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Federal Financing of Supported Employment and Customized Employment for People with Mental Illnesses: Final Report

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This report describes how states can "blend and braid" (i.e., integrate/coordinate) various federal financing sources to assist people with serious mental illness to obtain and sustain gainful employment. A major focus of the four case studies is on how some states (Illinois, Kansas, Maryland and Washington) have drawn on multiple federal programs to fund the individual placement and support (IPS) and customized employment (CE) models of supported employment. Developed by Drake and Becker of Dartmouth University, IPS is considered an "evidence-based" practice because 11 evaluations that used controlled experimental design methods found improved results associated with this approach compared to vocational services provided to control group members. CE is a conceptually convergent model, developed by the Department of Labor that has had promising results in programs designed primarily for people with intellectual developmental disabilities but has not as yet been rigorously evaluated. Because most federal funding sources have limitations of various kinds, states can benefit from technical guidance to draw on more than one and often several different financing mechanisms to finance components of the IPS/CE model. [54 PDF pages]