The implementation of supported employment in Canada is as varied as the people who use the service, according to a recent study published online in the journal Social Science & Medicine.
The study examined the factors influencing the use of the Individual, Placement and Support (IPS) model of supported employment (the dominant model of supported employment in Canada) in twenty programs across British Columbia, Quebec and Ontario. Researchers interviewed 53 participants, including government representatives and supported employment personnel, and found that the IPS model was not being consistently implemented in the three provinces.
In their analysis, the authors trace the rise of supported employment, following the changes that influenced the shift from sheltered workshops in the 1960s to supported employment today. They also examine reasons why the established elements of successful supported employment programs have not been adhered to in Canada. For instance, some agencies have not had formal training in the program but have simply adopted it from other Canadian programs because of a high success rate. Yet others believe that some of the provisions of supported employment (such as time-unlimited support) would not work with their client group.
See “Organizational Analysis of Canadian Supported Employment Programs for People with Psychiatric Disabilities,” Social Science & Medicine (published online February 24, 2011), available atwww.sciencedirect.com.