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(686 results for Supported Employment)

Supported Employment

Supported employment is a vocational rehabilitation approach for people with serious mental illness. It promotes the belief everyone with a serious mental illness is capable of working competitively in the community. A well-defined method, supported employment helps people with disabilities work at jobs they prefer (as much as possible) with the support of professional oversight. The principles of supported employment originated in the 1980s when it was discovered sheltered workshops were too isolating for people with developmental disabilities. Since then, supported employment has expanded to serve people with mental illness.

The federal definition of supported employment is: “Competitive work in integrated work settings … consistent with the strengths, resources, priorities, concerns, abilities, capabilities, interests and informed choice of the individuals, for individuals with the most significant disabilities for whom competitive employment has not traditionally occurred; or for whom competitive employment has been interrupted or intermittent as a result of a significant disability.”

Six Principles of Supported Employment

1. Eligibility of the client is based on the client’s choice, and therefore no one is prevented from participating.
2. Supported employment is incorporated with other treatments; employment specialists arrange plans and goals as part of a treatment team.
3. The goal is to attain competitive full-time or part-time employment in the local community. The position should pay at least minimum wage and be open to anyone.
4. The job search begins almost immediately after the client conveys an interest in employment; no prerequisites are required prior to this process.
5. Follow-up support systems are incorporated on a steady basis, with individualized provisions continuing until the client no longer wants assistance.
6. The preferences of the client are essential, with options and choices regarding work based on his or her requirements and skills.

Efficacy of Supported Employment

Limited outcome studies have been conducted in the U.S. and Europe on the efficacy of supported employment. A combined review of 13 studies found 40% to 60% of clients enrolled in supported employment programs obtained competitive jobs, while less than 20% obtained employment through traditional means. Another study found verbal learning was positively associated with better employment outcomes and emphasized the importance of incorporating verbal learning training in supported employment programs.

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More on Supported Employment

Supported employment is a vocational rehabilitation approach for people with serious mental illness. It promotes the belief everyone with a serious mental illness is capable of working competitively in the community. A well-defined method, supported employment helps people with disabilities work at jobs they prefer (as much as possible) with the support of professional oversight. The principles of supported employment originated in the 1980s when it was discovered sheltered workshops were too isolating for people with developmental disabilities. Since then, supported employment has expanded to serve people with mental illness.

The federal definition of supported employment is: “Competitive work in integrated work settings … consistent with the strengths, resources, priorities, concerns, abilities, capabilities, interests and informed choice of the individuals, for individuals with the most significant disabilities for whom competitive employment has not traditionally occurred; or for whom competitive employment has been interrupted or intermittent as a result of a significant disability.”

Six Principles of Supported Employment

1. Eligibility of the client is based on the client’s choice, and therefore no one is prevented from participating.
2. Supported employment is incorporated with other treatments; employment specialists arrange plans and goals as part of a treatment team.
3. The goal is to attain competitive full-time or part-time employment in the local community. The position should pay at least minimum wage and be open to anyone.
4. The job search begins almost immediately after the client conveys an interest in employment; no prerequisites are required prior to this process.
5. Follow-up support systems are incorporated on a steady basis, with individualized provisions continuing until the client no longer wants assistance.
6. The preferences of the client are essential, with options and choices regarding work based on his or her requirements and skills.

Efficacy of Supported Employment

Limited outcome studies have been conducted in the U.S. and Europe on the efficacy of supported employment. A combined review of 13 studies found 40% to 60% of clients enrolled in supported employment programs obtained competitive jobs, while less than 20% obtained employment through traditional means. Another study found verbal learning was positively associated with better employment outcomes and emphasized the importance of incorporating verbal learning training in supported employment programs.

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