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j. 2. Identify the need to establish, develop, or improve community rehabilitation programs within the State; and

Current Narrative:

The 2019/2020 CSNA summarizes results in section 6 of the document “Need to Establish, Develop or Improve Community Rehabilitation Programs in Idaho”, the most common themes that emerged in this area were:

The following themes were recurring from the individuals interviewed for this assessment around the need to establish, develop or improve community rehabilitation programs serving individuals with disabilities in Idaho:

  1. Overall, IDVR has strong partnerships and access to CRPs in the more populous areas of the state, however provider coverage and range of available services becomes more irregular in the rural and remote areas of Idaho.
  2. There were concerns about the quality and quantity of employment outcomes for IDVR consumers that receive CRP services.
  3. CRP employment services were generally described as in need of improvement. There are varying perspectives on why employment services provided by CRPs are not as successful as they can be.
  4. Pre-employment transition services have created additional opportunities for CRPs. This is seen as a great opportunity for all involved, but the level of quality varies. Some view contracted services versus fee for service as a practice which promotes differing outcomes.
  5. Depending on the lens of those interviewed, there are a variety of CRP services needing attention or improvement. These include, but are not limited to:
    • Improvement in CRP evaluations to include a wider variety of community-based evaluation sites.
    • Concerns of conflict of interest when CRPs are recommending continued services in their program with no measurement for when success or skill levels will be achieved.
    • Partners of IDVR are not generally pleased with the outcomes or services provided through CRPs.
    • There is a need for improved consistency across IDVR regions related to policy, forms and expectations of CRPs.
    • Participants indicated that CRPs are not clear on their role under WIOA. The learning curve has been challenging for all parties and training/communication to CRPs could improve.
    • Implementing fading options for IDVR participants was a positive change in services but understanding of the concept and expectations has been challenging.  Additional guidance has been requested by CRPs.
    • Both CRPs and IDVR need training in employment opportunities in today’s labor market. Use of LMI and strategies for finding non-traditional types of employment are not possible without additional training and support.
  6. Largely, CRPs seem to be confused on the difference between IDVR and Extended Employment Services (EES), a separate state funded program under the Division. This appears to be an area of confusion that needs to be addressed.
    • CRPs are faced with high turnover and this instability of staff affects the quality of services.
    • The perception is that low pay of many CRP staff is the major cause of turnover.
    • The quality of job coaches is highly questionable. Many have little more in the way of credentials than a high school diploma.
    • There is a need for more effective and standardized quality assurance monitoring and evaluation of CRPs.
    • CRPs have a questionable capacity to serve individuals with language barriers.
    • There is a need for increased communication between VR and CRPs to gain clarity on expectations and coordination of services.
    • CRPs should devote more time in training individuals with disabilities on life skills such as hygiene, budgeting, etc.

There are two primary areas where needs are present to establish, develop, or improve CRPs within the state of Idaho:

  1. Meeting the need of emerging/novel requirements of WIOA and expanding the statewide capacity of CRPs to deliver these services with fidelity (e.g., Customized Employment, Pre-ETS and similar services to youth, Youth Extended Services).
  2. Monitoring and improving Community Rehabilitation Program performance through a collaborative iterative learning process.

The continuous improvement of CRPs is an ongoing function of IDVR: The establishment, development and improvement of CRPs within the state fall under the purview of IDVR’s Planning and Evaluation team. One of P&E’s responsibilities within the agency is a comprehensive CRP monitoring process. This process seeks to provide an initial threshold of quality for new CRPs who wish to serve IDVR consumers, provides a maintenance function in retaining a base level quality standard, and a remediation process for CRPs who fall short of standards via a three-year site review process.