To return to this page after clicking a link, close the new tab/window.
(see below for links to individual Supported Employment programs)
Information about Supported Employment
Supported Employment is a well-defined approach to helping people with disabilities participate in the competitive labor market, helping them find meaningful jobs and providing ongoing support from a team of professionals. First introduced in the psychiatric rehabilitation field in the 1980s, supported employment programs are now found in a variety of service contexts, including community mental health centers (CMHCs) and psychosocial rehabilitation agencies...
...Research has identified several critical ingredients of supported employment that are predictive of improved employment outcomes. These include the following:
- Services focus on competitive employment: The agency providing supported employment is committed to competitive employment as an attainable goal for its consumers with SMI, devoting its resources for rehabilitation services to this endeavor, rather than to intermediate activities, such as day treatment or sheltered work.
- Eligibility is based on consumer choice: No one is excluded who wants to participate.
- Rapid job search: Job search begins soon after a consumer expresses interest in working. Lengthy pre-employment assessment, counseling, training, and intermediate work experiences are not required.
- Integration with mental health treatment: Employment specialists coordinate plans with the treatment team (case manager, psychiatrist, etc.).
- Attention to consumer preferences: Choices and decisions about work and support are individualized based on the consumer’s preferences, strengths, and experiences.
- Benefits counseling: Employment specialists provide individualized planning and guidance on an ongoing basis with each consumer to ensure well-informed and optimal decisions regarding Social Security and health insurance.
- Time-unlimited and individualized support: Individualized supports are provided to maintain employment, as long as consumers want the assistance.
SAMHSA - Supported Employment Evidence-Based Practices (EBP) KIT
(downloadable digital version)
Critical Strategies for Implementing Supported Employment
This resource reviews the strategies used by six states (Connecticut, Kansas, Maryland, Oregon, South Carolina, and Vermont) and the District of Columbia in implementing supported employment for people with disabilities in state systems. It addresses system integration, local service collaboration, transforming existing vocational services, agency staff development, heightening the visibility of supported employment, benefits counseling, use of outcome-based supervision, and fidelity reviews.