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i. 1. A. i. The number of personnel who are employed by the State agency in the provision of VR services in relation to the number of individuals served, broken down by personnel category;

Current Narrative:

Comprehensive System of Personnel Development

Data System on Personnel and Personnel Development

Assurance of an adequate supply of qualified rehabilitation professionals and paraprofessional personnel is the major driver for the Florida Division of Vocational Rehabilitation’s (VR) Human Resource Development Section. Data from numerous sources is used to determine current and projected needs, as well as VR’s progress toward meeting them. The table below includes VR personnel and turnover data for SFY 2018-2019 and projected staffing requirements for SFY 2019-2023. It should be noted that positions are vacated for many reasons, including termination, promotion, lateral position transfers, resignation or retirement. VR continues to employ strategies to address turnover as well as develop and prepare staff for advancement opportunities.

Figure 9.01
VR Personnel and Projected Staffing Needs

Personnel Category* Number of Personnel,as of 10/1/19 Turnover Rate for SFY 2018-19 **Projected Staffing Needs for SFY 2020-23
Counselor Staff 392 45% 175
Staff Supporting Counselor Activities 339 25% 90
Administrative Staff 155 7% 10
Total Full-time Equivalents 884    
Contracted Counselor Staff 77    
Total Contracted Field Staff 134    

*Categories are based on RSA-2 Report definitions and positions included in each category.

**This number is an annual average derived by multiplying the number of positions for the job category by the percentage of vacated positions.

Staffing needs for Transition Youth Program counselors remains consistent with overall counselor staffing projections. When factoring in population growth, the projected five-year staffing needs are slightly higher than noted above but would require that VR be provided with additional FTEs.

The state’s automated People First personnel system maintains employment histories to help project human resource needs. The state continues to make available a deferred retirement option program (DROP) that allows individuals to continue working for the state for five years beyond their original retirement date. Because it is impossible to anticipate how many individuals will accept the deferral option, projecting future employment needs is difficult. However, it is known that there are currently 44 individuals in DROP, 39 individuals with 30 or more years of service and 49 individuals over the age of 62.

VR uses People First and RIMS data, as well as internal reports, to obtain:

  • The number and classification of authorized positions for each local unit and state headquarters in relation to the number of individuals served
  • The number and classification of personnel currently needed by the state agency to provide vocational rehabilitation services
  • The projected number and classification of personnel who will be needed in five years to provide vocational rehabilitation services
  • The state institutions of higher education that are preparing vocational rehabilitation professionals, by program type
  • The number of students in each of these institutions, by program type

The number of students graduating from each program and the credentials they have received

To ensure the continuity of quality rehabilitation services and to address employee vacancies and turnover in particularly difficult to fill geographic areas, VR has contracted for employees. The contracts ensure that qualified personnel are hired to provide necessary rehabilitation services. A VR counselor/ analyst reviews each case and performs/ authorizes administrative activities that federal regulations (34 CFR 361.13) specify are the responsibility of VR and cannot be delegated to private providers. These activities include:

  • All decisions affecting eligibility for VR, the nature and scope of available services and the provision of these services and the suspension, reduction and termination of these services
  • The determination to close the records of services of an individual who has achieved an employment outcome
  • Policy formulation and implementation
  • Allocation and expenditure of VR funds
  • Participation as a partner in the CareerSource Florida service delivery system