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Helping People Succeed Innovation, Mission Driven Programs for Vulnerable Population Susan London JVS Toronto IAJVS May 18, 2009.

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Presentation on theme: "Helping People Succeed Innovation, Mission Driven Programs for Vulnerable Population Susan London JVS Toronto IAJVS May 18, 2009."— Presentation transcript:

1 Helping People Succeed Innovation, Mission Driven Programs for Vulnerable Population Susan London JVS Toronto IAJVS May 18, 2009

2 Helping People Succeed Assessment History Have been providing assessment services for over 40 years – to adults, children, youth Started assessing Toronto Social Services clients in 2006 Since then, expanded our assessment services and referral sources In 2007, JVS Toronto developed a program specifically for housed Streets to Homes clients

3 Helping People Succeed Homelessness Partnership Initiative (HPI) Federal Homelessness Partnership Initiative Fund - $269.6 million City of Toronto - $35.58 million (April 1, 2007 to March 31, 2009) Adopted ‘housing first’ approach Created Streets to Homes with goal to end street homelessness

4 Helping People Succeed JVS Toronto’s Psycho-vocational Assessment, Action Planning & Research Project Funded by The City of Toronto's Homelessness Partnership Initiative (HPI) Participating programs in the City of Toronto: * Shelter, Support and Housing Administration - Employability Support Team - Hostels to Homes - Streets to Homes * Toronto Social Services - Ontario Works

5 Helping People Succeed What is JVS’ Program? Psycho-vocational Assessment, Action Planning and Research Project Two phases of direct service to clients: 1. Psycho-vocational assessment practical evaluation of clients’ strengths and barriers identifies cognitive, academic and employment aptitude levels, social & emotional functioning 2. Action Planning one on one sessions to assist clients in moving towards identified goals

6 Helping People Succeed What is JVS’ Program? Research Component: Gain an understanding of participants involved in the program Gain an understanding of facilitators & barriers to the program from client & service provider perspectives Develop recommendations for future employment initiatives

7 Helping People Succeed Program Criteria - Clients Streets to Homes or Hostels to Homes clients are eligible referral by worker stable housing situation participation commitment sober during program sessions

8 Helping People Succeed Who are our clients?  prolonged periods of unemployment  never held a job  uncertainty regarding employment competitiveness  interrupted work or educational history  low education level  addiction, physical, mental health, emotional and/or other long-term health problems  one-to-one support and repetition needed; test anxiety  language and literacy barriers Presenting issues:

9 Helping People Succeed Client Demographics*  87% male - 13% female  Average age: 40 years (range years)  half did not complete high school  35% had some post-secondary education  16% completed post-secondary education *based on 38 clients from 2007

10 Helping People Succeed Clients to Date 2007 – Present To date, we have worked with 88 clients.

11 Helping People Succeed Multi-Barriered Clients employment barriers mental health poverty cognitive challenges social relationships addictions physical health

12 Helping People Succeed Research - Overview of Client Issues Mental health & Addictions Lack confidence Substance Use Depression Hopelessness Anxiety Loneliness Physical health Disabilities Limited health care PovertyHomelessness/inadequate housing Unemployment Insufficient funds to meet basic daily needs Inadequate hygiene Employment barriers Lack education Lack experience Criminal record Lack access to training Social relationshipsDisrespect and stereotyping Lack of trust

13 Helping People Succeed Psycho-vocational Assessment Phase Four ½-day Sessions & Feedback Interview: 2 psycho-educational 2 vocational Includes examination of: Cognitive functioning & information processing abilities Academic skills Social-emotional functioning; mental health screen Vocational aptitudes & employment interests

14 Helping People Succeed Psycho-vocational Assessment Identifies: Client strengths Client barriers May result in: Diagnoses, e.g. LD, ADHD, MID, Asperger’s Identification of mental health challenges Clarification of possible vocational directions

15 Helping People Succeed Action Planning Phase  One-on-one sessions  Start after feedback session  Usually 1 hour in length  Up to sessions  Occur over a period of 3 months

16 Helping People Succeed Action Planning Phase (cont)  Worker invited to participate when appropriate  Goals stem from assessment recommendations  Action Plan used as guide  Goals set by clients  Post program, updated Plan shared with worker

17 Helping People Succeed Challenges Encountered

18 Helping People Succeed Challenges A.Coordinating multiple partners to create a seamless program for clients B.Engaging clients’ front-line housing workers C.Getting clients in the door D.Getting clients in the door again - and again, and again

19 Helping People Succeed Solutions & Strategies Innovation, flexibility and cooperation have proven to be key in addressing challenges

20 Helping People Succeed A. Multiple Partner Coordination ‘Steering committee’ Created a solid partnership Shared vision Joint problem solving Dedicated coordinator/contact person for each agency; ongoing communication Well-developed work flow process Confirmed supports released in advance

21 Helping People Succeed B. Engaging Workers Presentations to front-line staff Lead person within each agency Built credibility through successes

22 Helping People Succeed C. Through the Door Downtown location Food on site Food vouchers Worker endorsement, support & accompaniment

23 Helping People Succeed D. Through the Door – Again and Again More incentives! More worker support Staff ability to successfully engage the client Non-judgmental and supportive environment Team approach Flexible – e.g. rescheduling multiple times

24 Helping People Succeed Bringing it all together Keys to success and lessons learned when working with multi-barriered clients

25 Helping People Succeed Keys to Success A. Partnership and Collaboration Facilitated seamless program for clients Resulted in creative approaches and effective problem-solving Range of enhanced supports for clients

26 Helping People Succeed Keys to Success B. Conceptualization of a spectrum of employment related activities Pre-employment Pre-pre-employment

27 Helping People Succeed Keys to Success C. Customized program development Key was determination of client needs & finding ways to meet those needs,to maximize client success Recognition that clients need and benefit from support in multiple ways Flexibility

28 Helping People Succeed Keys to Success D. Inclusion of Comprehensive Psycho-vocational Assessment & Diagnosis For many clients, this resulted in increased self- understanding & self-esteem Opened access to services, programs and funding accommodations on the job, in training, in school

29 Helping People Succeed In Conclusion Multi-barriered clients present with many challenges These challenges presented us with opportunities Rewarding for JVS Toronto Staff love working with the clients Internal cross-program partnerships External partnerships

30 Contact Us Susan London Manager, Career Services ext. 316 JVS Toronto

31 Questions??? THANK YOU!


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