Overview of IPS Supported Employment
IPS supported employment helps people with severe mental illness work at regular jobs of their choosing. Although variations of supported employment exist, IPS (Individual Placement and Support) refers to the evidence-based practice of supported employment.
Characteristics of IPS Supported Employment
* It is an evidence-based practice
* IPS supported employment practitioners focus on client strengths
* Work can promote recovery and wellness
* Practitioners work in collaboration with state vocational rehabilitation
* It uses a multidisciplinary team approach
* Services are individualized and long-lasting
* The IPS approach changes the way mental health services are delivered
Practice Principles of IPS Supported Employment
1. Focus on Competitive Employment: Agencies providing IPS services are committed to competitive employment as an attainable goal for clients with serious mental illness seeking employment.
2. Eligibility Based on Client Choice: Clients are not excluded on the basis of readiness, diagnoses, symptoms, substance use history, psychiatric hospitalizations, level of disability, or legal system involvement.
3. Integration of Rehabilitation and Mental Health Services: IPS programs are closely integrated with mental health treatment teams.
4. Attention to Client Preferences: Services are based on clients’ preferences and choices, rather than providers’ judgments.
5. Personalized Benefits Counseling: Employment specialists help clients obtain personalized, understandable, and accurate information about their Social Security, Medicaid, and other government entitlements.
6. Rapid Job Search: IPS programs use a rapid job search approach to help clients obtain jobs directly, rather than providing lengthy pre-employment assessment, training, and counseling.
7. Systematic Job Development: Employment specialists build an employer network based on clients’ interests, developing relationships with local employers by making systematic contacts.
8. Time-Unlimited and Individualized Support: Follow-along supports are individualized and continued for as long as the client wants and needs the support.