Employment plays a big role in an individual’s self esteem and personal satisfaction. In the case of adults dealing with serious mental illness, substance use disorder, developmental disabilities or lacking housing, successful employment is recognized as a valuable tool in furthering their recovery and contributing to long-term stabilization.
DESC’s Supported Employment Program (SEP) develops and creates partnerships with local businesses and employment providers. We work closely with local businesses to assist them in finding quality workers who match the employer’s unique needs. From the wide variety of potential applicants, DESC provides screened, motivated job seekers who are well known to DESC. Supported Employment at DESC works in partnership with The Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, King County Supported Employment and Foundational Community Supports with HCA. All services provided through DESC’s Employment Services are provided at no cost to the employer.
The SEP team prepares and supports participants, both employees and employers, to ensure success and satisfaction of both parties. This helps destigmatize the idea that people faced with significant challenges, be them physical, mental or behavioral, are unable to work. Supported Employment methods believe that everyone can benefit from employment and meaningful activity and everyone can succeed if given the proper supports.
DESC has helped hundreds of individuals obtain employment as their primary path out of homelessness and toward greater stability.
The Supported Employment Program at DESC benefits from an established model of highly integrated housing, mental health care, and clinical treatment. Many DESC clients are considered “unemployable” by mainstream vocational and employment programs, yet DESC staff members have been able to provide even the most disabled and chronically homeless adults with the skills to obtain self-sufficiency. DESC’s Supportive Employment Program, launched in 2008, is integrated into DESC’s state-licensed clinical programs and focuses on those adults who face the most significant challenges to succeeding in the work place.
DESC’s Supported Employment Program is characterized by:
- Comprehensive assessment and preparation of potential employees.
- Extensive training and assessment programs that prepare candidates with the skills that will make them valued employees.
- Individual matching of employee skills and experience with available positions. Because mental illness is not limited to any particular economic sphere, nationality, or education level, we have a large pool of motivated applicants with a wide variety of skills and experience.
- Job coaching for as long as the employee or employer desires. Employment Specialists and mental health case managers remain available for immediate response indefinitely.
- Benefits counseling to help clients learn about federal and local benefit programs and how employment fits into those resources.