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q. 2. The timing of transition to extended services

Current Narrative:

VR’s approach for Supported Employment uses the nationally accepted “best practices” models of Supported Employment services and has added new customized strategies as well. The key to the approach is an emphasis on person-centered planning and facilitation of natural supports. Individualized job development is conducted and based on job-matching assessments, informed choice, strengths, interests, and skills. Individuals are assisted with employment planning and placement by selected providers. Job skills training is provided at the job site either by job coaches or through natural supports of existing resources.

Transition to Extended Services occurs when an individual has sufficient time to learn the tasks and is comfortable in the work culture, has had the supports addressed and is satisfied with the type of work and work hours. At the time of transition, the counselor, providers, individual, and others, as applicable, will have agreed that the individual is stable in their employment and expected to succeed. VR counselors confirm this information with the individual, provider, and employer. They will continue to monitor the case until the person reaches a successful employment outcome of a minimum of 90 days of stabilized employment after transitioning to extended services.

VR continues to:

  • Emphasize providing services to all racial/ethnic minorities
  • Seek additional resources for extended services in collaboration with VR partners
  • Collaborate with community organizations, families, and support groups to develop natural supports as an option for assisting customers on the job site
  • Participate on interagency committees to expand initiatives and increase employment outcomes
  • Distribute and provide technical assistance to counselors on the use of Social Security Work Incentives to help with funding extended services

Extended services are provided and/or funded by sources other than VR. VR works collaboratively with other state agencies and organizations to ensure that extended support services, identified on the individualized plan as needed for employment, are available for as long as the customer needs them.

A Senior Consultant serves as a statewide coordinator who monitors Supported Employment issues that arise in the field and serves as a resource person to field staff. The coordinator also assists leadership when implementing programmatic policies in accordance with federal mandates, developing effective programs, recommending training for Supported Employment staff, and other liaison duties as requested.