TWE provided vocational activities, work placements, and case management to help homeless veterans with mental illness or substance dependence find and maintain competitive employment.
TWE, part of the VA’s Compensated Work Therapy Program, helped participants develop work restoration plans and provided a real, rehabilitative work setting within the VA, other federal agencies, or private businesses in the community. TWE participants received at least 30 hours per week of structured vocational rehabilitation activities and were assigned to therapeutic work placements for between six months and one year. Participants also received case management to help them gain and enhance their employment skills and find and maintain competitive employment. The length of the TWE program depended on the participants’ vocational goals and needs but did not exceed one year. As of 2020, TWE continues to offer similar services to eligible participants. The target population for TWE included homeless veterans who met all three of the following criteria: (1) they were not receiving VA health services; (2) they expressed a desire to participate in competitive employment; and (3) they were diagnosed with a psychiatric disability or substance use problem. TWE was implemented in nine VA medical centers across the United States.
This study was part of the Therapeutic Employment Placement and Support (TEPS) demonstration, which also examined: the Individual Placement and Support program, TWE followed by Typical Services for Competitively Employed Veterans (CE), and CE only.