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IPS: Get Started

The IPS Wisconsin team makes implementing IPS easy. They will help guide counties and tribes through every step of the process. 

Key implementation steps

Step 1: Secure tribal nation or county leadership approval and interest in taking further steps.

Step 2: Send an email expressing your interest in implementing IPS to the IPS Wisconsin team.

Step 3: Participate in an initial meeting coordinated by a state trainer to begin the implementation process.

Roles and responsibilities for implementation

  • Sign confidentiality agreements provided by the partner agency(s) if requested. 
  • Provide technical assistance and support for kickoff.  
  • Schedule baseline fidelity review.

  • Establish IPS unit meetings and allow a state trainer to participate to help the team develop strategies based on the IPS model. A state trainer should be invited to at least one IPS unit meeting every month during the first six months of implementation.  
  • Allow a state trainer and vocational services provider staff to participate in mental health treatment team meetings to help practitioners consider employment for people who are not working and to help improve integration of services. A state trainer should be invited to at least one mental health treatment team meeting every month during the first six months of implementation. For best practice, vocational services provider staff should attend weekly meetings. 
  • Ensure IPS supervisor and employment specialists (if applicable) are available to work alongside the state trainer while developing business relationships. A state trainer may help with employer contacts monthly or quarterly depending on the needs and employment outcomes of the local IPS team.
  • Establish a steering committee and allow a state trainer to participate in the quarterly meetings.  
  • Establish outcome goals (number of placements, hours, wages, etc.) and allow a state trainer to review the outcomes with the IPS supervisor and agency leaders to develop plans for improved outcomes. 
  • Ensure agency personnel are available for training at the agency. Training for employment specialists and the IPS supervisor is typically three to four days during the first year.  
  • Allow one half-day of training during the first year for mental health practitioners and supervisors. Agency leaders and the assigned state trainer may decide to have additional training as needed during the implementation process and beyond based on plans for improvement.
  • Maintain communication with Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development's Division of Vocational Rehabilitation and vocational services provider (if applicable).
  • Ensure that employment specialists, IPS supervisors, and the assigned Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development Division of Vocational Rehabilitation counselor(s) have access to training and ongoing education in IPS.

  • Process referrals for services and complete career profiles and other services as needed.
  • Contact local businesses to connect consumers to jobs in their area of interest. 
  • Complete data collection for data reporting.
  • Attend unit and mental health team meetings to encourage referrals and contribute information to the team. 
  • Maintain communication with the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development's Division of Vocational Rehabilitation and county or tribal mental health agency.
  • Ensure agency personnel are available for training. Training for employment specialists and the IPS supervisor is typically three to four days during the first year.  

  • Develop local referral procedures.
  • Process referrals for services and determine eligibility and category placement.
  • Maintain communication with members of the IPS team. 
  • Develop an Individualized Plan for Employment that outlines the employment goals and related services to assist the client in reaching their employment goals.
  • Review reports submitted regarding vocational rehabilitation services and provide feedback and suggestions. 
  • Attend unit and/or mental health team meetings, as schedule allows, to encourage referrals and assist with existing consumer case progress. 
  • Assist the county or tribal mental health agency and vocational services provider (if applicable) in the logistics and protocols of vocational rehabilitation services. 
  • Be available for training and service delivery.
  • Take the online vocational rehabilitation counselor training from the IPS Employment Center.

Do you have a question about IPS? Email the Wisconsin IPS team.

Last revised February 4, 2023