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DMHSAS Numbered Memo 2010-05 Action
Supported Employment Funding and TA Opportunity.

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State of Wisconsin
Department of Health Services
Division of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services

Date: September 14, 2010
DMHSAS Numbered Memo 2010-05 Action
Index Title: Supported Employment Funding and TA Opportunity.

To: DMHSAS Listserv

Area Administrators / Human Service Area Coordinators
Bureau Directors / Section Chiefs
County Departments of Community Programs Directors
County Departments of Developmental Disabilities
Services Directors
County Departments of Human Services Directors
County Departments of Social Services Directors
County Mental Health Coordinators
Tribal Chairpersons / Human Services Facilitators

From: John Easterday, Ph.D., Administrator
Division of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services

Subject: Supported Employment Funding and TA Opportunity.

Document Summary

This memo describes an opportunity for counties/tribes to implement the Individual Placement and Support (IPS) model of supported employment recognized by SAMHSA as an evidence based practice (EBP). Total funding of $154,700 is available from October 1, 2010 through September 30, 2011. The funding will be used to foster implementation of the Supported Employment Evidence Based Practice (EBP). We expect to fund three counties/tribes from this amount. The three sites currently funded with Medicaid Infrastructure Funds to implement Supported Employment are not eligible to apply. This memo describes the application process for these funds and the Division’s expectations for their use. The portion of the funds that are non-federal can be used as match for Medicaid supported employment through Community Recovery Services (CRS), Comprehensive Community Services (CCS), or Community Support Programs (CSP). Applications must be received by the end of the day October 11, 2010.


Wisconsin has received a four year grant from the Johnson & Johnson- Dartmouth Community Mental Health Program to develop a high quality evidence-based supported employment for adults with serious mental illness. Information regarding this EBP can be found at the SAMHSA webpage: Evidence-Based Practices: Shaping Mental Health Services Toward Recovery, Supported Employment (Exit DHS). This initiative is a partnership between the Division of Vocation Rehabilitation (DVR) and the Division of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (DMHSAS). DMHSAS is seeking three pilot sites to use this model to provide supported employment services to persons with serious mental illness. Jobs obtained will fall under the definition of competitive employment: jobs that anyone can apply for regardless of disability status, jobs that pay at least minimum wage, jobs that do not have artificial time limits set as part of a rehabilitation plan, and jobs in which the worker is paid directly by the employer. Pilot sites will receive initial and ongoing technical assistance from the Bureau of Prevention Treatment and Recovery through a full-time supported employment trainer. DVR technical specifications and fee schedule information can be found on the DVR webpage:  Information for DVR's Service Providers (Exit DHS). The Division will consider proposals to start-up Supported Employment or to enhance an existing program to improve fidelity to the EBP. Sites will be expected to implement a program that is in alignment with the Supported Employment Fidelity Scale used in the Johnson & Johnson project. The most recent fidelity scale is available at the Dartmouth College webpage: Dartmouth IPS Supported Employment Center  (Exit DHS).


Please submit a proposal that describes the plan for either a start-up or enhancement plan for a supported employment program. The evaluation criteria below describe the topics which need to be covered in your proposal. The top scoring agency proposals will receive a site visit as a part of the review prior to the final selection.

Evaluation Criteria

Statement of need for a new program – 10 points

Describe the need in your county / tribe for a supported employment program. Describe the individuals the program would serve and indicate how many you would intend the program to serve.

OR Statement of need for an existing program – 10 points

Describe the problem that exists in your current program in terms of the fidelity scale. What is the county / tribe plan to address that problem and how will that improve fidelity to the supported employment EBP? Describe the individuals currently served in the program and the number expected to be served if funds are awarded

Capacity / Readiness – 15 points

Please describe the efforts you have already taken toward implementing supported employment in your county / tribe. Include training attended, efforts to familiarize staff with the IPS model, meetings held with partnering agencies, etc. Describe your organization’s change process for implementing IPS supported employment and your executive director’s and/or executive team’s involvement in this process.

Identify your willingness to free staff for training, including training for mental health practitioners who are involved with individuals participating in ISP. Indicate your ability to participate in fidelity reviews (2-day visits) twice per year until fidelity is achieved and yearly thereafter. Agencies in this project will agree to develop fidelity action plans after each review that reflects the necessary steps to improve and sustain fidelity.

Proposed Program – 35 points

Please describe your proposed supported employment program. Please address the following elements:

  • Location of program
  • County(s) and / or Tribe(s) covered
  • Supervisor and organizational structure
  • Identify the employment specialist position
    (provide a job description of the existing or future position)
  • Training plan
  • Integration with mental health and substance use services
    (Please describe your capacity for attendance by mental health / substance use staff at weekly team meetings; identify the specific team(s) to which a supported employment specialist will be assigned to)
  • Plan for benefits counseling
  • Plan for providing job supports beyond 90 days and VR involvement
  • Supported employment leadership team
    (Identify members, frequency of meetings, role of members within the team)
  • Descriptions of any other vocational programs run by your agency

Bonus Points – Potential for 30 additional points for proposed program

Bonus points will be awarded for proposals containing the following elements:

  • A regional approach including a minimum of two counties – 10 points possible
  • The Employment Specialist is a county staff person (not contracted out) – 10 points possible
  • The agency providing supported employment to individuals with serious mental health needs does not also provide prevocational, enclave or other types of non competitive employment or has plans to transition out these types of programs in favor of IPS supported employment. – 10 points possible

Partnerships – 15 points

Please describe your current relationship with DVR. Please identify the DVR Counselor(s) who will work with you in implementing this project. Please identify other agency or individual relationships that will assist in the development and/or maintenance of ISP supported employment. Identify any other partnerships that will be necessary to implement and sustain the supported employment program. Include letter of support and/or commitment.

Budget – 25 points

Submit a detailed line item budget and narrative justification for all expenses required to implement your proposed IPS supported employment. Include in-kind staff, FTE for each position and sources of funding for each expense (requested from grant or provided from another source.)

Provide a plan for sustaining the program after the grant funding ends. Include the amount of non- federal funds you would plan to have available as Medicaid match.

If you have an existing supported employment program provide the amount of revenue you obtained in 2009 from DVR, Medicaid (either CCS or CSP employment billing), or Ticket to Work.

Cover letter

In your cover letter please acknowledge that you understand that an on-site visit will be required prior to selection. Please also commit to providing quarterly outcome data, as well as, participating in periodic site visits and fidelity reviews.

Action Summary

Mail your applications to by October 11, 2010 to Morgan Groves at the following address.

Morgan Groves
Division of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services
P. O. Box 7851
Madison, WI 53707-7851

For additional information and questions regarding this memo:

Regional Office Contact:

Area Administrators

Central Office Contact:

Morgan Groves
Division of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services
P.O. Box 7851
Madison, Wisconsin 53707-7851

Telephone: (608) 261-9312
Fax: (608) 267-4865

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Last Revised:  September 13, 2010