Employment Specialist - IPS
Job Type
  • Engages clients and establishes trusting, collaborative relationships directed toward the goal of competitive employment in community job settings with other workers who do not necessarily have disability. 
  • Assists clients in obtaining individualized information about how entitlement (e.g., SSI, Medicaid, etc.) will be affected by employment so clients can make decisions about employment opportunities. Refers clients to benefits counseling, as needed. Helps clients report earnings, as needed. 
  • Assesses clients’ vocational skills and  preferences on an ongoing basis utilizing background information and work experiences. With the client’s permission, provide information and support to family members. Discusses client’s preference for disclosure of mental  health status to employers. 
  • Helps clients learn about different jobs/careers by assisting with meetings with workers/managers to ask about positions that interest clients, meetings with academic advisors, observing workers (one day or less in duration), and job fairs to speak with employers about different types of jobs. 
  • Conducts job development and job search  activities directed toward positions that are individualized to the interest and uniqueness if the people on his/her caseload, following the principles and procedures of IPS supported employment. 
  • Conducts an average of six employer contacts per week. Employer contacts are designed to learn about the needs of the business, describe support offered by the program, and describe client strengths that are relevant to the position.
  • Provides individualized follow-along support to assist clients in maintaining employment. Writes job support plans with clients and incorporates input from family members (with client permission) and the mental health team. Adjusts plan according to clients’ needs and preferences. 
  • Provides education and support to employers as agreed upon by clients. May negotiate job accommodations and follow-along contact by the IPS specialist with the employer. 
  • Participates in weekly meetings with mental health treatment team and communicates individually with team members between meetings in order to coordinate and integrate vocational services with mental health treatment. 
  • Participate in face-to-face meetings with state Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) counselors at least once a month to coordinate services for clients. Collaborates with individual counselors between meetings to assist clients. 
  • Responsible for a minimum of 20 number of jobs starts per year or maintaining at least 80% employment on caseload. 
  • Develops an individual employment and/or education plan with clients. Incorporates input from mental health and family members, with client permission.
  • Spends 65% or more of scheduled work hours in the community, for example meets clients at their homes, workplaces, coffee shops, libraries, one-stop offices, state VR office, family homes,  helps clients follow up on job applications, and goes with clients to visit  local GED programs and colleges. 
  • Attends high school meetings with teachers, such as Individual Education Program (IEP), 504 Plan, and Transitions Plan meetings, to discuss how students learn best and ways that the IPS specialist  can support the student’s education. 
  • Undergraduate degree in Mental Health 
  • Experience providing employment services, and knowledge of the work world are preferred. 
  • Ability to work as an effective team member is essential. 
  • Experience working with people with severe mental illness, experience providing employment services.