In IPS programs, each employment specialist provides the full-range of employment services to the people on his or her caseload. This helps in several ways. The job seeker is able to establish a relationship with one worker who helps him throughout the return to work.  In research trials, when people were asked to work with one person for job development and another for job supports, clients often dropped out of employment services when they were asked to switch to a new worker. In addition, the employment specialist and worker learn together as the person tries employment.  For example, they may discover that the person is most successful when the supervisor is promoted to give frequent feedback.  If the client is switching back and forth between workers as she tries different jobs, those lessons could be lost. Finally, it helps to have one employment specialist so that the person returning to work does not hear conflicting messages from different people.

Most employment specialists are able to become effective job developers by practicing over time with a coach, such as a supervisor or colleague who accompanies them as they meet with employers. Information about job development skills can be found in “IPS Supported Employment: A Practical Guide.” Information about ordering this guide is available on this website under Resources.