The Thresholds IPS Employment Services aimed to quickly secure competitive employment for clients with serious mental health and substance abuse issues and a history of arrest or incarceration.
Thresholds IPS involved an integrated treatment approach in which an employment specialist worked with a team of clinicians and support staff to combine treatment of clients’ underlying mental and physical health issues with employment services. The employment specialist created individualized job searches with clients that reflected their employment preferences and conducted an initial vocational assessment to guide an accelerated job search process. Employment specialists also developed a pipeline of job opportunities and accompanied clients on job interviews, if the client requested it. In addition, employment specialists were trained to assist clients with a history of arrest or incarceration.
As of 2020, Thresholds continues to offer similar IPS services to clients that request them. Participants were volunteers who were at least 18 years old and had severe mental illness, substance abuse issues, and a self-disclosed criminal history. They also could not have been competitively employed in the three months before recruitment and could not have used IPS job search or employment services prior to recruitment. Participants also had to have pending criminal charges, had to attend two informational groups, and had to be able to give informed consent. Thresholds IPS was implemented in Chicago, IL.