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Roles and responsibilities

Many people play a role in supporting someone receiving waiver services on their path to competitive employment.

Despite our unique roles, we share the core belief that everyone can succeed in competitive work with the right supports. We also share a commitment to use person-centered practices to help people make informed choices and find meaningful work.

Below you'll find an overview of the various roles and responsibilities within a person's employment support team, including the person, family members and support professionals. Check out the E1MN trainings and events page for short videos on roles and responsibilities during each phase of employment.

F amily, guardian, advocate Special education Employment service pr o viders Vocational Rehabilitation staff W ai v er case manager The person
The Person

The person receiving waiver services

Driving the employment plan

The person receiving waiver services drives the employment plan and supports. They may rely on other team members to explain services, processes and options — but the person is the decision maker. If the person is a minor or under guardianship, the family or guardian must also be involved in these decisions.   

The person:

  • Communicates employment interests and chooses supports. The person shares their goals and describes what help they would like to reach those goals. To make informed decisions, the person must understand their employment options and weigh the risks and rewards of those options. Keeping in mind that informed decisions are bound by available services and program rules. For example, if job search services are available through Vocational Rehabilitation Services (VRS) or State Services for the Blind (SSB), waiver case managers are not able to authorize waiver job search services through employment development services (find phase).
  • Engages in employment planning. The person sets employment goals and approves employment plans using supports available through waivers or VRS/SSB employment services.
  • Participates in services and employment activities. The person is an active partner in the employment plan, participating in services and following up on next steps to help reach their job goals.
  • Communicates with team members. The person can create a My Vault account to store and share relevant documents with their employment support team. This helps support professionals coordinate and deliver employment services that meet the person's needs.

If the person chooses not to create a My Vault account, employment support team members must help the person get and share their information in another way. An appropriate release of information is required for team members to directly share the person’s information with each other.

Family Members

Family members, guardians, advocates

Supporting the decision-making process

Family members, guardians and other people who help are critical for the person's employment success. The person is the decision maker. Still, they may rely on close contacts — like family members, guardians or friends — to help them make decisions. These close contacts help the person make their own decisions, rather than making decisions for them.

Family members, guardians and other people who help can:

  • Help the person make decisions. Close contacts can help the person make decisions, like which services the person receives and who is on their support team. These close contacts can also help communicate questions or concerns to the support team and ensure the person's voice is heard during process.
  • Participate in meetings. The person may ask family members and others close to them to participate in planning meetings. Guardians are expected to attend planning meetings.
  • Provide signatures for minors or those under guardianship. Guardians provide approvals and signatures for any planned services. Guardians are expected to attend planning meetings.
  • Rally supports. Close contacts can identify, activate and engage informal supports, like arranging a neighbor to drive the person to work or finding a friend to help practice riding the bus. These close contacts can also make sure other activities, services and supports wrap around the person's employment efforts.
  • Plan logistics. Close contacts can help the person think through issues like transportation, schedules and the impact of employment on other daily activities.  
Waiver Case Managers

Waiver case managers

Assessing needs, creating service plans, offering referrals

Waiver case managers help people identify, access and navigate supports and services. Waiver case managers are responsible for providing the information a person needs to make informed choices about supports and services. This includes social, health, educational, vocational and financial services.

Waiver case managers:

  • Connect the person to services and supports. Case managers identify the person’s needs, help the person understand the services available to help find and keep employment, help the person understand their service provider options, authorize services, and connect the person with their chosen provider(s). Case managers may use local employment service providers they already know of from their professional experience, or they may use MinnesotaHelp.info to help find service providers.
  • Participate in intake and 45-day meetings for waiver employment services. To inform service planning and ensure the person's needs are met, case managers are required to participate in intake and 45-day meetings for waiver employment services.
  • Coordinate services. Case managers ensure that a person's other services — such as transportation or day services — are coordinated with their employment goals and services.
  • Monitor services. Case managers meet with the person at least twice a year (or more often as needed) to monitor waiver services and review the person's needs and progress toward employment goals. These meetings may include other employment support team members, like VRS/SSB or employment service providers. For example, a VRS counselor may be invited to participate in a meeting regarding changes in the person's living situation (such as moving to a new house) to make sure employment services are aligned with the change.
  • Stay informed about VRS and IEP meetings. Case managers must understand the outcomes of VRS and Individualized Education Program (IEP) meetings — ideally participating in the meetings themselves. VRS employment plan meetings (which typically include the person and a VRS counselor) are used to plan for service delivery. VRS job search placement plan meetings (which typically include the person, a VRS counselor and a VRS employment service provider) are used to start the job search process. IEP meetings (which typically include the student, parent or guardian, school staff and VRS counselor) are used to plan the person’s education and supports.
  • Collaborate with other professionals. Case managers coordinate the supports a person needs to be successful in all areas of life, including employment. Key points of collaboration include reviewing items shared through My Vault or by other employment team members, engaging in the development and review of the VRS placement plan, reviewing regular updates from other team members, and helping the person complete and share their waiver support plan and service authorizations.

If the person chooses not to create a My Vault account, employment support team members must help the person get and share their information in another way. An appropriate release of information is required for team members to directly share the person's information with each other.

