Team Spotlight: Wolverhampton Disability Employment Services
We will be releasing Team Spotlights in the following months. These will be a series of articles about the various teams at Enable aimed at painting a clearer picture of what it is we do, who it is we are, and if our services are right for you. With that said, this week we are taking a look at the only one of our teams not based in Shropshire, but are no less closer to our hearts, the Wolverhampton Disability Employment Services.
In this article we will be covering the client journey. Walking through what a typical client can expect from being referred to our services all the way to finding employment. Before we get to that however, the Wolverhampton team has a specific referral criteria set out by Wolverhampton Council. Potential clients must fit into one of the following categories:
Person must be over 16, a resident of Wolverhampton, have a disability and either:
- Receive social care or have done so in the last 3 years (supported living, care at home, day services, residential care, domiciliary care, adult foster placement, respite care)
- Have a current EHCP (education and healthcare plan)
When the person is accepted into our service, a Business Development Officer (BDO) will meet with the client, this can be done at our office or an external location. They will either start by having a chat/information session or by starting the initial assessment and vocation profile, this can be done over a few meetings.
The client will get to know their BDO closely over the course of our service and vice versa. They are responsible for seeking out suitable jobs for the client and all the finer details involved in reaching that goal. Our BDOs are very experienced in what they do, and have catered to a wide range of individuals and their needs, so the client need not be afraid to confide in the BDOs any worries or specifications they may have.
The client will then be invited along to job club, this is a short course/introduction that runs over 5 weeks, it’s just 2 hours per week. The course covers the following:
- CV building
- Interview preparation
- Methods of job seeking/recognising signs and personal qualities
- Understanding suitable employment
- Personal presentation and communication
- Behaviour and expectations at work
- A mock interview (On the last day)
After job club, the client will work closely with the BDO who will identify the best ways of job seeking and start to seek suitable opportunities, they can meet at our office or external locations. They can do internet job searching, canvassing with CV’s directly to employers, telephone canvassing, using clients support network etc. BDOs will try to negotiate working interviews with companies rather than the traditional interview and try to negotiate job carving if there are areas of a position that may be too complex.
On the Job
Once a job has been secured, we offer support the client and the employer by providing a job coach initially for a period of up to 6 months. The role of the Job Coach is to help the client with all aspects of understanding health and safety in the workplace, organising workload, time management, building a bridge and strong connection between the employee and colleagues, understanding behavioural expectations in the workplace, general support, guidance and motivation and learning new routines. They can also help the employer learn about the person’s disability and come up with the best way to work and communicate with them. They can also provide travel training to and from work.
The support will be weaned off over a 6 month period, if in the future they need our support we can help. This can be for things such as the client not performing to the expected standard, reviews, training, support during supervision, grievances, appraisals or any other meetings, to negotiate adjustments, etc. The client need not worry to approach us for help and we will always do our best to try and accommodate.
From this point on, the client can embark on their journey into paid employment.
This has been a brief overview of a client’s journey utilising Wolverhampton Disability Employment Services. Of course, every case is different and people’s needs may differ. As a result, our experienced Officers are prepared to provide specialised support according with the client’s needs in order to pave the most desirable route to employment. We truly believe in the work we do and the services we provide have changed lives.