Individual Placement and Support (IPS)

Individual Placement and Support (IPS) is a proven supported employment model that helps people with mental health and substance use disorders find and keep jobs of their choosing. The IPS model is based on the philosophy that employment is treatment and leads to improved recovery outcomes. When working, people with mental health and substance use disorders feel better about themselves and their job role improves their self-esteem and life satisfaction. Through a continuum of support, IPS is more effective than other vocational approaches in helping job seekers find long-term competitive employment.

IPS (Individual Placement and Support) logo: Wisconsin let's get to work!

The eight principles of IPS

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Competitive employment

The IPS model focuses on developing opportunities for job seekers that are inclusive. These are jobs that anyone can apply for, pay at least minimum wage or the same pay as coworkers with similar duties, and have no artificial times limits imposed by a social service agency.

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Systematic job development

Based on the job seeker's preferences, IPS employment specialists regularly visit businesses to learn about their needs and hiring preferences. 

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Rapid job search

In the IPS model, there are no requirements for assessments, training, or counseling before seeking employment. The first face-to-face contact between a job seeker and a business occurs within 30 days.


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Integrated services

The IPS model is part of mental health and substance use treatment programs. Employment specialists work with a job seeker's treatment team to support the job seeker's treatment goals. 

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Benefits planning

IPS employment specialists help people obtain personalized, understandable, and accurate information about their Social Security, Medicaid, and other government benefits. 

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Zero exclusion

The IPS model is open to all job seekers receiving services for mental health and substance use disorders. 


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Time-unlimited supports

The services offered under the IPS model are continue as long as each person being served wants and needs support. 

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Worker preferences

The IPS model focuses on each job seeker's desires and wishes.


What is the difference between traditional employment services and IPS?

IPS has a significant advantage over alternative vocational approaches. IPS job seekers who have found employment have 33% fewer days between stated interest to work to their first day on the job, greater job satisfaction, and triple the earnings. 

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Everybody wins with IPS

People hired through IPS gain access to meaningful employment. Meanwhile, businesses gain productive and qualified employees, a more diverse workforce, and the support of vocational services. The community gains more residents who are confident, contributing members of society. Select an option below to learn why IPS is a win-win for everyone.


IPS works

There are many examples of IPS in action across Wisconsin. See all of the success stories.

Masheia Wadlington
Masheia Wadlington

Job seeker

IPS helped Masheia overcome the barriers that sometimes prevented her from being successful at work. Learn more.  


IPS is currently available in 22 Wisconsin counties.


See the list of sites

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Bring IPS to your community

IPS is expanding across Wisconsin. The state IPS team makes implementing the IPS model easy. They will guide counties and tribes through every step of the process.

Wisconsin IPS is a collaboration of the Department of Health Services, the Department of Workforce Development, and UW-Madison.

Last Revised: August 21, 2022