VRS

Vocational rehabilitation counselors

Helping people find jobs

Vocational Rehabilitation Services (VRS) and State Services for the Blind (SSB) counselors help people with disabilities who have barriers to employment find jobs.

Vocational rehabilitation counselors are responsible for helping the person identify their work goals, providing the information a person needs to make informed choices about work, and making connections with resources and services the person needs to find and keep a job.

Vocational Rehabilitation (VRS) and State Services for the Blind (SSB) liaisons provide consultations for waiver exploration and development service providers and case managers on when and how to best engage Vocational Rehabilitation Services.

VRS/SSB liaisons:

  • Coordinate and plan employment services. Liaisons are available to consult with waiver case managers and waiver employment service providers to offer employment planning expertise. Early engagement with the liaison is a best practice in coordinating and planning employment services.
  • Offer guidance on the timing of VRS/SSB referrals and service applications. Liaisons help waiver employment service providers and case managers understand when and how to engage with VRS/SSB to help a person find employment. Ideally this consultation takes place soon after a person has decided to pursue competitive integrated employment. This creates a smoother transition from waiver exploration and development - planning services to VRS/SSB services.

VRS/SSB counselors and other vocational rehabilitation staff help people find competitive  integrated employment.

Vocational rehabilitation services are provided using a person-centered approach and vary depending on the person's specific needs. VRS/SSB counselors and other vocational rehabilitation staff help people find competitive integrated employment.

Vocational rehabilitation staff:

  • Complete the intake and eligibility process. Vocational rehabilitation staff help the person complete the VRS/SSB intake and application process, including eligibility determination and service priority (how quickly services can start).
  • Help the person develop an employment goal. Vocational rehabilitation staff help the person determine what they want to do and then create a plan for finding competitive integrated employment. They identify the best VRS/SSB services for the person, including exploration of interests, abilities and conditions for employment.
  • Coordinate employment services. Vocational rehabilitation staff authorize services, help the person understand provider options, connect the person to the chosen VRS/SSB employment service provider, and then plan for transition to ongoing supports with stable employment.
  • Provide initial job supports. Once the person finds employment, vocational rehabilitation staff make sure the person has the time-limited job supports needed to become stable in employment. These initial supports are provided by a VRS/SSB employment service provider. Then, vocational rehabilitation staff work with the waiver case manager to ensure all needed long-term support services are in place to help the person maintain employment.
  • Organize and participate in meetings to ensure coordination of services and progress toward employment goals. They organize and schedule VRS employment plan meetings (used to plan for VRS/SSB service delivery), and VRS job search placement plan meetings (used to start the job search process). They may also be asked to participate in IEP meetings (used for youth in school) and waiver meetings (annual assessments and six-month reviews).
  • Collaborate with other professionals. Key points of collaboration for vocational rehabilitation staff include reviewing items shared through My Vault or by other employment team members, helping the person develop the initial employment plan and share it with the team, working with the person and the vocational rehabilitation employment service provider to develop the job search placement plan, connecting with VRS/SSB employment service providers about service availability, and reviewing regular updates from the employment service provider.

If the person chooses not to create a My Vault account, employment support team members must help the person get and share their information in another way. An appropriate release of information is required for team members to directly share the person’s information with each other.

Employmentserviceprovider

Employment service providers

Providing support to help people engage, plan, find and keep employment

Employment service providers deliver services that help people make informed choices about work, and then set and reach their work goals.

There are three types of waiver employment service providers:

Waiver employment exploration service providers help people engage in conversations about employment, get a better understanding of their opportunities, and make an informed choice about competitive integrated employment.

Employment exploration service providers:

  • Deliver services outlined in the waiver support plan. The support plan guides the delivery and goals of employment exploration and development services and outlines the expected outcomes of any waiver service.
  • Provide activities and experiences to explore employment. Exploration activities and experiences strengthen a person's knowledge, interests and preferences, which helps the person make an informed choice about competitive integrated employment. Exploration includes individualized educational activities, learning opportunities, benefits planning and work experiences in different environments.
  • Document the person's goals and waiver exploration activities. Exploration service providers document the person's activities and experiences and help the person create a My Vault account. With My Vault, the person can upload important files and information and share with other team members as desired.
  • Help the person connect with services to plan for employment. If desired, employment service providers help the person transition to the next phase of employment. For some people, this is the waiver employment development – plan phase. For others, it's moving directly to finding a job.
  • Collaborate with other professionals. Exploration service providers participate in regular meetings with waiver case managers and may participate in or provide information for other meetings as well, such as IEP meetings. Key points of collaboration for exploration service providers include helping the person use My Vault to store and share information, reviewing items shared through My Vault or by other employment team members, and updating waiver case managers on progress.

Waiver employment planning-development service providers help people plan their path to employment, develop preliminary employment goals and connect with job search supports.

