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Disability Employment Policy Resources by Topic

Employment and Living with HIV/AIDS Toolkit

Service Providers

Types of Service Providers

Addressed on this page are three types of service providers:

  • HIV/AIDS service providers who have employment-related services
  • HIV/AIDS service providers seeking ways to adjust existing programs to better support and encourage clients who are considering employment
  • Non-HIV-specific service providers seeking to expand capacity to effectively serve people with HIV/AIDS

The key message for all of these service providers is that increasing number of people living with HIV/AIDS need and can benefit from access to information and support to consider and pursue employment. Thus, developing relationships across systems may not only expand access to resources for clients living with HIV/AIDS, but also present opportunities to grow funding and support. The best outcomes for clients are likely to result from coordination and partnership among HIV/AIDS, workforce development, vocational rehabilitation and related services.

Through effective collaboration, workforce development and vocational rehabilitation service providers can learn strategies to support better outcomes for people living with HIV/AIDS, while HIV/AIDS service providers can better encourage their clients to prepare for and obtain employment, even if those service providers do not have their own comprehensive employment program.

Below are no-cost or low-case ways service providers can collaborate to enhance services for people living with HIV/AIDS.


HIV/AIDS Service Providers who Have Employment-Related Services

Strategies:

If the program is vocational rehabilitation (VR)-aligned, learning about workforce development can expand the range of services and support for clients.

If the program focuses on the workforce development system, developing a relationship with the state VR system can expand the range of services and support for clients.

Whatever your focus, learn about local, state and federal resources that could strengthen your own services.  Potential funders of employment services may include state VR agencies; local and state workforce development boards; the Ticket to Work program; community development block grants; HUD (HOPWA). Other possible funders include local and national private foundations.

Resources to Assist:

 

HIV/AIDS Service Providers Seeking Ways to Adjust Existing Programs to Better Support and Encourage Clients who are Considering Employment

Strategies:

An internal "audit" may highlight opportunities to adapt your services to better encourage consideration of employment.

Questions to ask yourself about your own agency:

  • In your intake and assessment, do you capture information about your clients' current employment status, interests and needs?
  • In your case management/counseling services, do you explore employment needs, interests and issues?
  • Do you give information or link people to resources for benefits counseling and training about work incentives?  For job training, education and vocational services?
  • Do you offer structured volunteering opportunities for clients to use as work trial and work adjustment?
  • Do you allow extended eligibility for vital stabilizing services for clients trying to transition to work?
  • Do you know about and link with the local district of your state VR agency?
  • Do you know about and link with your local One-Stop Career Center?
  • Do you know about and link with your local Ticket to Work employment networks?
  • Do you know about or link with other HIV/AIDS service providers who offer employment services?

Integrate employment needs assessment into HIV/AIDS client services by:

  • Developing case management and/or client advocacy standards of care that incorporate ongoing assessments related to client need, interest and ability to enter/re-enter the workforce
  • Training case managers and peer advocates to increase understanding of basic vocational rehabilitation concepts and familiarity with community services and resources to address client needs
  • Providing meeting and cross-training opportunities for HIV client services staff in conjunction with vocational rehabilitation and workforce development professionals so that they develop strategies to work together for the benefit of people living with HIV/AIDS
  • Training HIV/AIDS client services staff on benefits and work incentives

Enrich the roles for counselors and peer advocates.

Support people living with HIV/AIDS in making well-informed decisions about employment with educating, counseling or resource referrals in four domains.  To assist, see the client-focused Considering Work model in the individuals living with HIV/AIDS section of this toolkit.

Add pre-vocational and vocational components to your existing programs, such as:

  • Computer access and training
  • Structured volunteering and internship opportunities, including training, supervision and evaluation
  • Supplemental work (short and long term)
  • Part time and full time jobs
  • Peer advocate positions

Resources to Assist:

Research employment services in your area by looking into:

 

Non-HIV-Specific Service Providers Seeking to Expand Capacity to Effectively Serve People with HIV/AIDS

Strategies:

Look inward to remove any barriers for people living with HIV/AIDS:

  • Set up a supportive workplace with solid policies and practices
  • Ensure that your staff is trained by providing up-to-date information about HIV/AIDS

Enhance your outreach to people living with HIV/AIDS:

  • Invite HIV/AIDS service providers to offer training
  • Seek opportunities to participate in meetings and events in the HIV/AIDS community
  • Designate a staff person as a liaison to HIV/AIDS service providers

Resources to Assist: