Individual Placement and Support

Individual Placement and Support (IPS) is a model of supported employment for individuals with behavioral health conditions. 

Principles of IPS

Competitive employment 

Jobs anyone can apply for, pay at least minimum wage/same pay as coworkers with similar duties, and have no artificial time limits imposed by the social service agency.

Integrated services

IPS programs are integrated with mental health treatment teams. Employment specialists attach to one or two mental health treatment teams, which discuss their caseload.

Zero exclusion

People are not excluded on the basis of readiness, diagnoses, symptoms, substance use history, psychiatric hospitalizations, homelessness, level of disability, or legal system involvement.

Worker preferences

IPS program services are based on each job seeker’s preferences and choices rather than the employment specialist’s and supervisor’s judgments.

Benefits counseling

Employment specialists help people obtain personalized, understandable, and accurate information about their Social Security, Medicaid, and other government entitlements.

Rapid job search

IPS programs use a rapid job search approach to help job seekers obtain jobs rather than assessments, training, and counseling. The first face-to-face contact with the employer occurs within 30 days.

Systematic job development

Employment specialists systematically visit employers, who are selected based on the job seeker’s preferences, to learn about their business needs and hiring preferences.

Time-unlimited support

Job supports are individualized and continue for as long as each worker wants and needs the support. Employment specialists have face to face contact at least monthly.

IPS in Wisconsin

In Wisconsin, IPS is a partnership between the Department of Health Services, Division of Care and Treatment Services, the Department of Workforce Development, Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, and UW-Madison, Department of Rehabilitation Psychology and Special Education.

IPS is available in the following counties.

  • Crawford
  • Dane
  • Jackson
  • La Crosse
  • Langlade
  • Lincoln
  • Marathon
  • Milwaukee
  • Monroe
  • Outagamie
  • Pierce
  • Polk
  • St. Croix
  • Sheboygan
  • Vernon
  • Washburn
  • Washington


IPS resources

Wisconsin IPS Learning Collaborative - 2019 Meeting

May 30-31, 2019
Gordon Commons
Madison, WI 

Professionals involved in the IPS program in Wisconsin are invited to attend to this meeting.  The registration fee is $45. The registration fee includes the meals listed on the agenda. CEUs and CRCs are available. UW-Madison Continuing Education Programming is handling the registration process. Register now.

Day 1: May 30, 2019

  • 8:30 a.m.: Check-in opens for the special session
  • 9:00 a.m.: Special session: IPS 101
    • ​Attendance at this session is required for all new IPS staff and new teams in the IPS learning collaborative. Seasoned practitioners are welcome to attend.
  • 12:00 p.m.: Lunch (included with registration)
  • 1:00 p.m.: Welcome and introductions
  • 1:15  p.m.: Opening keynote
    • Engaging clients around meaningful work and purpose" - Mark Sanders
  • 2:15 p.m.: Program updates and awards
  • 2:30 p.m.: Break and networking
  • 2:45 p.m.: Breakout sessions (choose one)
    • 15 strategies to help clients stay engaged and make positive life changes (Presenter: Mark Sanders)
    • Job retention strategies to create lasting opportunities (Presenter: Andrew Johnson)
    • Comprehensive Community Services documentation: Tips and tricks (Presenter: Danielle Graham-Heine
    • QPR (Question, persuade, and refer) training (suicide prevention) (Presenter: Debi Treader)
  • 4:30 p.m: End of day one

Day 2: May 31, 2019

  • 7:30 a.m.: Breakfast (included with registration)
  • 8:30 a.m.: Breakout sessions (choose one)
    • SSA demonstration project: Experiences and outcomes (Presenter: Hilleary Reinhardt)
    • Criminal justice involvement and employment (Presenter: Nanette Griese)
    • Serving Youth: Tips and considerations (Presenter: Judy Van Ryzin)
    • Rural communities and IPS (Presenter: Stephanie Jewell)
  • 9:30 a.m.: Break and networking
  • 9:45 a.m.: Breakout sessions (choose one)
    • Helping smokers succeed when returning to the workforce (Presenter: Bruce Christiansen)
    • Competitive integrated employment interagency plan: What this means for IPS (Presenter: Andrew Johnson)
    • Peer specialist handbook for IPS (Presenter: Alysha Clark)
    • Urban IPS services (Presenter: Darius McKinney)
  • 10:45 a.m.: Break and networking
  • 11:00 a.m.: Breakout sessions (choose one)
    • Substance use disorders and employment (Presenter: Amanda Lake)
    • Vocational rehabilitation and employment specialist collaboration best practices (Presenter:: Andrew Johnson)
    • IPS onboarding strategies: Group think about training and support of IPS employment specialists (Presenter: Laleña Lampe)
    • Trauma-informed workplaces (Presenter: Donna Riemer)
  • 12:00 p.m.: Lunch (included with registration)
  • 1:00 p.m.: Closing keynote
    • ​"Compassionate Communication Skills" - Donna Reimer
  • 2:00 p.m.: Break and networking
  • 2:15 p.m: Role-oriented meetings (choose one)
    If you do not fit into one of these designations, choose one of interest to you.
    • Peer specialists
    • Division of Vocational Rehabilitation counselors
    • IPS supervisors
    • Employment specialists
  • 4:00 p.m. End of day two/end of meeting


Last Revised: May 9, 2019