DEFINITION OF SUPPORTED EMPLOYMENT
The process used to achieve supported employment helps consumers, for whom competitive work would otherwise be unlikely due to the severity of their disability, to actively choose, secure and retain competitive full or part time jobs. Intensive, interim, and long term supports phases which include both job specific and individual/community supports are the distinguishing characteristics of supported employment.
- The person has a severe disability which results in a substantial barrier to employment
- The person has a functioning level and marketable skills that are appropriate for integrated employment
- The person has a desire to become competitively employed
- The person has realistic and appropriate employment goals
- The person will require assistance in securing employment and will need job coaching once employment is obtained
- Retention support services will be required and will be provided for the duration of employment
CAREER QUEST SUPPORTED EMPLOYMENT APPROACH
- Job development is an individually tailored process
- Career Quest focuses on the skills and strengths of the individual for appropriate job matching
- We listen to the consumers’ interests and desires; they choose their path and we guide them down it
- We believe that this approach empowers consumers to think, act and make adult decisions to the best of their abilities
- The Employment Consultant and the consumer, along with any interested support persons, to map out an employment plan – geographic location, availability (hours), transportation, identify any special needs or accommodations to be considered. We strive to establish a rapport between the consumer and the Consultant, creating a team approach to the entire employment process.
- In the event that the consumer is uncertain about a job goal, the Employment Consultant may utilize job observation or shadowing so that the consumer can see firsthand what various jobs entail
- The Employment Consultant accompanies the consumer to the interview to encourage and motivate
- Once the consumer has been hired, the EC will travel train if necessary
- The EC reviews the job descriptions with the consumer, accompanies to orientation, assists in completing new-hire paperwork, and orient the consumer to the physical layout of the workplace
- The EC will explain benefits and personnel policies to the supported employee
- The EC will prepare the consumer for the first day at work – reassure and alleviate any anxieties, remind of appropriate hygiene if needed
JOB COACHING/INTENSIVE TRAINING
- The role of the EC in the job coaching phase is to:
- Provide hands on training through each phase of job duties
- Introduce consumer to supervisors and co-workers
- Encourage the consumer to interact with co-workers to promote socialization and help to establish natural supports
- Identify and correct any performance difficulties before they become an issue
- Establish a rapport with the employer so that he is aware that the EC can be called upon at any time to resolve any problems
- Encourage the consumer to realize their abilities
- Gradually fade from intensive training to prepare the consumer for working independently
- Interactive retention workshops.The workshops have encouraged participants to share problems, complaints, and issues so it has evolved into a support group
- Follow-along visits are made to every consumer’s workplace at least twice per month.
- Relationships are developed between the employer and the consultant so that the employer knows that we can be called upon at anytime. There is no need to wait for the scheduled visit.