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  • Program-Specific Requirements for Vocational Rehabilitation (Combined or General)

    The Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) Services Portion of the Unified or Combined State Plan [13] must include the following descriptions and estimates, as required by section 101(a) of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended by title IV of WIOA:


    [13] Sec. 102(b)(2)(D)(iii) of WIOA

    • i. Comprehensive System of Personnel Development; Data System on Personnel and Personnel Development

      Describe the designated State agency's procedures and activities to establish and maintain a comprehensive system of personnel development designed to ensure an adequate supply of qualified State rehabilitation professional and paraprofessional personnel for the designated State unit, including the following:

      • 4. Staff Development

        Describe the State agency's policies, procedures, and activities to ensure that, consistent with section101(a)(7)(C) of the Rehabilitation Act, all personnel employed by the designated State unit receive appropriate and adequate training in terms of:

i. 4. B. Procedures for the acquisition and dissemination of significant knowledge from research and other sources to designated State unit professionals and paraprofessionals.

Current Narrative:

An annual training needs assessment is conducted to determine personnel training needs. Individual employee skill sets, position descriptions, and position duties are also assessed to identify areas that require further development. In addition, organizational needs are analyzed to identify areas in need of succession planning, to expand those employee skills essential to provide effective services to special populations, and to meet job demands. Information gathered from employee performance evaluations; supervisory feedback, employee exit interviews, and internal monitoring results also assist the Division with identifying areas of need.

In 2020, IDVR revised its policies and procedures that impact service provision to IDVR customers. All field staff received eight hours of training on the updated Field Services Manual in January 2021 prior to statewide implementation in February 2021.  In addition, all Counselors received four hours of training specific to federal eligibility and comprehensive assessment requirements in March 2021.   Staff continue to receive Field Services Manual updates state-wide on a periodic basis, however the frequency and intensity of updates is expected to lessen following a major overhaul of the FSM structure and presentation. 

IDVR held new field staff Motivational Interviewing (MI) training in 2021.  Two separate four-day sessions were held with Session 1 occurring June 1-2 and repeating June 29-30.   Session 2 for new employees was held on August 6-7 and again on September 4-5. Providing Motivational Interviewing training for staff continues to be an evidence-based agency strategy.

In September 2021 IDVR held its annual statewide in-service.  Topics for our general session included an overview of WIOA’s Other Measures That Matter and review of IDVR and national state-federal VR performance indicators.    Breakout session topics included Informed Choice Counseling, Case File Documentations, Behavioral Ethics, Trauma-Informed Communication, and an ADA Overview. 

Throughout the year, training requests are approved for individual and group training in areas of interest or need. A variety of platforms are utilized for dissemination.  In 2021, most Division group trainings were held virtually, as are most external training opportunities. The Division continues to provide individualized training in-person whenever feasible. Topics/conferences included but were not limited to: Ethics, the Idaho Conference on Alcohol and Drug Dependency, Tools for Life, counseling theories and techniques, assistive technology, Programmatic and Physical Accessibility, disability-specific trainings, and various annual conferences for rehabilitation professionals (e.g., NRA, NCRE, CSAVR, or the Summit Group).  The Division continues to be a strong advocate for continuing education participation when relevant training is identified, particularly where training can impact the service delivery of public vocational rehabilitation services.

Through an RSA grant administered by The Center for Innovative Training (CIT-VR) at The George Washington University, the Division continues to require all field staff to complete the VR 101 course.  This 15-hour course provides an overview of state-federal VR programs to help staff understand the history, scope, and purpose of the state-federal vocational rehabilitation program. This training is available until Spring 2022.  The Division continues to work with CIT-VR to develop and disseminate timely and appropriate trainings relevant to public vocational rehabilitation counseling.

Internally, optional trainings are provided once a month on current procedures and processes.  Common topics include but are not limited to fiscal issues, instruction on Pre-ETS, and the navigation and functions of the AWARE case management system. 

Succession planning and leadership development continue to be a focus for the Division. All Central Office and Field Services Managers complete a Supervisory Academy offered by the Idaho Division of Human Resources. The academy includes 10 modules on Performance Management: Development, Coaching and Feedback, Expectations, Motivation, Documentation, Calibrating Ratings, Evaluation, I-Perform (performance evaluation software program), and Progressive Discipline. When financially able the Division supports staff in the Emerging Leaders series. The Division utilizes permanent Assistant Regional Manager positions throughout the state to support succession planning and leadership development.

New VR staff participate in a new employee orientation which is provided online, by Central Office staff, the immediate supervisor, and other designated employees. New VRAs also participate in an online series designed for paraprofessional staff. The course covers the History of VR, Basic Ethical Considerations, Navigating Sticky Situations, Developing Collaborative Relationships, and Cultural Diversity.