Greatra Mayana

Career & Employment Opportunities

Individual Placement & Support Program – Supported Employment That Works


My name is Rachel Murphy and I’m a Community
Employment Specialist here at Boone County Family Resources. Our employment program is called Individual
Placement and Support, or IPS for short. IPS is an evidence based program for people
with mental illness, but Vocational Rehabilitation has partnered with us to do it for people
with developmental disabilities. We’re the first ones in Missouri to do a program
for people with disabilities. One of the things I explain to a person who
expresses an interest in working in the community, is the five different providers that we work
with for employment services. One of the providers is Boone County Family
Resources, which has the Individual Placement and Supports program. If a client makes an informed choice to work
with IPS, I make the referral to the Boone County Family Resources. Something that makes IPS different is that
we do zero exclusion. Anyone who says that they want to work can
work. We don’t do any assessments to determine eligibility
to be in IPS. Brad came to IPS because of our zero exclusion
principle. He knew he wanted to work in food service
and our IPS community employment specialist helped him through three different interviews. Brad was hired at Cheddar’s in October of
2016. Rachel did not tell me I could not do food
prep because I have credentials. Rachel helped me find my dream job. Community Employment Specialists get started
right away. We do rapid job search. We start looking immediately. We also help with resumes, cover letters,
applications, and interviews. So Sara came to IPS knowing that she wanted
to work in a deli. So I started networking at different deli
places. Like Hy-Vee, McAlister’s, and Firehouse Subs. It took less than six months for Sara to find
a job. She now works at Hy-Vee in the deli section
making sandwiches and cutting deli meats. I didn’t have as much luck as I did when I
worked with Rachel. I had a lot of success with her. I got a good job and I’m very happy there
and I intend to keep the job for as long as I can. She helped me with resumes and filling out
applications and learning how to approach employers to try to find jobs. Community Employment Specialists also job
develop. We try to build relationships with the employers
that our clients want to work for. We try to get to know the atmosphere, the
supervisors, and we ask what kind of supports they can provide, because our employers are
our customers as well. On Sara’s first day of work, she kind of felt
uncomfortable using knives and her deli manager picked up on this uncomfortableness. So on the second day of work, the HR manager,
her deli manager, Sara and myself all met together and talked about ways that Sara could
become more comfortable using knives. Sara said that she would learn to use the
knives and has been successful ever since. We’ve talked about it. They said that I need, you know, that if I
wanted to keep that job, I need to be able to use the knives. You just practice with it and be careful with
it and I got over my fear. After being on the job for 90 days, Voc Rehab
closes your case. But that doesn’t mean that IPS services stops. We can help with evaluations, we can help
talk with a supervisor, and also see if you want to move up. Our supports are time unlimited. On individuals looking for employment with
the community employment specialist, they might discover that they need assistance with
things like transportation, communication, hygiene, or even scheduling and time management. And after they locate a job, I help them with
things like accessing their employee portals, reporting their wages, making sure that they
are solving problems at work. Isaac came to IPS wanting a job where he’d
be on his feet. So we assessed what jobs would fit that criteria. But the biggest thing with Isaac is that he
had to learn how to get to work, because he doesn’t drive. We connected him to our Community Skills
Specialist. Sarah taught me how to ride my bike from home
to Lucky’s. And she taught me some of the safety rules
too, you know. How to hand signals too. And she told me what to wear, you know, not
to wear my uniform when I ride my bike. So every individual in IPS has a team. This is the Vocational Rehabilitation counselor,
your support coordinator, and anyone that you feel comfortable enough to have on your
team. Brad had a team: his VR counselor, myself,
his support coordinator, and his dad. We met multiple times to make sure that Brad
was comfortable on the job and any supports that he needed we brainstormed how we could
be the best supports for him. One of the things that we emphasize with the
IPS program is working as a team. So we collaborate with the team members from
not only Boone County Family Resources, IPS, or with their support coordinators. We may include their legal guardians if they
have one. And we include anyone the client is interested
in having. Voc Rehab and the IPS team with the client
have a monthly meeting for progress updates. Yes, I would recommend somebody to work with
your services at Boone County Family Resources. I like how you do things. I’ve tried other agencies. It didn’t work out. I would recommend IP for other people, because
when I first got out of high school it was hard, you know, trying to find a job. And I’ll admit, I was very fortunate enough to get
a job in less than six months, but I think if they were going to work hard, they should
be given a chance. If you want a job, go for it. IPS works. IPS works. IPS works. IPS works. IPS works.

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