Early consideration of the successful transition back to one's home community is a vital part of the Rehabilitation Team process for VR consumers served at WWRC.  Effective planning facilitates successful community re-integration with a positive employment outcome.   Effective planning requires full engagement of the WWRC Rehabilitation Team, which includes the VR consumer and his/her DRS Rehabilitation Counselor.   If the DRS Rehabilitation Counselor (and other community partners where indicated) is unable to attend in person, video-conference and conference call options should be considered. 

 

When Should Home Transition Planning Be Considered?

Home community transition planning should begin prior to WWRC admissions to "begin with the end in mind" in terms of facilitating the development of a written, transitional Individual Plan for Employment (IPE) between WWRC and DRS while the VR consumer is in residence at WWRC. The transitional IPE employment goal will be based on the VR consumer's documented interests, aptitudes, and preferences, as balanced with current and projected labor market opportunities in his/her home community.  The transitional IPE jointly developed between WWRC and DRS will include the set of services anticipated to be delivered while in residence to help the VR consumer achieve the defined employment goal. 

 

Home community transition planning should continue throughout the VR consumers' stay at WWRC and should be reiterated during every Rehabilitation Team meeting.  On behalf of the Rehabilitation Team, the WWRC Rehabilitation Counselor is accountable for maintaining ongoing communications between Rehabilitation Team meetings regarding program progress and any issues encountered with the DRS Rehabilitation Counselor using a variety of communication methods to include AWARE documentation, e:mail, videoconferencing, and phone calls. 

 

No later than forty-five to sixty (45-60) days prior to anticipated program completion, the WWRC Rehabilitation Counselor is expected to convene a Rehabilitation Team meeting that focuses on final home community transition planning considerations, options, and goals.  This specialized Rehabilitation Team meeting should include the DRS Job Placement Counselor and/or Employment Service Organization (ESO) representative, if feasible and appropriate to the types of services the VR consumer will need upon return to the home community, to optimize utilization of their services.  With the consumer's permission, family members may be invited to reinforce available natural support systems.  Final home community transition planning should consider any strategies and techniques, including 'wrap-around support' services, that were demonstrated to be successful in the WWRC residential environment and that may assist the VR consumer as they transfer back to their home community. 

 

Emergency discharge planning can occur at any time.  See WWRC Governance Manual, Section 4.2.1, WWRC Scope of Services, Access, and Maintenance of Residential Status, for more details.

 

How Do Community-Based Workforce Partnerships Support the Home Community Transition Planning Process?

WWRC partners with Agency colleagues and vendors to facilitate workforce linkages that are anticipated to result in successful employment outcomes for mutual VR consumers.    These workforce linkages include options for community-based internships, job placement, and employment supports.  Agency Business Development Managers (BDMs), Job Placement Counselors, and Employment Service Organizations (ESOs) are essential resources that help bridge the gap between WWRC as a training provider and Business/Industry internship and employment opportunities.  Rehabilitation Team discharge planning processes consider information obtained from these resources to facilitate appropriate workforce readiness and skill transfer into workplace settings.

 

Combining disability expertise with a professional understanding and appreciation of workforce business challenges, community-based workforce partners may contribute to quality discharge planning processes in the following ways:

  • DRS Business Development Managers facilitate systems development related to new and existing economic markets and corporate networks.   The WWRC Vocational Services Division Director stays closely connected to the BDM professional network to facilitate alignment of WWRC's training programs with evolving business needs across the Commonwealth and to maintain ongoing information flow with WWRC Rehabilitation Team members.  Information gained allows the WWRC Rehabilitation Team to make informed decisions during discharge planning processes.

     
  • DRS Job Placement Counselors, qualified Agency Rehabilitation Counselors with specialized workforce development skills, are knowledgeable of local and regional employment opportunities, both current and projected.   They assist the DRS Rehabilitation Counselor and VR consumer in the identification of possible placement leads.  They may also assist in the identification of viable internship options for VR consumers interested in a community-based internship (e.g. as an alternative to an internship in the local community surrounding WWRC) following successful completion of classroom-based competencies.  An internship in the consumer's home community may lead to a bona-fide job opportunity if the consumer has performed well, a job opportunity exists for which the consumer is qualified, and an offer of employment is made.

     
  • Employment Service Organizations, a network of community rehabilitation providers, provide employment and vocational services across the Commonwealth.   WWRC training graduates may benefit from ESO services if needing short-term job coach training services or more long-term supported employment services post-WWRC discharge.    While the WWRC Rehabilitation Team may make a recommendation regarding the potential support needs of an ESO during discharge planning processes, the DRS Counselor in the home community has final decision-making authority.