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Sustainable Hub of Innovative Employment for People with Complex Needs (SHIEC) Carl Johnson Sarah Cooling Frank Proctor.

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Presentation on theme: "Sustainable Hub of Innovative Employment for People with Complex Needs (SHIEC) Carl Johnson Sarah Cooling Frank Proctor."— Presentation transcript:

1 Sustainable Hub of Innovative Employment for People with Complex Needs (SHIEC) Carl Johnson Sarah Cooling Frank Proctor

2 To ensure that people of all ages with complex needs are properly supported to have the same life opportunities as everyone else, including employment, home life, education and leisure WHY SHIEC?

3 The HUB - A meeting of minds a shared recognition from carer, academic, policy and service perspectives that for the most part…. employment for people with learning disabilities who have complex needs is not happening we know this from research but most directly from our lived experience within the region (and beyond) it is exceptionally rare to find any example of people with complex needs in employment.

4 Why is this the case? Employment for people with learning disabilities and further complex needs is: Highlighted as a goal in policy (Valuing People Now/ Employment Now) Evidenced as theoretically and practically possible in research (Gold) What carers and those with disabilities want and have a right to

5 How can we change this? We need to find new ways of working through partnership. The skills, knowledge & resources are available but not being used effectively. We need to keep a definite focus on bringing about social change for people with the most complex needs through employment If we can ensure change for this most complex group, a ripple of positive influence will be generated for those with other needs, including people with milder learning disabilities It is not about re-inventing the wheel, but moving it in a different direction about working together to build on current systems and ensure sustainable support.

6 The innovative nature of the project: ensures commitment to a frequently neglected group of individuals maximizes and enhances existing resources draws stakeholders together in a fresh context reflects the diversity of employment needs and opportunities within the region allows for adaptation and creation of new resources and approaches to support people with complex needs who are socially excluded

7 Definition of Complex Needs: 1. People with profound and multiple learning disabilities Have more than one disability, the most significant of which is a profound learning disability. All people...will have great difficulty communicating. Many...will have additional sensory or physical disabilities, complex health needs or mental health difficulties...All...will need high levels of support with most aspects of daily life

8 2. People with severe-profound learning disabilities and challenging behaviour Participants within this sub-sample must have a severe-profound learning disability and display behaviour that meets the following criteria: Behaviour can be described as challenging when it is of such an intensity, frequency or duration as to threaten the quality of life and/or the physical safety of the individual or others and is likely to lead to responses that are restrictive, aversive or result in exclusion

9 3. People with mild-moderate-severe learning disabilities and a history of offending behaviour and / or significant mental health difficulties Participants within this sub-sample must have a moderate –severe learning disability and either: A history of offending behaviour that has required specialist forensic input A history of mental health difficulties that has resulted in a Mental Health Section

10 Hub Partners The Challenging Behaviour Foundation The Tizard Centre (University of Kent South East Coast Strategic Health Authority Linkage Community Trust Lincolnshire County Council United Response John Townsend Trust Castlebeck Oxford CMG Kingwood Avenues Trust

11 What are the Issues? Low Expectations Limited Opportunities Poor Employer Development Lack of Expertise in Identifying Individuals Employability Current Systems Fear of Change Always Last Group

12 The need for a cultural shift within provider organisations Provider organisations often have limited experience or training directly relevant to supporting employment for people with learning disabilities in general, let alone those with additional complex needs. As such there has historically been a lack of both aspirations and systems to support people with complex needs into work. In response to this, SHIEC has aimed to raise expectations and organisational commitment regarding the employment of people with complex needs, by challenging traditional models of care. SHIEC aims to provide further clarity regarding the DWP Benefits systems and flexible use of Individualised budgets, to enable people with complex needs to secure and retain employment whilst maintaining appropriate levels of support.

13 The need for a responsive and adaptive approach Pathways to employment for people with learning disabilities and complex needs are likely to be lengthy and require sustained commitment and motivation from those who provide and structure support. Throughout the initial stages of the SHIEC project, the physical, mental and behavioural needs of individuals has fluctuated requiring ongoing adaptations to planned systems of support. At times this has meant changing direction following considerable investment of time and resources to develop employment opportunities. Within this context, SHIEC has aimed to sustain the vision, motivation and ability of all stakeholders to meet the needs and employment aspirations of individuals with complex needs. The need to engage in relationships of trust with employers At a national level, exceptionally few employers have considered the potential of supporting people with learning disabilities and complex needs within the workplace. SHIEC has recognised the need to present a business case to organisations that promotes the benefits of employing people with complex needs and resolves any concerns they may have. This has included highlighting the innovative nature of supported employment models and demonstrating a commitment to provide ongoing systems of support. Ultimately SHIEC aims to develop relationships of mutual trust with employers through persistent efforts to fuse the perspectives and values of business and social care. WHAT CAN WE DO AS INDIVIDUALS

14 The Story So Far Following an initial period of development, the SHIEC project began in May 2010. Since this point the following milestones have been reached: Identification of 61 people across the UK who have learning disabilities and complex needs and are seeking employment. The formation of a supportive network comprising of provider organisations, educational services, family carers, policy makers and academics. SHIEC members meet on a regular basis to discuss progress, barriers and solutions regarding pathways to employment for people with complex needs. This has proved invaluable in terms of sharing learning, helping to solve problems encountered, providing continuous encouragement to those involved and maintaining the integrity and aims of the project. Further ongoing facilitation of the network and direct support is provided by a Project Manager.

