Access to IPS programs throughout Australia has been steadily increasing and expanding since 2005.
Fully integrated IPS program, An organisation would create a dedicated IPS employment specialist role, paid as an internal staff member to provide supported employment. The IPS employment specialist would become a full member of the mental health or community support team and their focus would be exploring employment aspirations, connecting with local employers, conducting rapid job search activities, and providing support after someone is successfully placed in employment. The current “Department of Social Services IPS Youth Trial” is an example of this.
Implement an IPS partnership requires a local mental health provider to become IPS site ready. The mental health service conducts an Expression of Interest to find a preferred Disability Employment Service – Employment Support Service (DES-ESS) provider. A partnership is negotiated, decision-making is shared and the IPS program is formed to deliver an integrated service to jobseekers. A DES employee is appointed as an IPS employment specialist and they are co-located with the mental health service providing assistance, exploring employment aspirations, connecting with local employers, conducting rapid job search activities, and providing support after someone is successfully placed in employment.
National IPS Youth Trial
The Department of Social Services is funding the Individual Placement and Support Trial as part of the Australian Government’s Youth Employment Strategy to improve the educational and employment outcomes of young people with mental health challenges aged up to 25. Trials are being held at 24 selected headspace sites around Australia, and will expand to 50 headspace sites from June 2021. IPS WORKS has been supporting the sites to implement the IPS model, undertake fidelity reviews and provided project management.