This chapter describes some of the first steps agencies take when starting to implement IPS. All clients who have interest in competitive employment are typically referred to IPS. The agency encourages everyone to think about the possibility of working. The employment coordinator assigns clients to employment specialists’ caseloads to receive IPS services. The goal is to build a collaborative and trusting relationship between the client and employment specialist that is directed toward obtaining competitive employment, part-time or full-time. Employment specialists need good interviewing skills to develop the alliance with the client and provide effective services. Interviewing skills are briefly reviewed. When starting an IPS program, the employment specialists establish relationships with the local Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) office. Some clients who are receiving IPS services may also be eligible for VR services. Coordinating services with other agencies, such as VR, promotes effective service delivery. During the first few meetings, the employment specialist discusses benefits planning, the meaning of disclosure of disability to employers, and interest in family involvement.
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