Some people getting waiver services are comfortable beginning a job search without support from an employment service provider. When needed, employment development service providers:

  • Deliver services outlined in the waiver support plan. The support plan guides the delivery and goals of employment exploration and development services and outlines the expected outcomes of any waiver service.
  • Create an employment portfolio. The portfolio includes a personal profile and a positive summary of what was learned during waiver employment services, including a preliminary employment goal. It also includes things like a benefits lookup, resume, sample application, Charting the LifeCourse Integrated Supports Star and Life Trajectory (or similar tools), and confirmation that the person has a My Vault account. Employment development service providers help the person create their own My Vault account, develop a portfolio, upload the information to their My Vault account and share with other team members as desired.
  • Document the person's goals and waiver development (plan) activities. Employment development service providers document the person's activities and work experiences, help the person develop preliminary employment goals (which can be refined as the job search begins), and help the person upload the information to the Vault and share with other team members as desired.
  • Help the person connect with job search services. Employment development service providers help a person transition to the next phase of employment, which may include applying for VRS/SSB or other job search supports, contacting offices, completing applications, and providing other support while eligibility and priority of service determinations are made.
  • Collaborate with other professionals. Employment development service providers participate in regular meetings with waiver case managers and may participate in or provide information for VRS/SSB planning meetings and IEP meetings. Key points of collaboration for employment development service providers include helping the person use My Vault to store and share information, reviewing items shared through My Vault or by other employment team members, updating waiver case managers on progress, connecting with VRS/SSB liaisons, and participating in the referral and application for VRS/SSB services.

If the person chooses not to create a My Vault account, employment support team members must help the person get and share their information in another way. An appropriate release of information is required for team members to directly share the person's information with each other.

Waiver employment support service providers deliver ongoing supports to help a person with stable employment maintain and grow in the job.

Waiver employment support service providers:

  • Deliver services outlined in the waiver support plan. The support plan guides the delivery and goals of employment support services and outlines the expected outcomes of any waiver service.
  • Provide ongoing supports to maintain employment. Once a person is stable in employment, waiver employment support service providers deliver services to help people maintain and grow in the job. This includes developing connections in the community and with the person's employer and coworkers.
  • Collaborate with other professionals. Waiver employment support service providers participate in regular meetings with waiver case managers and may participate in or provide information for VRS/SSB planning meetings and IEP meetings. Key points of collaboration for waiver employment support service providers include helping the person use My Vault to store and share information and reviewing items shared through the Vault or by other employment team members.

If the person chooses not to create a My Vault account, employment support team members must help the person get and share their information in another way. An appropriate release of information is required for team members to directly share the person's information with each other.

Job placement providers are service providers contracted by VRS/SSB to help people secure competitive integrated employment. Job placement providers also deliver initial job supports, but they aren’t responsible for ongoing supports to help the person keep the job.

Job placement providers:

  • Create a job placement plan in coordination with the person and the Vocational Rehabilitation counselor. This plan guides the delivery of job search services.
  • Help the person find employment. Job placement providers identify and develop appropriate job opportunities. Providers help people create or update resumes, learn logistic and interpersonal skills, complete job applications and pre-employment tests, prepare for job interviews, and draft cover and thank you letters. Providers also help employers eliminate barriers to competitive integrated employment and job advancement. Providers can help people upload relevant information to My Vault and share with other team members as desired.
  • Promote business engagement. Job placement providers develop relationships with local businesses and help manage customized opportunities, modifications and accommodations to ensure employment success.
  • Deliver initial job supports. Job placement providers deliver initial supports until employment stability is ensured, and then facilitate the transition to ongoing waiver employment supports (if needed).
  • Collaborate with other professionals. During the job search process, job placement providers give every-other-week updates to the person’s VRS/SSB counselor and waiver case manager. They may also participate in or provide information for IEP meetings. Key points of collaboration for job placement providers include helping the person use My Vault to store and share information and reviewing items shared through the Vault or by other employment team members.

If the person chooses not to create a My Vault account, employment support team members must help the person get and share their information in another way. An appropriate release of information is required for team members to directly share the person’s information with each other.

Specialed

Special education teachers and school case managers

Introducing the skills needed to succeed at work

Special education teachers and school case managers help students plan and prepare for future success. This includes thinking about employment, introducing the idea of work and teaching the skills needed to succeed at work.

Special education teachers and school case managers:

  • Maintain Individualized Education Programs (IEPs). An IEP outlines the student's educational goals and transition plan plus strategies to reach those goals.
  • Organize IEP meetings. IEP meetings are required at least once a year to coordinate the student's educational goals and transition plan. The students waiver case manager, VRS/SSB counselor, parents or guardians, and any other people the student chooses are invited to the meetings.
  • Support transition planning. This includes incorporating employment into the student's transition plan and identifying employment interests and goals.
  • Guide work experiences and career and technical education. Special education teachers and school case managers can identify work experiences to support the student's employment interests as well as connect the student with relevant career and technical education resources.
  • Collaborate with other professionals. During transition planning, special education teachers and school case managers communicate regularly with waiver case managers and VRS/SSB counselors. They may also participate in or provide information for VRS/SSB planning meetings. To help facilitate communication and collaboration, special education teachers and school case managers should help the student use My Vault to store and share information.

If the person chooses not to create a My Vault account, employment support team members must help the person get and share their information in another way. An appropriate release of information is required for team members to directly share the person's information with each other.

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