Stepping into Competitive Employment (IPS)                     

The individual placement support (IPS) model has been researched by Dartmouth Psychiatric Research Center and noted as a best practice. The Employment Specialist working with this program has a caseload of approximately 20 clients. IPS focuses on individual preferences, job development, and competitive employment. This program offers integration with mental health treatment and support services for both the individual and the employer.


IPS offers job placement and supports for persons with serious mental illness. The service can be available at Winona ORC, Hiawatha Valley Mental Health Center (HVMHC), or Rehabilitation Services (RS) based on the client’s choice. Program hours are provided Monday through Friday during our normal business hours with services available on nights and weekends as needed on a case to case basis. The frequency of services is determined by the client, their support team, and the needs of the client being serviced. Services are paid  by the State of Minnesota and Rehabilitation Services. There are no fees associated to the clients in the program. Referrals are made directly by HVMHC.

Entry Criteria

To participate in the IPS program, clients must have a serious mental illness, as defined by Minnesota state statute and the client states that they want to work in a direct hire position.

Transition Criteria

Clients are open to transition to another program within Winona ORC. Clients must meet eligibility requirements within that program in order to be considered for entry.  Winona ORC staff will assist in making an inter-office referral.

Exit Criteria

The client can choose to discontinue services at any time.  Employment Specialists only exit clients after they have attempted multiple times to contact the client with no response.  Winona ORC staff utilizes contact with support team, mail, phone, and stopping by their residence in order to attempt to contact the client and re-engage them into the program. This assertive engagement and outreach technique is considered best practice for IPS.

Service Modification

Winona ORC is committed to providing services to the clients enrolled in the program. In the case of funding issues or case loads being at the maximum of 20 clients, Winona ORC will determine if clients need to be placed on a waiting list. The Director of Client Services will make this determination based on the need that arises.

For more information, contact our Director of Client Services, Leslie Swartling at 507-452-1855, ext. 110  [email protected]