Supported Employment (S.E.)
Supported Employment, a SAMHSA evidenced-based model, has been successfully used for decades as an approach to vocational rehabilitation for supporting people with serious mental illness to obtain competitive employment and provide the support necessary to ensure their success in the workplace. The overriding philosophy of SE is the belief that every person with a serious mental illness is capable of working competitively in the community if the right kind of job and work environment can be found. Members are offered help finding and keeping jobs that capitalize on their personal strengths and motivation. The primary goal is to find a natural “fit” between a member’s strengths and experiences and jobs in the community. The SE model de-emphasizes prevocational assessment and training and instead focuses on rapid job search and attainment. Members are considered “work ready” when they say they want to work. Job searches are conducted at a pace that is comfortable for the client and is not delayed by programming prerequisites. Members are offered long-term support and can continue to receive services until they determine that they are no longer necessary.
Work plays a pivotal role in defining an individual’s quality of life and must be an integral part of a person’s overall life experience. Supported employment offers an innovative process that enables employment as an achievable goal for people with disabilities just as it is for non-disabled people in our society. Real jobs means that the terms and conditions for people with disabilities should be the same as for everyone else including competitive wages in an integrated setting, equal employee benefits, safe working conditions and opportunities for career advancement. This model has at its heart the notion that anyone can be employed if they want paid employment and sufficient support is provided. The model is a flexible and continuous process, designed to meet all anticipated needs. The model is equally applicable to supporting job retention.
“Since I have been in Supported Employment my specialist has really gone out of her way to help me find a job. My job is great! I always look forward to getting up in the morning and going to a job working with dogs. I would definitely recommend Gina and the supported employment program to anyone who is looking for work.”
— K. Williams
These services are Sarasota County wide with specialists working in both north and south county. To learn more about S.E. please contact Derek Blake at firstname.lastname@example.org.