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Department for Behavioral Health, Developmental and Intellectual Disabilities Home Page
Supported Employment
Contact Information
275 E. Main Street 4WG
Frankfort, KY 40621
Phone: (502) 564-4456
Fax: (502) 564-9010
Hours: Monday–Friday
8:00 am–4:30 pm ET

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Program Coordinator
Deborah Davidson
(502) 782-6187

Using a combination of federal block grant funds, state general funds and collaborative agreements with the Department of Vocational Rehabilitation, the department coordinates Supported Employment for consumers in several regions of the state.

Supported Employment programs offer vocational options to persons who have been unable to secure jobs as a result of physical or psychiatric conditions. The Supported Employment program staff will develop jobs individualized to the consumer's needs and desires and work availability in the region.

After placing a consumer in a job, the program will continue to support the consumer on the job according to his or her needs and desires. Consumers work as little as 2 hours or as much as 32 hours per week, with a range in monetary return from volunteer work to above minimum wage with benefits packages.

Evidence-Based Supported Employment – Individual Placement and Support (IPS)

Individual Placement and Support (IPS) is a model of supported employment for people with serious mental illness (e.g., schizophrenia spectrum disorder, bipolar, depression).and/or Substance Use Disorder (SUD). IPS supported employment helps people living with behavioral health conditions work at regular jobs of their choosing. Although variations of supported employment exist, IPS refers to the evidence-based practice of supported employment.

Characteristics of IPS Supported Employment

  • It is an evidence-based practice
  • Practitioners focus on each person’s strengths
  • Work promotes recovery and wellness
  • Practitioners work in collaboration with state vocational rehabilitation counselors
  • IPS uses a multidisciplinary team approach
  • Services are individualized and last as long as the person needs and wants them
  • The IPS approach changes the way mental health services are delivered

The 8 Practice and Principles of IPS

  • Focus on Competitive Integrated Employment
  • Eligibility is based on consumer choice.
  • Integration of Rehabilitation and Mental Health Services.
  • Attention to worker preferences.
  • Personalized Benefits Counseling.
  • Rapid Job Search.
  • Systematic Job Search
  • Time-Unlimited Individualized Support.

Employment is an essential part of recovery for individuals with serious mental illnesses (SMI) and/0r Substance Use Disorder (SUD). In Kentucky, only 9.65 percent of adults with SMI who are receiving services from Community Mental Health Centers were employed in fiscal year 2009. This employment rate has held steady for many years.

The ultimate goal of the Division of Behavioral Health (DBH) is to develop high-fidelity supported employment services, to increase access to these services for adults with SMI and /or SUD throughout the commonwealth, and to improve the overall employment rate for individuals who want to work.

DBH along with the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR) were selected to become a part of the IPS International Learning Collaborative in 2010. A small funding grant was secured and technical assistance for implementation of IPS in KY was provided by the IPS Employment Center. Formerly, the Johnson & Johnson–Dartmouth Community Mental Health Program. Each IPS program has individualized IPS trainers to implement IPS and assist them in achieving good fidelity.

Last Updated 1/9/2023 8:01:44 AM
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