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Integrated Resource Teams Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs). Strategic Service Delivery Component Disability Employment Initiative.
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Strategic Service Delivery Component
Disability Employment Initiative
The following chart highlights the core elements associated with this service delivery component and includes the names of the states that will be implementing this approach:
Access the following link to learn what each DEI project proposed in their statement of work around this component: http://dei-ideas.org/chapter2-1/page2a_irt.cfm
Members of an IRT will work together to identify and strategize how their services and resources can be coordinated to help a jobseeker with a disability reach their employment goal.
The jobseeker will also be responsible for identifying their role and contributions in attaining their employment goal.
An IRT brings together public and private sector representatives at a local One-Stop community level.
It improves communication and collaboration which results in enhanced coordination of services and supports for an individual jobseeker with a disability.
Since the IRT is based on the needs of the individual, the members of the team will consist of community and partner agencies and One-Stop programs that serve the needs of the individual jobseeker.
Many times the members of an IRT will closely reflect the members of an Interagency Committee, meaning an IRT may consist of members from the Workforce Investment system, the Mental Health system, the Vocational Rehabilitation system, the Independent Living Center, the Community Work Incentives Coordinator, a Supported Employment Specialist, etc. It all depends on the needs of the individual jobseeker.
The DRC may serve as a facilitator to help build understanding within the One-Stop Career Center system about the benefits of the added level of service an IRT provides.
As a facilitator, a DRC may:
Help One-Stop staff explain the benefits of utilizing the IRT model to a jobseeker to ensure they are in agreement of needing this level of service and information sharing.
Work with One-Stop staff and the jobseeker to identify and reach out to agency staff who may appropriately serve as part of the IRT.
Facilitate the first IRT meeting to ensure that partners and the jobseeker are aware of the purpose of the IRT and lead the discussion to include key purposes of the IRT like service coordination, shared plans, communication and follow-through.
The desired outcome of the IRT is to enhance cross-agency collaboration and communication to better leverage available resources in a seamless way for an individual jobseeker with a disability. Additionally, the IRT will result in increased enrollments in available workforce development programs and greater knowledge of available career options.
The overall goal of the IRT is to help the One-Stop Career Center system and partner agencies see the benefit of resource collaboration.
This concept may require a culture shift; be patient, it can happen.
An IRT focuses on the specific needs of an Individual Jobseeker.
An IRT may be brought together to improve services and cross-agency communication as a support to a person with a disability in order to obtain or maintain employment.
An Interagency Committee focuses on systems coordination, problem-solving and collaboration for more effective services for people with disabilities.
An Interagency Committee typically meets on a regular basis in order to problem-solve and work together as a way to improve employment outcomes for people with disabilities.
The focus of an IRT is on an individual level, therefore the members of the IRT will change based on the employment services and supports needed that are unique to the jobseeker.
An Interagency Committee focuses on systems level change and works to identify barriers inherent in the system to improve employment outcomes for people with disabilities. Typically, the members of an Interagency Committee are more constant and cover a broader spectrum than those of an IRT.
No. The most important elements to have in order to promote the IRT model as a viable option for a jobseeker with a disability are as follows:
Widespread knowledge of existing resources in the local/regional community.
Ultimately, representatives from programs and agencies that can provide direct services and resources will be invited.
An Interagency Committee can be helpful but is not required in order to successfully implement and execute the IRT model.
If there is an Interagency Committee already in place, the DRC can present the concept of an IRT to that committee who may be able to help implement it.
Absolutely Not. The DRC is not expected to spend their time managing cases. Instead, the DRC will help facilitate connections to other agencies through an IRT.
Other members of the IRT (not the DRC) will most likely have a case file for the jobseeker, thus there will be no need for the DRC to have a case file.
In areas where an Interagency Committee exists, the DRC may use the Interagency Committee as a mechanism to introduce and implement the IRT model.
In areas where an Interagency Committee does not exist, the DRC may offer intensive training through modeling to One-Stop staff and partners so each area can utilize the IRT model when appropriate.
The IRT is designed to engage cross-agency participation within the One-Stop Career Center for an individual with a disability.
The Customized Employment Model involves individualizing the relationship between a jobseeker and an employer and uses a specific set of tools to do so.
The IRT may engage in some elements of Customized Employment, however, the IRT Model will not use or need all of the comprehensive tools and structured processes that the Customized Employment Model offers.
It is understood that not all One-Stop Career Centers have the capacity or the ability to facilitate the Customized Employment Model.
Person Centered Planning (PCP) involves much more intensive and personalized services utilizing a specific set of tools in order to help the jobseeker obtain and maintain employment.
Some of the tools utilized in PCP may be utilized by members of the IRT to help the jobseeker achieve their desired outcome. However, the focus of the IRT is to enhance resource coordination and collaboration between disability and workforce agencies in order to give the jobseeker with a disability an increased opportunity for employment.
Diane is Deaf and Non-Verbal
She does an intake appointment with a WIA Case Manager.
She indicates that she is interested in Dog Grooming and that she has previously worked with Vocational Rehabilitation (VR).
The DRC is asked to join the next meeting to help with suggestions and resources that Diane may want to access.
The DRC suggests Diane reconnect with VR.
The IRT is formed and roles are assigned. The IRT includes Diane, the WIA Case Manager, the VR Counselor and the DRC.
Diane attends a training program with accommodations, and graduates with honors. She is referred by her training provider to a job.
The WIA Case Manager provides the needed follow-up information to each member of the IRT.
Jean was a TANF client and had trouble maintaining a Job.
Jean’s TANF case manager attended a training on hidden disabilities provided by the DRC.
The TANF case manager invited the DRC to the next meeting with Jean.
An IRT was formed and roles of each member of the IRT were established. The IRT included Jean, the TANF case manager, a VR counselor, a Mental Health representative, an Employment Specialist and the DRC.
After three months Jean secured a full-time job with health benefits that was in line with her career choice.
The TANF case manager followed up with all members of the IRT to report her placement, wages, hours etc. as well as to learn about additional follow-up services that were available. A year after beginning her employment Jean’s case was closed. She was receiving no benefits and had earned a merit based raise.
Harry is Deaf-Blind. He goes to the One-Stop, accompanied by a job coach who relays that Harry has been looking for a job for over a year without success. Harry requests a tactile sign language interpreter for his intake appointment.
During the intake appointment, it is determined that Harry is eligible for intensive services. It was also learned he was working with additional supportive agencies.
The DRC coordinates and facilitates the first IRT meeting. The IRT includes Harry, the Case Manager from the Commission for the Blind, a representative from the Independent Living Center, the Tactile Sign Language Interpreter, an Employment Specialist, Harry’s Mother and the DRC. The IRT roles are established.
The DRC takes notes during the first meeting and emails everyone these notes with their agreed upon tasks. The DRC periodically checkes on Harry’s progress but does not intervene in the case unless asked for specific help from another member of the team.
After four months, Harry successfully secures a job. The IRT meets a final time to ensure everyone has the appropriate information regarding Harry’s new position.
To enhance cross-agency collaboration and communication to better leverage available resources in a seamless way for an individual jobseeker with a disability. Additionally, the IRT will result in increased enrollments in available workforce development programs and greater knowledge of available career options.
To provide increased access to four-year college education, achievement of academic certifications, apprenticeship opportunities and greater access to follow-up services and supports to ensure employment retention.
To promote and secure financial independence for people with disabilities, and increase their knowledge about benefits and available work incentives that lead to greater empowerment and inclusion.