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  • 1. Let’s Get to WorkA Community Approach to Improving Employment Outcomes for Youth Beth Swedeen, Lisa Pugh, and Russell McCullough TASH, November 2012
  • 2. Learning Objectives• Use evidence-based and promising practices at the local and systems level to measure employment outcomes• Identify policy and practice barriers• Identify practical strategies for engaging policymakers
  • 3. Project framework includes all stakeholdersCombines what research/data shows are:• Most significant barriers;• Strategies and practices that work;• policies that act as both facilitators and barriers to employment.
  • 4. Project framework includes all stakeholders• School staff• Service agencies: Voc Rehab; Long-term care system• Students• Families• Broader community (including employers)
  • 5. Four project components• Statewide consortium• Pilot schools• On-site coaches• Policy team
  • 6. Consortium’s Role• Large: includes representation from all stakeholders, 60-70 people.• Provides input on what is and isn’t working, what directions to pursue; what policies need to change or improve• Includes progress updates from schools and three state agencies on progress: practice and policy changes• Include youth and family tracks, particularly to build self-determination
  • 7. Pilot Schools• Did a statewide competitive application reviewed by all six major partners (3 state agencies; 3 ADD partners)• Looked for interest/ability to develop a broader stakeholder group in their school and community• Had to commit to implement evidence-based or promising practices…
  • 8. Practices:• Person-centered planning• School/community mapping of opportunities• Connection general education and co-curricular activities• Summer paid/volunteer community-based jobs• Early connection to DVR• Engaging broader community through a Community Conversation• School learning circle/community of practice to learn from each other
  • 9. Schools Also Developed Their own CreativeApproaches to Engaging with their Communities Grafton Holmen http://youtu.be/2ysq3AYANaA http://youtu.be/M0rMo-uaQqI
  • 10. Jobs First! of Manitowoc County
  • 11. Schools also Provide Stories to Illustrate theProjectHere’s Russell’s story
  • 12. Russell’s Story• Person-centered planning• School/community mapping of opportunities• Connection general education and co-curricular activities• Summer paid/volunteer community-based jobs
  • 13. Always wanted to be a driver
  • 14. As a young student, I really liked riding the bus
  • 15. How I got my job Russell
  • 16. My current position at BPDD
  • 17. August Consortium meeting at the Madison Concourse Hotel
  • 18. At work, the people who support me are….
  • 19. Coaches• On-site supporters/cheerleaders/practitioners who show school staff how to try new practices• Provide resources and direct instruction training• Connect them to other professional development, training and resources
  • 20. Policy Team• Members• What it does
  • 21. Policy Barriers:Vocational Rehabilitation• Too many facility-based assessments for youth• Lack experience and comfort in supporting individuals with significant disabilities, both among counselors and provider networks
  • 22. Voc Rehab Policy Solutions• Guidance to staff and the public from DVR leadership on community-based assessments• Youth Transition On the Job Training (OJT)• Strengthening statewide training to new/existing DVR staff on how to support individuals with the most complex disabilities (assumption that all are employable)
  • 23. Vocational Rehabilitation: In the Hopper• One pager for families/schools describing range of voc rehab services• Meeting with leadership to share promising practices from other high-performing states• Legislation guiding schools to encourage early conversations with VR
  • 24. State Education AgencyPolicy Barriers• No clear guidance on LRE for youth in transition (ages 18- 21)• Inadequate pre-service preparation in transition• Absence of guidance from state leadership• Lack of collaboration with general education
  • 25. State Education Agency Policy SolutionsOSEP guidance on LRE in community worksites
  • 26. State Education Agency: In the Hopper• Transition endorsement/certification• Work with higher education statewide to increase masters’ training in transition• Legislation to strengthen focus on community-based work assessments if employment is a post-school outcome
  • 27. Long-Term Care Policy Barriers• Lack of competitive employment focus in long-term care system• Lack of understanding about the impact of employment on public benefits
  • 28. Long-Term Care Policy Solutions• Expansion of promising “pay for performance” pilot in managed care• Work with Department of Health Services and Governor’s office to increase work incentives benefits counseling• Strengthen managed care contract language to incentivize employment
  • 29. Long-Term Care Policy Solutions• Work with children’s long-term care system to create “culture of expectations” around employment for families• Identified vocational services as part of children’s long-term care waiver• Include increased employment as part of state’s Medicaid long-term care sustainability effort.
  • 30. Long-Term Care: In the Hopper• Work with legislators on Employment First legislation• Pursuing a pre-voc policy that would prohibit/limit new entries to facility-based pre-voc• Embed benefits counseling training into statewide long-term care system parent training and have benefits counseling expertise available at ADRCs
  • 31. Practical Strategies for Engaging Policymakers• Make a solid case for change: using data, research to create targeted asks• Focus on policy issues prominent in your state• Look at what is happening in the general population of youth regarding employment in your state
  • 32. Practical Strategies for Engaging Policymakers• Put a face and story with the issue: have legislators meet real youth and their families• Don’t take “no” for answer: go to the next level
  • 33. Practical Strategies for Engaging Employers• Outreached directly to largest employer lobbying organization in the state• Worked to promote disability employment awareness month• Connected businesses with legislators on the youth employment issue• Connected schools to local chambers
  • 34. Partner with other agencies/leaders to createa “buzz”• Council’s “Take Your Legislator to Work”• Employment First statewide coalition• People First priorities• WI Manufacturers and Commerce• Walmart corporate interest
  • 35. Beth Swedeen, WI-BPDDbeth.swedeen@wisconsin.govLisa Pugh, ADD Public Policy Coordinatorlisa.pugh@drwi.orgRussell McCulloughrussell.mccullough@wisconsin.gov