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1 The Whole Story: A (Collaborative!) Holistic Approach to Addressing Work and Life Issues Rosalie Greenberger, JCFS Chicago 847-392-8820 Maxine Topper,

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Presentation on theme: "1 The Whole Story: A (Collaborative!) Holistic Approach to Addressing Work and Life Issues Rosalie Greenberger, JCFS Chicago 847-392-8820 Maxine Topper,"— Presentation transcript:

1 1 The Whole Story: A (Collaborative!) Holistic Approach to Addressing Work and Life Issues Rosalie Greenberger, JCFS Chicago 847-392-8820 Maxine Topper, LCPC JVS Chicago 847-568-5155

2 2 Recognizing the need American corporations downsize JVS Exec program responded 1994 –Part of Synagogue JEN initiative –Target group: Highly skilled managers and professionals –Loss of middle management jobs Need for emotional support identified - 1995 JUF Priority Grant All levels - Emotional upheaval as a result of unemployment or underemployment

3 3 Original Goals Enhance job search success Psycho/educational focus – open door for referrals Assist participants’ coping: –Lifestyle changes –Reorientation to changing labor market –Impact on families and finances –Addressing stress, anxiety and depression

4 4 Original Program All male participants Long-term unemployment/under employment Middle management/Professional level Squeezed out due to economy, training levels, education, technology Geared toward Jewish clients in middle to upper class Chicago suburbs

5 5 Program Changes - 2000 Economy improves – hot job market Agencies move to flexible approach FOCUS: Clients re-entering the job market or considering change Women’s groups Broader representation of careers –Arts –Social services –Clerical –HR –As well as corporate

6 6 2003 Men and Women in equal numbers Same career/or change 9/11/01 – Life and career reevaluation Lack of motivation a constant focus

7 7 2005 Focus on Baby Boomers and beyond Outdated skills and feelings of inadequacy Staying in the market longer Group focus changes to meet current needs


9 9 Why this collaboration succeeds Goal agreement/No turf issues Facilitators buy-in Community supported – universal issue Psycho/social/vocational support needs continue Changes to accommodate trends –Location/Times/Focus/Population Funding continues as part of core budgets

10 10 Benefits of Collaboration/Client Eases and demystifies agencies’ services/referrals Emergency interventions for depression Benefit of having two facilitators for group B ackgrounds/styles meet individual client needs –Perspectives –Resources –Knowledge bases

11 11 Benefits of Collaboration/Clients, Cont. Focus on issues not addressed in job search groups or mental health groups Clients attend to self esteem and adjustment issues while engaging in rigor of job search

12 12 Benefits of Collaboration/Agency Interagency program visibility and knowledge increases Good PR to clients, internal agency staff and Chicago Jewish communal service agencies, synagogues/ Federation Networking opportunities and increase in referrals for each agency Broadens view beyond individual counselor’s experience

13 13 Benefits of Collaboration/ Facilitators Always good to have a partner Increased exposure and learning in each other’s areas of expertise Pick-up on different participant cues and comments Planning as a pair much more dynamic

14 14 Challenges/Implications Two agency cultures Mental Health Agency : Vocational Agency –Confidentiality –Communications with clients outside group Staff understanding of referral process Staff appreciation of group process Screening for appropriate participants Co-facilitator styles Recidivism Wrap Around Services as a possibility

15 15 Curriculum Development Collect info from colleagues, clients, and group participants Workplace needs Emotional issues which block progress towards job search Flexibility Create topic list/exercises/handouts

16 16 Individual vs. Group NOT THERAPY, but extremely therapeutic Acknowledge/Address - DON’T OBSESS Focus on action and moving forward Meant to supplement the work of the other Wraparound effect From a JCFS counselor... The SRN group provided an important source of support to one of my middle aged female clients at a time when she felt very alone and was struggling.

17 17 Group Titles Group for Unemployed and Underemployed The Changing Face of Employment New Directions (Women’s Group) Focus Your Career Path Getting through the holidays when you are unemployed Contemplating the Next Step in your Career Staying Motivated in a Tough Job Market Starting the Next Chapter (55+)

18 18 Career Change Groups Defining Success/dreams Family of origin expectations/implications Change theory, Options for change Accountability Use of exercises – a narrative approach Self esteem and strengths Identifying options

19 19 Career Change Groups, cont. Career Exploration techniques - Personal assessment, skills, interests, values, needs, risk - Research - Informational interviewing - Decision-making Action plan

20 20 Staying Motivated Assessing and accessing support Grief process/Loss and Transition Internal & external stressors Accountability/SMART GOALS Stress management, self care

21 21 Staying Motivated, cont. Self Talk Changing locus of control Personality & Procrastination Family support – or not! Sharing techniques and resources

22 22 Holidays Family Pressure Response to holiday mythology Search slowdown/strategies Managing stress Dealing with social gatherings Financial disappointment

23 23 Starting the Next Chapter Self-identity – Wise workers Life review – Accomplishments Unfulfilled dreams Meaning of health/wealth/ work/relationships

24 24 Starting the Next Chapter, cont Age discrimination Secondary needs – Social and structure A portfolio of options/upper midlife choices –Rework/reenter –Rewire/restructure –Retire/relax

25 25 Starting the next chapter, cont. Who are you? Where have you been? Where do you want to go? Who can help you? What prevents you from getting there? And what do you need to go there? What are you going to do about it?

26 26 Testimonials I feared for my kids’ future and was afraid of losing my home. This group helped me move beyond the fears and lifted my depression so I could really start a job search....I best liked the self esteem discussion and relaxation techniques. I could feel free to verbalize my emotions. The anger session was most productive.

27 27 Marketing Flyers – Agency websites JCFS Group Catalog Press releases to Jewish and secular press Colleague Referrals Outreach in community (Library Presentations) Email – current and former clients

28 28 Evaluation Ongoing/difficult to isolate benefit of group Group evaluation Follow up mailing

29 29 Statistics & Demographics 5 groups/year 37 clients/year average 8/group 260 people attended since 2001 - 176 have gotten jobs 90% of clients JVS 37% JCFS

30 30 Religion Jewish 75% Non-Jewish25% Total of 224

31 31 Time Since Last Job Currently employed26% Less than 3 months28% 3-12 months33% Over one year12% Total of 210

32 32 Salary Ranges Under $20,000 8% $21-35,00025% $36-50,00019% $51-80,00026% $81,000+22% Total of 212

33 33 Education High School 2% Some College/Technical14% College Grad42% Masters Degree38% PhD/JD 4% Total of 233

34 34 Summary Need to address social/emotional/vocational issues continues: Improve emotional state to enhance search success Group has been maintained, changed and grown for over 10 years Collaboration benefits agencies, clients, counselors and community

35 35 Replication We’re happy to share handouts that we use. (Contact us and we’ll send them to you.) We would also like to hear ideas from you and are available for questions or further discussion. Maxine Topper, JVS Chicago 847-568-5155 Rosalie Greenberger, JCFS Chicago 847-392-8820

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