan for implementing SOAR in their community. Each participant will play a key role in the implementation process and will need the necessary authority to make any changes required to facilitate the application process.

Who should be at the table?

This team matrix is a tool for identifying key community partners to take part in your SOAR Steering Committee.  These external partners maintain effective communication between SSA, DDS, local leads, and SOAR case workers; discuss and resolve challenges that arise; identify technical assistance needs; and explore strategies for funding and sustainability.

What are the goals of the meeting?

  • Understand how the disability application process currently works in your state and community
  • Establish goals for the local SOAR initiative (i.e. reducing chronic homelessness, increasing the number of dedicated SOAR benefits specialists, decreasing SSI/SSDI application processing times, etc.)
  • Agree on a SOAR Process for the submission and processing of applications
  • Develop an Action Plan for next steps, including measurable objectives that will help accomplish the local SOAR initiative goals

SOAR Process

  • The creation of a SOAR Process is a collaborative effort between SOAR providers, the Social Security Administration (SSA), and Disability Determination Services (DDS). 
  • The Standard SOAR Process outlines the steps for completing an SSI/SSDI application using the SOAR model and can be tailored to fit each community's needs. (Child version)

Action Plan

  • The action plan template is a tool that can be used to collaboratively develop a state and/or local SOAR plan for implementing SOAR.
  • Participants identified in the Community Partner Team Matrix will play a key role in the implementation process and will need the necessary authority to make any changes required to implement the goals identified on the action plan.
  • Tools: 
  • Decide who will be on the SOAR Leadership Team and when the next meeting will take place to follow up on action plan progress.
*These tools were developed by Policy Research Associates in partnership with the National Reentry Resource Center with a grant awarded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance.