Keywords: USA, Canada, consultancy, training, customized employment
|Name of Organisation||Griffin-Hammis Associates|
|Type of organisation||National NGO and/or Service Provider|
|United States, Australia, Canada and Spain|
|Funding model||Public Funding, Vocational Rehabilitation, Developmental Disability Agencies and grant dollars
GHA contracts with state systems like Medicaid and Vocational Rehabilitation agencies who contract with providers of employment services for people with disabilities. GHA averages about one million dollars in contracts per year to enhance the services delivery of Customized Employment throughout the USA.
Impact and growth
Since its inception, GHA has worked in over 40 states in the USA and supported projects in Canada, Spain and Australia. GHA has guided hundreds of employment service agencies to transform to individualized employment matchmaking, advanced policy development at the state and federal level, and assisted more than 500 individuals with disabilities to secure employment or start small businesses.
GHAs work expanded exponentially over the last decade with a growing opportunity to support national transformation to best-practice CE matchmaking services, including supporting states to: revise standards and processes, implement comprehensive employment service provider training and mentoring programs, and enact quality assurance systems that ensure equal access to high-quality employment services. We currently lead large transformation projects in six states and smaller projects in 20 more.
GHA has trained thousands of employment specialists across the country, supported over 500 job seekers on their employment pathway resulting in higher employment outcomes that range from self-employment, resource ownership and gainful wage employment.
GHA believes everyone has a story to tell and the most successful employment stems from first discovering each person’s individual genius and then finding a community businesses where this genius will thrive.
Our unique approach to Discovering Personal Genius.™: Discovery is premised on the idea that tests alone – or even the observations of long-time helping professionals – are often not the best predictors of the skills, interests, capacities, and motivations of the individual. Instead, Discovery begins by meeting people in their homes and leads to an understanding of that person’s skills, interests, and supportive relationships – all of which are crucial to paving a path to employment. Discovering Personal Genius culminates with the identification of three vocational themes that become the foundation for customized job development. The process tells us what we need to know in order to shape a successful position for the job-seeker and to move forward with job development.
In 2015, GHA pioneered the development of the first Customized Employment Fidelity Scale, to provide an evidence-based, objective measure for determining whether matchmaking services provided aligned with best practice. All employment staff are trained in these fidelity practices. This provides the employment organization with the tools they need to evaluate their own practices and identify areas that require change after the training and mentoring end.
Customized Employment can serve anyone who experiences barriers to employment. However, it has primarily been seen as a way for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities to obtain employment. CE is designed to support individuals who have previously been labelled as unemployable. Our stance is that if an assessment tool indicates that someone cannot work, its time to get a new tool. The problems do not lie with the person; they lie with our perceptions and practices.
GHAs early work demonstrating the efficacy of customized matchmaking services played a seminal role in the inclusion of CE in federal policy (WIOA, 201s). GHA provides training, technical assistance, and fidelity training to ensure that Customized Employment services are delivered with efficacy and result in full wage employment outcomes for people with disabilities. Projects range from 1-5 years to impact long-term systematic change and frequently include state and local policy restructuring.
THEORY OF CHANGE
We asked projects to outline their impact model (also called Theory of Change) – their main target groups, the key activities they offer these target groups, and what impact they want to achieve:
|Employment Staff||Training and mentoring||Better employment outcomes that align with employment seeker desires for work||Discovery and Job Development Fidelity Scales|
|System Funding Agencies||Make recommendations for system funding structure to implement customized employment||Rates that cover the cost of Customized Employment Service Delivery||Discovery and Job Development Fidelity Scales|
|Employment Seeker||Receive Customized Employment support to learn about their own personal genius and conditions for employment||Creating employment in the community of the employment seeker that meets their conditions, skills and contributions||Satisfaction of person employed and Discovery and Job Development Fidelity Scales|