15 SHIEC members have sought innovative ways of approaching and engaging with employers (including running an employers breakfast briefing forum and targeting large employer organisations at a senior level). SHIEC members have also shared learning with other supported employment organisations and projects. SHIEC members have worked together to develop, share and complete materials for identifying and supporting the aspirations of people with complex needs to work (through systems of vocational profiling). 12 people with complex needs are now engaged in some form of paid employment. Another individual has achieved 16+ hours of paid work (see case example). A further 25 people with complex needs have been supported to access voluntary or work experience placements. Organisations involved in the project have reported further positive outcomes among staff teams in terms of changing expectations and putting employment on the agenda for people with learning disabilities. Within one organisation, at the time the SHIEC project commenced, 3/31 people with learning disabilities but not complex needs were in voluntary work placements. Since then, 16/31 are using voluntary placements as a stepping stone to paid employment.


17 I am I was born in Kent. I communicate through using makaton signs & by using hand gestures e.g. pointing at what I want or to indicate what I am talking about. I have been diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy & Epilepsy years old I am non-verbal however have the ability to say a selection of words e.g. Yes, No, Bye, Hello. I have a Moderate Learning Disability

18 I went to St Nicholas School in Canterbury, Kent. Although I was offered the chance to go to college, I did not want to carry on full time education and the options available were limited. I lived at home with my mum and step-dad in Faversham, Kent. I chatted to my mum about my future and I was excited about moving out of home and becoming more independent. While at school I was offered no work experience placements & employment was not suggested as an option. I started to become frustrated living at home and this was affecting my relationship with my family.

19 When I moved into The Ridgeway, a supported living home, I had a meeting regarding my Person Centred Plan. I was asked about my future goals and employment was raised as an option. I was really interested in getting into paid employment in a job that I would find interesting. I was then told about SHIEC and their involvement with CMG. I began having meetings with Frank to look at possibilities and how to begin getting into employment. I started by searching for voluntary employment to gain some more skills to put on my CV.

20 Volunteering at Wellgate Farm Job Role Includes: Cleaning out, feed, pet & give water to rabbits. Water the plants. Brush the kids (baby goats) Hold chicks & move them from outside in to the warm. I loved looking after the rabbits so much I got my own named Boo.

21 I was successful in my interview for the position of assistant waiter, my first job interview!! I have been there for just over 2 months and I really enjoy it. I work 2 hours a week during cafe opening hours which are 11am-1pm every Thursday & I earn £7.20 per hour. I help to lay the table cloths and set the table. I clear the dishes and clean up after everyone has finished eating.

22 I absolutely love Football & really want to work in the Football industry. A number of football clubs have been approached and I got a response from Dagenham & Redbridge. I have been offered the chance to sell Match Day Programs on the day of football matches and any other additional positions. This will be on a voluntary basis.

23 Thank You!

24 Real Life Stories

25 Real stories SARAH CARL

26 Issues facing SHIEC Members which outlined the structural barriers involved in the process (e.g. finances and mobility) as well as outlining staff anxieties surrounding supporting someone with complex needs into employment and the need for realism to deal with knockbacks and the slow pace of the process. Sometimes you go into a place of employment and you can see that people are just seeing the wheelchair, they are not looking at the person (5, 4) Some mental health issues, so we take three steps forward and a step back (10, 3). I worry about the knock on effects for the young people because you know, we all suffer with disappointment but we are setting these guys up to fail if we continue on the same cycle. (10, 2) [Job centre disability employment advisor] only works half a day per week (5, 3) Its like the 11 th phone call and no-one has rung back, I sometimes think I dont know how I am going to get through this (7, 1) Well I have thought of a lot of things and anything we have thought of we have pursued but it is very, very difficult, very difficult (5, 3)

27 Commitment which depicts how staff and service providers needed high levels of commitment in order to support people with complex needs into employment. This included being resilient to knockbacks, maintaining a positive attitude and thinking creatively about employment solutions as well as being emotionally invested in the project personally. We have got to keep looking and thinking of other ideas, there has got to be a job somewhere that he can do (5, 5). You have got to be prepared to put a lot in for maybe a little return at times (6,8) You have got to stay positive because I think if you start to be negative then it impacts on the service users (3,2) Look at outcomes, be positive and see how you can get the best out of people (5, 8)

28 Working together, which outlines the benefits of SHIEC as a support network. The need for organisations to work together to make employment possible for people with complex needs was expressed. This involved the need to engage frontline staff and specified that staff need certain characteristics in order to maintain the search for employment. Within this, the need for leadership within organisations is emphasised as well as the fact that SHIEC provides a social network which encourages working together. Getting the staff more focused on employment as a priority rather than something that just might happen (3, 1) It is a really motivating and really rewarding project to work in, it is pioneering and exciting (2, 4) The key is having a shared goal I suppose because I think if it wasnt for that, it wouldnt have had the same priority even for me (6,5) Networking with other people [has been useful] and learning from the way they have done things (1, 4)

29 Positive Pay Offs is a theme which highlights individual outcomes arising from the project. The majority of participants also described being surprised with some of the outcomes at some stages in the SHIEC process. The skills that service users have got have really surprised me (2, 4) It surprised me how a lot of the service users want to work full time, you know, they are keen for full time work (2, 4) He is a lot more communicative, when I first worked with him I couldnt understand him at all…now you can sit down and have a chat with him (2,3) She feels more comfortable and I think she is more confident (1,3) The Ripple Effect which outlines the positive outcomes on staff members involved in the SHIEC project which included a buzz which was reported within organisations and a general raising of expectations contributing to cultural change within organisations. It was also expressed however, that there were some ongoing goals related to organisational change and the ripple effect. Staff there are starting to ask questions now about why isnt this person being considered for employment (6, 3) It has opened up opportunities hasnt it, we have got a better realisation of what individuals can do (1,3)

30 Questions Please! Carl Sarah Frank Proctor –

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